19 Miles and My Thai Kickboxing Black Belt

Hey, guys! I wanted to drop in and share some updates on two fronts: my New York City Marathon training (obviously) and this weekend’s other big news.

I’m officially a black belt in Muay Thai kickboxing. :)


For the past couple of months, if I wasn’t out running, then I was at my karate school. The announcement of the black belt testing for Thai candidates definitely wasn’t ideal timing for me; as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been running myself ragged trying to get to classes and squeeze in sparring practice AND log my weekly training runs for the marathon next month.

I’ve been EXHAUSTED, and there’s a part of me that is very, very glad this test is over and I can focus on training for NYCM. (And get back to my Taekwondo classes!)

Especially since this past weekend, I got to run 19 miles and skip a rest day in favor of my Thai test. I also feel I should mention that because my test was on Sunday, I had to run my 19 miles on Saturday.



I generally don’t mind running in the rain. I will take a wet, rainy run over a hot, humid run ANY DAY. But this wasn’t just rain. What started out as a misty drizzle in the early miles of my run turned into several periods of downpours.

I was soaked by mile 6, and the park where I was running was starting to flood. I stepped in several massive puddles that completely soaked my socks and sneakers. And even though the park is normally filled with runners on a weekend morning, I was pretty much all alone with the exception of a handful of fellow diehard runners. We all just kind of nodded to each other, as if to say, “yeah…we’ve all lost our damn minds.”

But I kept plodding along. I really, really couldn’t let myself quit, and I didn’t want to have to postpone another long run. By mile 10, I couldn’t take the discomfort of my wet socks any longer, so I took a brief pause to drive back home and change into dry running clothes. Then I headed right back out to finish the last 9 miles close to home.

Up until mile 15 or so, I was dealing with the crappy weather and still felt pretty strong. But the last couple of miles were a bit of a struggle. My shoes were soaked again, and the inserts came loose and were sliding all over the place, so I kept having to take my sneakers off to adjust them. (Like I don’t have enough problems when I’m trying to run 19 miles!) And, of course, my body was starting to feel it — between all the karate and the running, my legs have been DEAD lately.

BUT…I did it. And in my mind, that’s all that counts.


Running in the rain got pretty annoying after awhile, but I have to admit, it made me feel a little bit like a badass. (Not to mention a moron).


Speaking of feeling like a badass…I woke up on Sunday with only minimal soreness from the previous day’s long run, and still had plenty of energy to get up and complete my Thai kickboxing test (which was a bit of a disappointment, because I don’t think the master actually delivered the intensity that the class usually demands).


I was disappointed in how rushed the test felt, especially the sparring; I’ve been training so hard, and he really only had us out there for a couple of minutes. It was the first time I had to “gear up” and fight in front of people…but I have to say, I loved it. It’s such an adrenaline rush, and it was so cool to be able to demonstrate all of the things I’ve learned over the past couple of years.


I felt my partner and I both did great, especially given our limited sparring experience, and it’s something I plan to continue. But maybe after the marathon. :)


Anyway, I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about how far I’ve come. I wandered into a local karate school with a Groupon for three Thai kickboxing classes way back in 2011. I remember feeling so awkward and intimidated, and wasn’t sure if I was “in shape” enough to keep up with the rest of the class.IMG_7710

It only took one class, and I was hooked. I was pushed to my physical limits right from that first day, and even now, this is a workout that NEVER gets easy, and there’s always something new to learn.


These kickboxing classes started as a way for me to maintain my weight loss. I felt myself growing bored at the gym, and was terrified that I’d lose motivation and start gaining weight again. I was desperate to find something that would challenge me physically and give me the push I needed to move forward in my fitness journey.


Today, martial arts is a HUGE part of my life. And, in a lot of ways, I do credit Thai kickboxing with giving me the courage to start running. If nothing else, my journey in the Thai program has taught me just how strong I really am — physically and mentally.


Martial arts helped me see myself as a strong, fit person for the first time in my life. It made me realize just how tough I actually am, and that I was more than capable to go out and sign up for a 5K race…and then a 10K…and then a half…until I worked my way up to the full 26.2. If it weren’t for this program, I would have been way too intimidated to try Taekwondo, and I probably wouldn’t have an overflowing race medal hanger displayed on my wall.


So while this black belt means a lot to me, it doesn’t hold a candle to everything martial arts has done for me over the past couple of years. All throughout my weight loss journey, I used to get complimented about how “amazing” I looked, and all I cared about was being “skinny.” But these days, there’s nothing that makes me feel better about myself than when a fellow Thai or TKD classmate compliments my strength.


I look forward to seeing where it takes me over the next couple of years — hopefully, a black belt in Taekwondo, and maybe even another marathon or two…or six. ;)

Have you ever done a long run in the rain?

Is there another activity you feel has helped support your running goals?


  1. Damn those are some nice photos. Wheres my cred? Lol : )
    Your audio and visual department

  2. Big congrats!

  3. Congrats on the new threads! It’s been WAY too long since my last Muay Thai class and BOY do I miss it! I don’t think there was ever a time that I ever felt more like a badass than after a great class. Not even after running 13.1 miles. But don’t tell my legs that, lol!

    • Thank you! And, YES — exactly how I feel. I feel like a badass after both, actually, but just in a different way. After a Thai class, I feel…lethal. After a race, I feel…like taking a nap. ;)

  4. Congrats on the big accomplishment!

  5. How do you do it?? Running marathons and on top of that practically being a ninja! haha

    • Hahaha, totally “LOLed” at this. I have no idea, to be honest. All I know is that my legs are DEAD. lol

  6. You are a rock star! I’m pretty sure I would have given up on my run attempt when it started to downpour, fantastic job! And CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BLACK BELT! WOOHOO!

    I know exactly how you feel…your martial arts is like CrossFit for me. I can see myself getting stronger and I love it!

    Go you! You rock! The end. :)

    • Aw, thanks, Kellie! Appreciate your words of support, as always. It was QUITE a weekend! Haha.

      It’s SUCH an awesome feeling to recognize your own strength…and nothing like a kickass CrossFit or karate class to make you see that, right? ;)

Mentioned Elsewhere:

  1. [...] few disastrous long tuns, including a menstrual 16-miler (sorry for TMI, but, it’s true!) and a 19-miler in the POURING RAIN, this weekend’s run was the first time I felt like I really do have this. Don’t get me [...]

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