Tag Archives: running


Sooo… tomorrow I defend my dissertation. WHAT?!

I wanted to make a few materials available here, for purposes of accessibility for those attending my defense. Enjoy!

Transcript of my Defense Talk

Defense Talk Slides (PowerPoint)

In other news, I ran a marathon this morning. I ran clear to Canada and back with my friend Ann! Check out the view as we approached (and then ran over) the Ambassador Bridge:

Ambassador Bridge at Sunrise: Detroit International Marathon

Ambassador Bridge at Sunrise: Detroit International Marathon

Easily the best way to spend the morning before my defense — celebrating the marathon that has been this PhD with a marathon tour of Detroit!



26.2 Reasons Why

I ran a marathon on Saturday. Never thought I’d do that.

at the finish line

at the finish line

I know some people in my life think I am more than a little bit crazy. That there are better ways for me to have spent hours of my life this fall. That I’m even more crazy for spending a good part of today signing up for new races. That just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

And that’s fine. They can think that. I did this for me, but just in case it’s important for me to have other reasons to do incredible things like run marathons, here are 26.2 other reasons why I spent 4 hours, 32 minutes, and 11 seconds putting one foot in front of the other.

Wanna know why I ran a marathon?

I ran a marathon because:

  1. Of the free T-shirt. Ha, ok, not really. The shirt is pretty nice, though.
  2. I signed up for the damn thing. Early, so I couldn’t duck out.
  3. My mom taught me to stick to my commitments. Like I said, I was stuck.
  4. My hip was not broken. I thought it was for a couple weeks there.
  5. That first 5k was awesome. August, 2011. Big House, Big Heart. I’ll never forget it.
  6. Of Boston. The attacks last year left some racers incapable of ever racing again, and shattered a community of people who, despite being perfect strangers, love and support one another.
  7. My first year exam pushed me out the front door. One day in May, I just couldn’t stand it any more. I needed to get the hell outta the house and away from that exam.
  8. My sister looks up to me. Sorta. She’s taller than me, but you get the point.
  9. Of graduate school. ‘Nuf said.
  10. I like jelly beans. And I bring them with me as fuel. And it’s the only time I don’t feel guilty about shoving candy down my gullet.
  11. Of the silence. Those 5:30am runs, when all I can hear is my shoes on the pavement.
  12. I needed a break from taking care of the puppy. Imagine if I had kids?
  13. In middle school I dropped out of track because I was a wimp. And a whiner. And that’s not ok.
  14. Of PT. My physical therapist spent a lot of time fixing me when I broke myself last year.
  15. In one night, 175 perfect strangers supported me. No, “likes” to my Facebook page about my running shouldn’t matter. But dammit, they do, especially two days away from the starting line.
  16. I like to run. Seriously.
  17. Lots of people can’t. I’m not talking about people who won’t. I’m talking about people who wish they could, but because of crippling injuries and disabilities, actually can’t.
  18. Of all the shoes. They need replaced every 500 miles. And I love shoe shopping.
  19. It was for a good cause. Indianapolis public schools, to be specific.
  20. Of the dude in mile 25 handing out water. He looked me in the eye when I looked like death and told me I looked like a million bucks and I could do this.
  21. My dissertation is not allowed to take over my life. It just isn’t.
  22. My friend Melody supported me. Early, often, and with a smile, even when I was slowing her down. She sent me a link to the registration for that first race.
  23. My friend Tonya inspired me. We started running around the same time. When I could barely go six miles, she was running half marathons.
  24. I love to eat. A lot.
  25. Of my husband. He inspires me. He pushes me. He amazes me.
  26. I didn’t think I could. Multiple times in the past few months, I have doubted my ability to go the distance.

And reason number 26.2: BECAUSE I CAN. And as it turns out, that IS a reason to do this particular thing. As a blogger/runner friend of mine points out, the marathon journey isn’t at all about the race, it’s about what you have overcome and what you have promised to yourself:

Completing a marathon is not about the race itself, but what the training has come to represent.  The race is simply a culmination and a celebration of that individual’s responsibility to themselves.

So yeah, I’m probably a little crazy. And sure, there are plenty of reasons NOT to run a marathon. These are just a few reasons why I big fat did it anyway.