Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Can Do Anything

I am woman hear me roar. I entered my first marathon ever. That's right. 26.2 miles of pure hell. I jest. It turned out to be probably 6 miles of pure hell and 20 miles of outright exhuberation.

But let me start from the beginning...

I have two really good friends in Pa'auilo. One lawyer and one veterinarian. They are my BFFs. 
The lawyer, the veterinarian, and me, the nutritarian
Two years ago one (Lisa) signed us all up for the Honolulu Marathon. None of us ended up going. Last year she did it again. That's what I love about my friends. Always hopeful. They never give up. Lisa trained all year. And tried her darndest to get the two of us to do the same. But eventually life got in the way of training and as the date fast approached, I tried my hardest to back out of the deal. Lisa wouldn't hear of it. So I figured I had two choices: 1-follow my gut and just not go. After all, it would be quite roundtrip flight to HNL plus a hotel room for the night. Plus the fact that it was 26.2 miles and the most I had ever trained NEAR that was our 10 mile trek from Pa'auilo to Honoka'a. 2-suck it up and go because I don't want to dissapoint my friend. I was leaning more towards #1. But when I finally got up the gumption to call Lisa and break the news she INSISTED that I go. "We are in the best shape we have ever been in. If there was ever a time to meet this challenge this is it. We worked hard all year long." Aw. She had me locked in. There was no doubting that what she said was true. I lost a few pounds this year. I walked almost everyday, since January 1. I was already 52 and not getting any younger.

Long story short: the three of us flew to O'ahu. Lisa ran with her daughter, Justina. Jo and I walked it. Jo, who is due for knee surgery in January, eventually had to call it quits (hell, I can't believe she walked as far as she did given her circumstances) after she was almost halfway done. I walked/ran the marathon in 7 hours 25 minutes. My legs were on fire from about the 20 mile marker. I remember walking and crying (yes. crying. just me. walking in the marathon. all alone) at about the 20 mile marker at the thought of actually finishing a marathon, of all my family members cheering me on through texts, of all my friends sending me good wishes on Facebook, of all the people who had "issues" far greater than my own and who were out there walking and running and for all those people who can't even walk a few yards without having to stop and catch their breath. I thought about my dad. I cried for every single finisher and non finisher. It was quite the physical and emotional trek.

And though I likened those last few minutes or hours of childbirth to this race and how I would NEVER EVER DO THIS AGAIN, by the time I was on that plane going home that same evening, I knew this was just the beginning. As I hoisted my leg up onto the truck (literally, using my hands to lift it up) when my husband picked me up at the airport, the first thing out of his mouth was that he would join me in the marathon next year. I knew definitively at that very moment that I would be enter again, but this time with a bigger crew in tow because surely this kind of pain and joy, much like childbirth, has a huge and everlasting payout at the end.
Lisa, I am forever indebted to you for pushing me to reach new heights!

Because our wakeup time was set for 3:35 am, I got all my goods ready the night before.

My new favorite number: 3987

Part of the fun of the marathon was the people we met along the way. Here's my good friend, Bimo, making trouble to Jo and me along the way.

 Still smiling!

Documenting every mile to send to my family so they would know where I was along the course.


My forever treasure

Dedicated to the 365 Miles in 2011 Challengers!!!

And my one booboo, a medal of honor of a different sort.
So many people to thank (this is when I make pretend it's like winning an Oscar): My husband (encouraging me every step of the way), my girls (rah rah! They knew just what to text me to keep my spirits high along the route), ALL the volunteers AND families in Hawai'i Kai who were on the sidelines, clapping, yelling, offering fruit and snacks, Ronnie, Michelle and Phil who came out to see me and cheer me on and chronicle my marathon with their cameras, to my friends (KELLY SOHRIAKOFF! Mel Keolanui, Lyanne Binkauski) who I saw RUNNING towards the finish line while I was still heading to Hawaiʻi Kai) and to my other BFF, Kathy Wurdeman, who picked me up on the side of the road, after the marathon, as I was shuffling and whimpering down Kalākaua Blvd, trying to figure out how I was ever going to be able to walk back to the hotel to grab my things and get the heck out of  Dodge.

So much to be grateful for!


  1. Thats it!! I'm in next year!

  2. Wow, Liana. That is SO IMPRESSIVE! I am waaaay behind even where you describe yourself as being when you were trying to get out of it. I know I could seriously not do it. But I am so thrilled to read about what an incredible experience it was for you!

  3. you're a CHAMP!! so proud of your accomplishment and so ENVIOUS!! i'll be there with you next year!! i mean the whole way. and congratulations to lisa,too. i am so jealous of you both. justina, eh, we knew she could do it. wish you had posted the pic of us at your house. i look way better in that one. WAY TO GO LI!!!

  4. OMG! You get more amazing all the time. I'm so proud of you. You remind me so much of your dad and I miss him all the time. Thanks for sharing. You're always so encouraging and inspiring. Happy holidays and God's blessings. Anake

  5. Nice!!! Congratulations again!! I was super happy to see you!! I was actually keeping an eye out for you for a while before I saw you, that's why I SCREAMED out your name when I saw you!! LOL!!



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