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Numbers Game

2,931 calories, 26.2 miles, 5 hours, 27 minutes and 26 seconds

African American female athlete crossing finish line in race


Below is Tish’s account of the big 26.2—both pre-marathon and post—that Jenn blogged about yesterday and they completed together on Sunday. Plus, the five things she learned training and running a marathon!

Tish Pre-Marathon

Running seemed so lonely to me for so long. Back at home base, I’m the only runner out of my buds, so big runs consisted of me spiraling into major funks knowing that soon I’d have to run 10, 12, 15 miles alone. My diet changed. People thought it was razzle-dazzle swell to tease me about being an anorexic with an unhealthy workout schedule. (Training for a marathon required one day of cross training and four days of running.)

That all changed once I entered Disney World. Everyone assumes correctly that we’re here to run this totally awesome race. Folks high five us and wish us good luck. People are happy and supportive and don’t look at us like we’re crazy. Someone actually told Jenn and I that we were inspiring. For the first time in a really long time, I’m super duper proud of myself. Looking back through the 18 weeks of running, my own personal prohibition hell and the loneliness…Well, it’s made me a better person. It’s made me a better runner. Tomorrow is all about having a good time—observing willpower, mental strength and preparation dancing around in run-tastic splendor.

This is when it felt real.

I never felt like an athlete before. I never felt powerful or strong. Training for this marathon changed all that. I can run for hours. I’ve learned to listen to my body and treat her with respect. People are amazed to learn I’ll run 26.2 miles soon. This time last year I could run for a minute. ONE MINUTE and then I’d get tired and start walking. I’ve come so far. This marathon freed me. While I’m by no means a running goddess (i.e. wears Oakley sunglasses and runs 7-minute miles), I do feel I’m now an athlete. Being an athlete, at least for me, means pushing through the doubt, fatigue and pains, and working the body into a sweaty feast of energetic grooviness. I am Tish. See Tish run.

Tish Post Run

Now that the darn race is over I can tell ya’ll the real deal. So unlike my die-hard bestie Jenn, I did not complete some of the bigger runs during training. I hurt my foot mighty bad around big run number 16 and because of that lovely little oops I missed the 16- and18-mile runs. Then I got sick on the day I should have run the 20. I only did three that day. Those are big runs, man. Those runs build confidence. Confidence I didn’t have going in.

I didn’t sleep a wink the night before the race. (Talk about a nightmare!) Also, I’m from L.A., where it’s nice and sunny. Florida on the other hand was a “balmy” 20 degrees with a wind chill of 15. We huddled together as long as we possibly could, but once we crossed that start line, we had to break apart and brave the elements alone. I focused on folks in front of me, but had to cut that out when I noticed ice on people’s hats. That’s just freaky.

Overall, I can honestly say it was the best workout I have ever had! I felt amazing. The first seven miles were a breeze. Yeah, you heard me right. We passed the marker, and I swear I felt like I would during training at mile one. I smiled seriously 95 percent of the time. I would scream, hoot and holler at anyone that yelled, “Go Tish! You can do it!” At one point a man yelled, “Tish, you make it look easy!” and I beamed with pride and yelled back that it was easy.

Luckily, Jenn taught me how to fuel up properly.

I got sore most definitely, but I had a warrior mentality. I embraced the pain. It reminded me of how hard I had worked. It reminded me that I really can do anything I put my mind to. I didn’t experience the wall. Everyone says mile this or that will kill you, and you’ll want to give up. Ignorance is bliss, I guess, because if my foot hadn’t been throbbing with a pain so bad I wanted to spew, I would have been a running crackhead!

Overall, I just want to tell everyone that running a marathon isn’t something only the crazy can accomplish. I saw grandmas and grandpas, newbies and ALL shapes and sizes, my friends. It felt good passing guys with muscles. Just saying…

I’m so thankful to have Jenn as a best friend. She was the reason I did this durn thing. She is the reason I got through training, and she is the reason that run was the best run I’ve had to date. We crossed that finish line, hand-in-hand, arms raised in triumph. It doesn’t get much better than that, folks!

5 things I learned running a marathon:

1. Vaseline may need to be applied to the butt crack area. Who knew?! Hey, we’re all athletes here. This stuff is important! I reserve the right to pick wedgies when I feel like it. I ran a marathon. I’m allowed. Butts are important.

2. Running like a girl and crying like a girl after stepping across that finish line is something I will always rep HAWD!

3. Garmins are next to godliness. Jenn kept a steady pace for me, which I SO needed. When I zone out, I tend to take off. I’d hear this feisty, “Slow your roll” and I’d be back to my girl’s side—where I belonged.

4. Don’t rock an iPod. If you zone out to music, you miss all the totally awesome cheers from those on the sidelines. You hear your name, and I promise you, your pace will pick up and you’ll feel like a new runner.

5. All ladylike social norms ran out the door the minute we became runners. It intensified on game day. Tooting propels you forward magically. Burping gets rid of stomach cramps, and gloves are awesome snot catchers. I now have a lucky glove (lost one in the battle), and that special friend saved my face from mucus mayhem.


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  1. Mandy says:

    Wow that as truly amazing, and talk about inspiring. I can’t believe that a year ago you couldn’t run for 1 minute. That really brings hope to my running skills. I’m not a runner by any means. But one day I’d like to accomplish something like this.


  2. Haha the lessons are funny. THis is a hilarious post. Love the honesty 🙂 Congrats!

  3. Melissa says:

    Wow! You both did! I love your stories! Thanks you so much for sharing them. I wanna go run now!!! 🙂

  4. Ahhh I LOVE THIS!! “See Tish Run” indeed…congrats!!

  5. That’s so good. proper underware and crack happiness is good to know 🙂

    I don’t like running w/ an ipod during races. I love the energy from the crowds.

  6. Jill says:

    I love the candidness! I am at your beginning point. I can run MAYBE two-three minutes then have to walk. My husband, son, and I did a local 5k on Thanksgiving morning. We started jogging then I had to walk the rest of the way because I had to p–p shortly after we started!!! LOL. I said to my husband, “Figures!” He said, “I thought you went before we came.” I said, “I DID!!” he laughed and called me a show off. *big sigh* I guess we all do…

  7. Mallory says:

    Loved these last 2 posts! What an incredible inspiration you are to those of us who have been stuck in the “that could NEVER be me!” mentality. Thanks so much for sharing your stories.

  8. Kim says:

    So proud of you guys!

  9. katrina m says:

    truly something to be proud of. i’m in awe!!! maybe someday i will join your group of amazing people 🙂 hehehe

  10. Oh, you ladies inspire me and have me super excited to run my race coming up in months. I’m working on running Half then maybe a marathon in a year after that.

  11. Beth says:

    Congratulations on the training, completing the marathon and the entire process of setting and reaching a goal! Your story is a great inspiration especially when it’s cold and blechy and there are a thousand reasons not to go to the gym. Thanks for sharing with honesty and humor!

  12. I loved reading about your *true* marathon experience! I have run a half, but I am running my first full marathon this year! I am going to sign up for the San Francisco Marathon and I am SO excited!

  13. BK says:

    this post made me smile and laugh out loud for real!!! CONGRATULATIONS on finishing and Love the lessons!!!

  14. Margo Seyboldt says:

    Great job Tish!!! Aquaphor on the buttcrack is awesome!!! So happy for you.
    Keep on running!!!

  15. Pearl Saavedra says:

    Congrats on your marathon Tish! You make me want to lace up my shoes and run for hours!!! Except my boss will wonder where I ran to…maybe this weekend 🙂 I hope you keep running and continue to share your inspiring stories.

  16. Congratulations. There is nothing, nothing, like the high after your first marathon. I was on cloud nine for weeks!

  17. Erica says:

    Congrats!! I did the Disney Marathon this year too…it was my first. I finished in 6:09. It was sooo cold!!! I’m in Miami so was NOT accustomed to that sort of thing. We did great!!!

  18. Awesome post! I am doing the Disney Princess Half. I noticed you did the Nike Women’s. One of my most memorable races!

    Congrats –


  19. Congrats on completing a marathon! That is quite an accomplishment!

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