I Made My Impossible Possible and Got My PHD and Became a Marathoner

I was never “athletic” growing up. I finished 4 half marathons over the past 6 years, but always wanted to see if I had it in me to finish a full marathon. Anytime someone questioned whether I could do something it only made me more determined to show them wrong.

I was finishing my PhD in 2018 while also working full-time. I was looking at different websites for the perfect marathon for beginners or first-time marathoners. Basically, looking for a flat course! I came across the LA marathon and thought perfect, I can train in colder weather instead of a hot summer. Little did I know I would be training through snow, sleet and freezing temperatures.

Training for the marathon kept me in the right frame of mind to be accountable to show up for work and move forward to finishing my PhD. Despite the weather, training made me feel so strong and accomplished. I couldn’t believe I ran 20 miles in 20-degree weather! I felt prepared and excited the day of the marathon, but also extremely nervous. I went from running in cold to running in warm 60-degree temperatures.

My whole training plan went out the window when my watch stopped. The LA course was so much harder than I thought (hills, hills and more hills, so much for the net downhill). I couldn’t believe I crossed the finish line even if it was 45 minutes after than my goal finish time.

The people along the course in LA were so awesome! The fed everyone, cheered everyone and even had SPF for people like me who hadn’t seen the sun in months and were not prepared. The staff at University of Southern California medical tent along the course were amazing. My hip was stiff at mile 21 and passing the tent they stopped my applied freeze spray, gave me Advil and pepped me up to finish the last 5 miles.

As I was crossing the finish line, I cried because I did it. I believed I could and I did it! There were very few who thought I would be able to do it.

To see my brother and my cousin, who traveled across the country at the finish line was an amazing feeling. I also could not have completed the training without the Badass lady gang! When I questioned myself or had a terrible run, I logged on to Facebook and found a group of unbelievable support! I followed Kelly’s journey and saw her determination and perseverance even if things did not go the way she expected. WE all need a support group to counteract the negative saying” oh yes you can do it and you will!”

I finished my PhD one month after my marathon, and even though it was a great feeling, it did not compare to the feeling of crossing the LA finish line!