One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Recap of the 10-Mile Cherry Blossom Run

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“Inconceivable” -Vizzini (The Princess Bride)

This is pretty much the only word I can use to describe my thoughts on running 10 miles. I can hear Vizzini’s voice in my head saying it over and over again. Funny how certain things stick with you.


My alarm went off at 4:30 this morning. This was especially tough for me as I haven’t had to set as alarm since the toddler was born. Call it mom instinct or the mom curse — either way I’m up just before and right after his feet hit the ground. I think it started with the every 2 hour nightly breast feeding sessions. Regardless, the alarm went off and I hopped out of bed.

I had everything laid out from the night before but it wasn’t me I was worried about. It was the husband and the toddler. For starters, the husband is the WORST sleeper in the world. Those who know him know of what I speak of. Those who don’t just imagine your stereotypical 17-year-old high school student who sleeps from 2 a.m. till 2 p.m. Yup… that’s the husband. The toddler? I wasn’t worried about getting him up — it was his utter S_L_O_W_N_E_S_S that had me nervous.

To my surprise we all piled in the car at 5:30 and hit the road. It was just under an hour to the DC metro area. When we got there at 6:20 I already noticed a handful of other runners heading into the city. Every stop closer brought more and more runners until the train was PACKED. When we finally arrived it took 15 minutes to get out of the station!

At this point I was getting REALLY nervous. The race was starting in 25 minutes. I had to pee something fierce AND I had to catch up with Carrie. She not only got me into the race, she was nice enough to pick up my race pack so I didn’t have to make two trips down to DC. (Thanks, Carrie!)

Once we approached the Washington Monument I was in awe. There were SO many people there! 12,000 runners! This made a trip to the bathroom completely impossible. The line for the porta-potties were at least 50 people deep. I had no time and decided to head towards the start line with a full (I mean REALLY full) bladder.

They released the runners in groups based on bib numbers. Check out what color mine was. I didn’t plan it, I swear!

Cherry Blossum 10 miler bib

I started the Nike+ a few minutes before the whistle. I didn’t want to fuss with it afterward and I didn’t care about getting an exact time as I was wearing a chip that would measure me anyway.

The first few minutes of the race were slow, of course. There were SO many people! But I didn’t care I was so preoccupied with my pee problem. How was I going run 10 miles like this?!?!

Then I saw it. .3 miles in, a small row of porta-potties. Just off the track. Best part… there were only 5 people waiting!! So I paused the iPod and got in line. I was psyched!

With an empty bladder I re-entered the race. Raring to go! :)

The first mile was a breeze. I spent most of my time just avoiding people and trying to find my groove. The next mile was was over the Memorial Bridge and back. There were so many runners that the people in front were already heading back as I was crossing and then when I was heading back the people behind were just crossing. It was cool!

The third mile was when I caught another dad with his daughters cheering on “Mom” just like I did in the Baltimore Marathon Relay. There is just something about that scene that brings a tear to my eye. It doesn’t matter that I’m not their mom. I just think it’s super sweet and it TOTALLY motivates me. :)

Somewhere in the middle of the 4th mile my knees started aching again and it just made me angry. It’s funny, when I first started running, breathing was my biggest issue. I had to learn how to control my pace and my breath. Once I nailed that, cramps became my biggest problem. Now it’s my knees. I have a feeling it will always be something. I ran through it and after awhile I didn’t notice them any longer.

Then I started to get lost in my music. I really couldn’t focus on the scenery as there were just too many darn runners! I worried I’d run into someone as I navigated the crowd trying to keep my own pace. Thankfully, I wrote out the playlist last night and I was really familiar with the song order. That helped immensely. By mile 5 I knew I was around halfway through my songs and I was just on time if not a little ahead of my goal. I started anticipating what would come next and it was totally distracting me.

Miles 6 and 7 the field thinned out just a little bit and it was by far the prettiest part of the run. It was when I really focused on the cherry blossoms. When I hit the 8th mile marker I was getting excited. I knew there was no way I wasn’t going to finish at this point even though my knees were KILLING me. Especially my right one, which is weird as my left one is normally the one giving me trouble. I ran through it again, pissed that I waited so long to start running and cursing that my 30+ year old body is going to have a hard time keeping up with ME! lol

The excitement from the runners as we passed mile 9 was contagious. The crowds were picking up, cheering us on. I was reading awesome signs as I kept my pace up. “Run Chix Run” was by far my favorite. Not sure if the holder had a friend named “Chix” or he was referring to all female racers. Either way I thought it was cute.

Before I knew it I read a sign that said 800 meters remaining. I started scanning the crowds for the husband and toddler. Both sides of the road, back and forth. I wanted SO badly to wave to the toddler. To my surprise I scanned and scanned and before I knew it the finish line was right in front of me! I kicked it up a little bit, crossed the finish, and fought to shut off the iPod (my hands were sweaty.) Of course that’s when I heard the husband calling me. They JUST missed me. It was sort of my fault as I ran faster then I anticipated! :~P

How fast you ask?

Look at that! By far my “smoothest” run yet. Can I just say…. I LOVE a flat course! I can’t believe I kept such a steady pace. Besides my knees, it was actually an easy run. (INCONCEIVABLE!!) According to the official results I ran the 10 miles in 1:35:34 at a 9:34 pace, that’s only slightly off what my (uncalibrated) Nike+ recorded.

A few minutes after the run I met up with Carrie. Here we are with her husband Jimmy (who also ran) and the toddler.

Carrie, Jimmy, Roni, the toddler

Here are a few more shots. One of me twittering post race, of course. :)

Roni twittering after the race
Roni and the toddler after the race

When we got home the toddler was so exhausted, he was willing to cuddle and watch a movie. By far, THAT was my favorite part of this Sensational Sunday!

Roni and the toddler napping

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There are 56 comments so far.


    April 5, 2009

    That is one FLAT run! That is awesome! I know you are feeling great, yet the knees are so not.

    Congrats on finishing your first 10miler!


    April 5, 2009

    Love it! I have used my Nike+ twice now. Will start jogging (ha! running!) program soon. I hope to do a 5K. You inspire me!


    April 5, 2009

    That’s awesome! Congrats!


    April 5, 2009

    Great job on the run!!


    April 5, 2009

    It was such a gorgeous day for this race!

    Last year I ran the Cherry Blossom in DC. It was cold and raining, and the blooms were past peak. And I had to pee for the entire 10 miles because the lines were too long at the start. My friend tried, but gave up after he missed his corral and the one after. (For me, it wasn’t so bad that I was willing to wait in line on the course … but still not the greatest feeling!)

    While I liked the race, I also like the one my local club (Annapolis Striders) puts on. Though NOT FLAT! But at least I could sleep until 6 :)

    You have gotten so fast. I think I should try to chase you at Zooma to set a new half marathon PR!


    April 5, 2009

    Yay for you!! This was just the post I needed – I’ve recently been slacking on the running front. But I know the joy of crossing that finish line and your post reminded me to keep my goals (OKC 1/2 Marathon on April 26 and Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon on May 3) in sight!


    April 5, 2009

    Not to repeat myself :) but congrats, again! Isn’t it fun to think how far you’ve come with running and yet, it’s also just the beginning! Your excitement and enthusiasm is totally motivating.


    April 5, 2009

    Wow! Congratulations! Would you ever have imagined in 1999 that you would run TEN miles? SO AWESOME!

    I have a question…do you run the whole way, or take walk breaks? From the looks of your time, I’m guessing you run the whole 10. I would love to complete 10 miles with no walk breaks, but up to now have never been able to.

    By the way, I’m totally going to copy your playlist :-)

    Congrats again! You so totally rock!


    April 5, 2009

    congratulations to you! that must have felt so rewarding, to finish the cherry blossom 10-miler. for one, it’s very inspiring to me to read about your experience as someone who just started running longer distances than she is used to.


    April 5, 2009


    You inspired me, I just convinced my dad to sign up with me for a 5K in Sept. and I think I’ve gone on oh, 2 runs in my lifetime? Lol well not really, but I actually love to run I just have to get over my whole fear associated with it.



    April 5, 2009

    Congratulations on the run! You must feel great!


    April 5, 2009

    Yipppeee!! How exciting. I’m impressed at your running through the pain, my knee has me sidelined right now and it’s driving me nuts. Loved the post, it was like I was there with you.


    April 5, 2009

    Congrats Roni! Before you start your run, I’m not sure if you take any medications or not, but you should take some Ibuprofen right before you go, then on the 4-5th miles it will kick in and you hopefully won’t be so sore during your run :o)


    April 5, 2009

    You are so awesome. I was thinking of you when I did my 5 mile walk today. congratulations!


    April 5, 2009

    I have done a few half marathons and my trainers always said not to take ibuprofen before running, even 24 hours before. It can mask the pain and you could injure your knees even more.

    Also, I think pain relievers like that thin your blood, and have some other ill effects maybe with blood pressure? Not to be all preachy, but I just don’t want you to hurt yourself!

    You are A.MAZING! Way to go on your accomplishment. I cannot even fathom running 10 miles. I might, at some point in my life be able to walk 10 mi.(I did my 1st 5 mile Walk Away the Pounds dvd on my b-day this past week) but running is out for me with my knees. That is sad. BUT I might try it anyway when I get to my goal weight which is quite a ways off.

    Loved the pictures!


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats Roni, you must be so proud of yourself… you’re totally inspiring. I’d scheduled starting back to my 3x a week running as of tomorrow anyway, but now I’m totally psyched for it! Yay you!!!


    April 6, 2009

    Great job, Roni!


    April 6, 2009



    April 6, 2009

    What a sap I am! I’m tearing up, reading about your running experience! This truly makes me want to run, too! :)

    What a terrific accomplishment, Roni! Congrats again! :)


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats! That is awesome!!!! You should be so proud! You have inspired me to start running…it is happening slowly but surely!! I love working out–weights, spinning, etc…but running is a different beast! thanks for motivating me!


    April 6, 2009

    AWESOME!! Way to go Roni!



    April 6, 2009

    Congratulations!!! You are one very awesome lady!


    April 6, 2009

    Congratulations on a super race! Hope you’re able to relax and rebuild today. My first 10 miler, the GW Parkway Classic is in 3 weeks. I hope it goes as well.


    April 6, 2009

    Roni Congrats on the great run!

    One thing I couldn’t help but note was that you blame your knee problem on your body. The first thing I thought of were your shoes. Are you wearing shoes especially designed for running and for your foot type? Maybe you need new shoes? Just a suggestion… your body might not be giving out on you, it just might be the equipment.


    April 6, 2009

    I know about the knees. I could never be a runner, my knees crunch and make noise just going up the stairs! You are amazing!! Congrats and keep up the great work!


    April 6, 2009

    GREAT job, Roni!!!

    Crabby McSlacker

    April 6, 2009

    Congrats, what an awesome achievement! And hooray for additional porta-potties–that was SO smart of you to take a short time out at the beginning.

    Sorry about the knees though. I have Evil Knees that conspire against me and I can’t talk any sense into them. Apparently knees don’t have ears.


    April 6, 2009

    Way to go Roni! You’re such an inspiration! I ordered my Nike+ sports pack and finally have an iPod. My running program called Females in Training (F.I.T) starts in 2 weeks!! Preparing for my first 5K on my 36th b-day July 12th!


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats! You did amazing as always ;-) I love the pic of you and the little one.


    April 6, 2009

    The shoe thing could be it!!!! I thought I had the most comfortable shoe ever….until I found my asics!!!! They by far have made my walking/running life so much more endurable. I have several pins in my leg from an accident, and I must say they used to bug me after a certain point. Not now!!!! Big excuse to go SHOE SHOPPING!! :) Great job on the run!


    April 6, 2009

    Congratulations!!! I knew you could do it. It’s been great to follow your
    progress the past year and see you make your goals. I too
    set goals and for past 6 months have walked my first (and only) marathon and 4 1/2 marathons at 63 yrs. Although there is the big age issue I have
    had an approximately 50 lbs weight loss with WW and kept it off for almost 3 yrs.
    Just keep up the good work!!!!

    Lauren P

    April 6, 2009

    Way to go! Isn’t it exhilarating to cross the finish line! Keeps me motivated to keep training for the next one.

    It was a beautiful day for a race too. I didn’t finish nearly as fast as you, but felt strong and like I had plenty left in the tank. I will be doing some interval work between now and the Zooma Annapolis half, trying to bring my pace up a little bit.

    I too thought shoes might be the problem regarding your knees. It doesn’t hurt to go to a running store (and I mean a running store, not Dick’s or Sports Authority), tell them your problem, have them look at your feet and the way you run and see if you are in the right shoe. Our running store has a treadmill with a video camera so you can see how you run. They are very knowledgeable, helpful, and pleasant. The other issue could be you are in the right shoe, but it’s worn out and you need a new one.


    April 6, 2009

    Congratulations Roni! That is soooooo awesome! Reading your blog is one of the best part of my morning. You’re so motivating! Thank you for sharing with us.


    April 6, 2009

    You are such an inspiration that I signed up to run my first 5k in Sept. Ok, let’s back up, my first race EVER. The only thing I ever ran was to the bathroom in the airport. (That could even be considered a jog – haha).

    You go girl!!


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats, Roni — what an accomplishment!! And I LOVE cherry blossom season and miss living in DC for that reason (among others)! Looks like a fantastic time!


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats Roni – that is so incredible!

    I have a question to one item you mentioned in this post: “when I first started running, breathing was my biggest issue. I had to learn how to control my pace and my breath. ” How did you learn to control your pace and your breath? Does it just take practice? Any pointers?

    I am just starting to jog and would love to be able to run within a few months. I am just having a really hard time getting over the breathing/shortness of breath, I totally lose motivation.

    Any help you can give would be great! Thanks!


    April 6, 2009

    Thanks guys!! I’m totally going to look into long distance shoes. I so have “good” running shoes but I’m thinking I may need a new kind.


    April 6, 2009

    Hana – I DO! SLOW… My biggest problem was that I thought running was running at 100% all the time. When I took my time and found a pace where I could maintain a jog over a long distance it helped me move past the “jog” stage. And IF I had to slow down because I was out of breath I didn’t slow to a walk I slowed to a “speed walk” until I had it under control again. After awhile my speed walk session were less and less and I was run/jogging the whole time!!


    April 6, 2009

    Wow. GREAT job!!!

    Krista S.

    April 6, 2009

    Girl, you kicked ass! Way to go. I *love* the shot of you looking up at the camera while Twittering. Beautiful and inspiring.


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats on the first 10 miler!

    I say the same thing all the time…I wish I would have started running sooner! Every day I am amazed at what I can really do!

    My first 10 mile run is at the end of this month, and I’m still debating whether to do it in a ‘race’, or just on my own.

    Well done!


    April 6, 2009



    April 6, 2009

    That is just awesome Roni, such a smooth run! Many Congrats!!


    April 6, 2009

    Yee! Haw! You kicked butt, Roni! What a motivating story!


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats again and thanks for the pictures! Be sure to stretch out you legs and ice your knees!


    April 6, 2009

    Hon, can I just say that you are amazing? Utterly amazing!


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats to you! You are truly amazing and inspiring! Good girl!!

    Michelle in CA

    April 6, 2009

    Loved reading your 10 miler experience! Congratulations!!!


    April 6, 2009

    Awesome post, and great inspirational reading. I loved hearing your recap and now your half marathon should seem pretty realistic and doable. YOu are so awesome and I love reading your blogs.

    Que Sarah

    April 6, 2009

    Your post moved me to tears! I am so proud of you!! Girl, you rock!! Great job!!! You are totally made of awesome.


    April 6, 2009

    Congrats on a great run! I was in the green wave with you…but obviously with that many people I probably wouldn’t have seen you! My run wasn’t quite so steady or fast, but I finished and that’s what counts. See you at Zooma in May!

    A big congrats to you Roni!!! Very inspiring!


    April 8, 2009

    not sure why I am in tears but I am….great pace!!! great job!

    Laura N

    April 27, 2009

    Hey I’m way late on the congrats, but Congrats on the 10 mile race! Aren’t you just hooked on long distance runs now? I find I’m just getting started after I finish a short 3 mile run and hate it when I don’t have time to run longer. Inconceivable, indeed! (one of my all time favorite movies, BTW). Congratulations again!

    Rachel Newton

    January 7, 2016

    Nike+ is awesome, I use mine all the time. Great pictures by the way, really enjoy reading your write up.