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.