1998 was going to be an amazing year. My husband and I were overjoyed
to be expecting our first son. As a labor and delivery nurse I thought
my pregnancy was going to be a textbook experience because I knew just
what to expect.
Coming from a Cuban family, my diet revolved around Cuban bread and
butter, snacking on pastel de guava, lots of rice and beans for lunch
and dinner, and flan for dessert. At 28 weeks I had my glucose
screening. A few days later my doctor called me and gave me the
results of my test.
Hearing him say that I had gestational
diabetes left me in disbelief. But, I was able to manage my
gestational diabetes and delivered a healthy 10 lb. baby boy.
The silver lining was that gestational diabetes was the catalyst for
me to take a closer look at my food choices and activity level. After
my 40th birthday, I listened to a podcast about a woman with
gestational diabetes who lost and maintained weight by running. The
next day, I downloaded a couch to 5k podcast and started a
walking/running program. Little by little, with a lot of hard work, I
lost over 50 lbs.
In 2016 I decided to take my running to the next level and signed up
for my first half marathon. I knew my lack of race experience was
going to be a HUGE obstacle and training alone wouldn’t help me reach
my goals. So, I incorporated prayer, daily gratefulness and
visualization to get me to the finish line. I designed visual boards
with pictures and positive captions of the future I wanted to create.
12 weeks later, I was race ready. I woke up at 3 a.m. on a cold and
rainy race day. I talked myself out of pre-race jitters by telling
myself “this rookie is ready” and repeating a mantra: “My race, my pace.”
Much of the race was a rainy blur. 10 miles in, I asked myself, “Why
did I sign up for this?” Then, I received a text from my husband
telling me he was at the finish line with our kids and how proud he
was of me. I looked down at my wet shoes and pushed forward. My family
cheered when they saw me, and my daughter jumped over the barricade to
cross the finish line with me!
The experience was so rewarding that I knew I would race again.
Now, I’m training to run the half at the Novo Nordisk New Jersey
Marathon. In addition to using my visualization boards for
inspiration, I’m focusing on the many lives Novo Nordisk changes
daily. I’m grateful to be able to add another race medal to my
collection of running “bling”, and to know that I’m living healthy.