Thursday, August 18, 2011

All roads lead to Rome!

I am sitting here writing this shaking with emotion.  I remember the first day I started my blog back in 2006 feeling nervous then as well. What if I did not succeed? Here I am posting my goals, dreams and weight loss for all the world to see. I knew though that if I really wanted to make a change, being accountable through my blog would take me to the next level and now I can see years later that it did!  

So now here we are in 2011 and I am going out of a limb posting yet another big goal which is ahead of me. I am scared, motivated, excited and nervous.....I would not have it any other way. 8 months from today, March 18th, 2012, I will be running the Rome Marathon!! I wanted to wait until I had final confirmation from the marathon committee to write this blog. I had to submit a doctors letter stating I was fit enough to do the race and other documents which needed to be received before they would send me my final confirmation email. So now, it is official....I AM IN :) They say the third time is a charm, well my third time going back to this city is going to be a dream come true and I will for the first time cross that finish line and will forever be, a Marathoner!!

This all started several months back, well, actually several years back. Let's start at the very beginning......a very good place to start :)

When my husband and I were living in Siberia we were fortunate enough to have the chance to travel quiet a bit. We had always longed to visit Italy and so in September of 2006 we decided to go. It was everything I had dreamed of.  I was just beginning my weight loss journey at this time, but I was not fully onboard, just watching what I was eating more so than before. I was still very heavy but it was not going to stop me from going to Italy!! We traveled all throughout Italy and our final destination was Rome. I remember standing in front of the Colosseum and allowing the vast history to soak in. It is something incredible to experience.  My husband wanted to take a picture but I felt too bad about how I looked so we took a head shot and therefore kept my body out of the picture. This made me so sad as I was taking memories away from my husband and I because I was so ashamed of what I had become.

One year later after losing some weight in 2007 we traveled back to Italy once again. This time I felt more confident and proud walking the narrow cobblestone streets of this amazing city but I was far from where I wanted to be. I remember seeing the stores and knowing that I was not quiet able to shop as the European sizes where always a challenge for me. We had a glorious time but I always knew that someday, I would be back.....that someday is NOW!!

Fast forward now to where I am currently in my journey. I am only a few pounds away from my personal goal weight. No more obese BMI rankings, overweight hip to waist ratios, overweight body fat %, by all definitions, I have made it, however for me, I still have a long road ahead. I have a detailed plan of where I want to be, races I want to run and goals to accomplish in the next few years.

I remember watching David Rocco's Dolce Vita when he was racing the Rome Marathon and I was standing in the living room with tears thinking about the last time I was in Rome and how it would be a dream for me to stand once again in front of the Colosseum, but this time, with a Marathon Medal around my neck, at my goal weight and healthier than ever! My husband turned to me and said, "You WILL do this someday!" Several months later, we sat down, talked and decided that 2012 was going to be my year!! This is the first of many races I have dreamed of finishing. After Rome, my dreams will start in a new direction for 2012, those who know me well can probably guess :) I will began my 70.3 and Ironman training post Rome along with another International Marathon I MUST do! I am going to discuss my plan for the next year in another blog but lets just say I am NOT holding back, and I truly am reaching HIGHER and HIGER!!

I feel blessed to have two incredible people helping me train for this race. The first is my aunt who is a physician and elite runner who has competed in the World Master's Track and Field Championships in Italy and competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona. My aunt, along with her coach will be giving me my training schedule to prepare me for this race and to help with my current knee issues I am having. There is a strong focus on cycling and I feel I could not be in better hands for my training. I really do feel  honored. They are both in such a higher class than I am, I feel so blessed they are taking the time to help little old me :) I am going to work like never before and I cannot wait!

In 2006, I was the girl who stood on the streets of Rome not knowing if she would ever get back to where she once was years ago. She was scared, afraid and did not want to live another day hating what she had become. So one day in an apartment in Tyumen, Siberia she decided to start LIVING in the moment, NOT wasting another second of this life she was blessed with and she turned her life around. Now, she is going back to Rome and this time, she will finish her first Marathon, crossing the finish line in front of that same Colosseum, hands in the air thanking God for bringing her so far! I cannot wait see how it feels to truly have a dream of a lifetime come true!

The flights are booked! The hotels are booked! In 8 months, my road, my journey will lead me back to ROME!!! 

Here a few videos of the Marathon in previous years....


erin said...

JEN! This is SO exciting! I can't wait to follow along as you train and get ready. I know you will do it and will be amazing!

The Mrs said...

PLEASE make sure the hubby films it. I cannot wait to see you cross that finish line!

Becca's Dirt said...

Jen I'm so excited for you. Outstanding accomplishments you already have under your belt girl. I know you will reach your goal and have a great marathon. Lucky you to have someone to help you along physically and mentally.

Kimber said...

Jen, I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face because I am so proud of you!! I have watched your journey in awe since 2007 and you continually impress me with your "go get it" spirit!! You're amazing and I can't wait to cheer you on all the way from Colorado!!! xoxo much love and best of luck with your training! Your going to do GREAT!

Hailey said...


I came across your blog not long ago and really enjoy it :)

This marathon is an amazingly huge deal!!! I can't wait to read your progress towards it!

Lindsay said...

Oh Jen! I'm squeeling with excitement for you!

Carlyn said...

This is such a beautiful and inspiring post! I borrowed the quote picture and put it on my facebook "like" page to further inspire others. I cannot wait to read all of your blogs leading up to Rome. Congrats

brendaontheRun said...

Good for you! This will be an exciting race and a great goal to see you through the winter months. Fun!!

Jessica Degaine said...

Jen, I came across your blog using google. I, too, will be running the Rome Marathon, I love Italy! It will be my first marathon. Good Luck!!!