It started with an email.
The subject line read “Toyota VIP Invite: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon New Orleans”.
I didn’t really think much of it to begin with because when you’re a blogger, you get lots of “VIP” invitations that turn out to just be companies wanting you to do stuff for them for free, so I started to just delete it- especially since I hadn’t been blogging much lately. What could Toyota possibly want from me besides free advertising? But the optimist in me just had to open it.
I braced myself for the disappointment of having wasted my time reading yet another email that ended in a catch or the promise of little more than “exposure” to their “huge network” IF they deemed my work worthy that is – and even then, they’d probably just stick my name in a raffle with 500 other bloggers for the chance to have them tweet my blog post. Um. Thanks, but no thanks. My time is more valuable than that.
But this email started different than most. I was intrigued, but still doubtful. Regardless, I continued on reading. They offered some pretty cool stuff – choice of a Toyota to use for the week, VIP breakfast before the race, VIP party after, Meet + Greet with the artists performing, and the option to participate in either the 10K, 1/2 Marathon, or Marathon.
When I finished reading the email, I was a little bit in shock.
Surely, I’d missed the catch.
I read it again.
Still no catch.
Hmmph. That’s odd.
I copied the email and sent it to some friends – they couldn’t find the catch either.
Okay. So this is starting to look like it might be legit, but then I realize why it’s too good to be true: It’s a 2 day event and I’m about 3 hours away. I’m just a nobody blogger – no way they are going to get me a hotel, so I respond thanking her for the opportunity and explain that I’m quite a bit away. Is lodging going to be provided?
I hit send on the email and imagine the laugh they’ll have in the PR office the next day when she opens my email. Except she responds within the hour. They’re going to get me a hotel, and can I let her know if I plan on running one of the races and if so, which one.
Say what now?
I’d told Stacy about it right away – he was one of the one’s I sent the email, but I never really expected it to be a possibility, so I sent the email asking for a hotel before even really discussing with him if he would be okay with me spending the weekend there without him – not because he’s some big controlling ogre lol, but because I knew he’d be concerned about me traveling by myself. He was going to be working that weekend, so there was no way he could come, so I quickly called my sister and asked if she’d come with. She of course said yes because duh! What 21 year old is turning down a free trip to NOLA?? Then, I double checked with the hubs that he would be okay with it. He said yes, and that was it.
Now I just had to decide if I was going to run or not…
From the very first moment I read that it was an option, I wanted to do it – but it made no sense.
I’d never ran more than a quarter mile in my entire life – and that was 18 years ago in high school when I was on the dance team, track team, and uh…
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to do it, so I asked quiet a few of the coaches on my team and some clients who have experience running 10Ks whether or not they thought I’d die – they laughed and said to go for it.
“Walk it if you have to.”
I sent Kate an email.
“Put me down for the 10K.”
And that was it.
I was registered to run a 10K the next weekend.
There was just one more problem…
All my team members and the clients I’d spoken to had no idea that over the last few months I’d seriously let my health + fitness slip – and I’m not talking just a little bit. I’m talking waking up and not eating anything until 2 pm, skipping supper, then Lunchables nachos and beer every night until I passed out at 2 or 3 am watching Hallmark movies, dreaming about a fairy tale ending to my God-sized dream, but never really believing it would happen, so I just ate more nachos, drank more beer, and stayed up later and later watching movies with fairy tale endings and imagining that one day it would be me.
I’d let myself get into a really bad place – but I was determined to climb my way out of the hole I’d dug for myself.
And this seemed like a really good place to start…