Pushing Past the Excuses to Do the Hard Things


Most of the races I’ve done since I started running in March of 2018 have been flat-ground 5k’s. I’ve even found a little race comfort zone by sticking close to home in the Portland-Vancouver area and signing up with my husband or friends.

not giving up

After we completed The Twilight 10k in June, my husband was eager to complete a half marathon. I wasn’t feeling quite ready, so while I encouraged him to sign up for the Appletree Half, my heart told me I should complete Run with Paula‘s The Bridge of the Goddess 10k the same weekend. I was a bit nervous about it, specifically since the description on the website mentions elevation. I’d had my eye on this run for a while and am a Run with Paula fangirl, but the shortest distance of this specific race is a 10k. I felt like I needed to get a little mileage under my belt before signing up, which is why I waited for so long. It was also going to be my first solo race.

The night before our race weekend, I had my race bib and was committed. My husband and three-year-old daughter planned to come cheer me on at the finish line while my five-year-old son went with a friend to his soccer game. Then, at 11 p.m., my little one started throwing up.

After turning all the lights on to clean up the mess, change the sheets, and get both her and I cleaned off, we tucked back into bed. She was wide awake. By 2:30, she’d thrown up two more times and I had thrown in the towel on the race. I was finally able to get her to sleep when my alarm went off at 4:30. I rolled over and turned it off. A few minutes later, my husband asked me if I was going to go.


“I think you should.” He said.

I laid there for a few minutes. I was tired. There’d been vomit. I would have to go alone. I didn’t know anybody. It was an hour drive from the house. All the reasons to not go flooded my brain. Nobody on the planet would have blamed me for not showing up.

But I didn’t get where I am and lose 100 pounds because I gave up when things got hard. I am no longer someone who gives in just because I’m tired. I have good obstacles and excuses. I work 40+ hours a week. I felt a bit under-trained. I have two young children (the youngest was only one when I began my journey). I have rheumatoid arthritis. I’m 40. And, on this particular day, the list of excuses also included vomit. I had a good reason to stay home.

My desire to run the race didn’t go away just because someone was throwing up. My daughter needed me and she got her mom in the middle of the night. She would receive plenty of love and cuddles from her father while I was running the race. I can be a good mom and simultaneously accomplish big things. I may have all the excuses, but pushing past them and doing hard things is the example I want to set for my children.

So I rolled over, got out of bed, and told my husband to make me some coffee. And you better believe I ran that race!