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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Couch to 5k & Susan G Komen Race for the Cure


I DID IT!!  I ran my first 5k today!  Ran every step of the thing!

Just can't believe that  7 months ago, I was 50 pounds heavier, sick with pneumonia, on steroids to help me to breathe and totally, completely miserable.

Never - EVER - in my life - did I EVER think I would run a RACE!!  Shoot - I could hardly walk to the mailbox without needing my inhaler (exageration - but walking up and down stairs really bothered my asthma).

Tonight I sit on my computer typing out this post - a RUNNER BABY!!  WOO HOO!

It started with a broken foot.  I couldn't WALK let alone run.  I walked for 2 months, 3 days a week before I could even begin to run.  Then, the first time I did the "run" portion (2 minutes) (and let's translate that - in 15 seconds - 15 SECONDS - I was in tears, I was seeing spots, sucking on my inhaler and begging God to make it stop!) - I got in the car and went home.

Now?  Now I can run the full 3.1 miles!  Not fast by any stretch of the imagination (didn't come in last -but wasn't far from it!!) - but I didn/t walk a single step.

SO - the moral of THIS story?  YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!

Trust me - if I can - you can.  I promise.  Was it hard?  Yep.  Did it require a total change of lifestyle?  You bet it did.  Did others kick and scream about the time I spent jogging?  Yeah, they did at times.  Did it hurt?  Oh yeah - most of the time.  Did I want to quit?  Every other session.  I can't tell you how many times I said "I will NEVER be able to run a full 30 minutes straight!" But today - TODAY I ran 45 minutes straight.

If you know me, you know arrogant is not a word that describes me - but tonight - tonight I am proud.  Proud that I didn't give up all the times I wanted to.  Proud that I stuck with something.  Proud - that for once in my life - I didn't just TALK about it - but did it.  Proud that today I had a race number on my chest (and a tutu on my waist!), running shoes on my feet, my beautiful sister beside me, my hubby & brother in-law running the race with me and my friends and family there to support and cheer me on.  I DID IT!!!

It was so worth it.  I promise you - every tear, every doubt, every fear, every run in the rain, every run in the blazing heat this summer (and there were oh so many of those), every asthma attack, every sore ankle, every EVERYTHING was alllllll worth it in the end.

I'm hooked.  Addicted.  Sunk - lol!!  I've already comitted to my next race in one month and another one in November.  This week I start a new routine to get my speed up and some more weight off so that every race this season, I can cut my time.  Next summer I will continue to run 5k's - but I'm thinking tht maybe, just maybe, an 8k or 10k might be in my future.  WHY NOT?? 

Because now - now I know something I didn't know before.

If you set your mind to something - and you follow your dreams with action - well then you can do anything. 

Even at 42 years old.

Thanks sis for believing a year ago that even I could do this.  I love you :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I am a runner

It's been too long - again.  Not sure if anyone is still left reading :(  I apologize to those of you who left me some beautiful and helpful comments that I just realized were awaiting my approval.  Thank you.  You are so sweet :)

Several months ago - back in March - I began to walk (literally) a journey.  I was overweight, I had a broken foot, I was unhappy and feeling quite hopeless.  It started with a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  That's how I felt.  I was fat, I got sick - maybe not nearly dead - but some days - it sure felt like it.  I was not in a good place and not headed in a good direction.

I began juicing.  Juiced for a month - lost a mess of weight.  Beyond that - I have always wanted to run a race.  Even when I was thin, I was never much of an athlete.  I wanted to be one, I dreamed of being one, I talked about being one, researched being one - but I never actually WAS one.  I did some boxing for a while and I did love that - but it didn't last long.

My sister - my inspiration - began running a year ago.  I promised her I would run a race with her last year - but never did.  So this year - I decided a couple of things.

Number one - I wasn't going to make another promise I didn't plan on keeping.  Number two - I wasn't going to talk anymore about running a race.  I was going to actually RUN one. 

It just  so happened the Susan B Koman race - the same race I promised my sister I would run a year ago and didn't - falls on my birthday this year.  So - way back in March - I started a program.  Couch to 5k.  I did a conservative one I found on the Internet.

I remember my first "run" well.  Too well.  The way the program works (the conservative approach anyway) is that you start by walking 30 minutes, three times a week for a month.  Then, you begin running - every week your run increases 2 minutes of running, lose 2 minutes of walking until you are running a full 30 minutes.   I didn't realize in the beginning that it didn't matter how you did the 2 minutes.  You didn't have to do the full 2 minutes at once - you could divide that into 30 second stints if you wanted.  So - that being said - I attempted to run the full 2 minutes my very first week.

Let's just say it didn't go to well.  I literally thought I would die.  D.I.E.  My asthma kicked in, I couldn't get it under control, I was dizzy, seeing spots - it was UGLY.  I did the 2 minutes and said forget the other 28 (walking) and I got in the car and left.

However - for the first time in my life - I didn't quit.  I can NOT believe I'm still at this thing.  I can't believe that after I got in the car that day - I determined it didn't matter how I felt, I was not finished.  I found out I could split that 2 minutes up and then the 4 minutes the next week and then the 8 minutes - and on.  Sometimes I ran 30 seconds and walked for 5 minutes before running another 30 seconds - but I continued to run.  I did not quit despite the extreme pain in my ankles, despite the continuous and scary asthma attacks, despite the feeling of not being able to take another step.  I didn't quit.  I DIDN'T QUIT.  It still amazes me.

Next Sunday - on my 42nd birthday - I will run my first 5k.  I'm praying I can actually run the entire thing.  The most I've ran straight so far is 2 miles.  But - I'm GOING to do it!  I'M GOING TO DO IT!!

I think hitting the finish line will be a very emotional experience for me.  I just can't believe I can now run 30 minutes straight.  I'm not fast (oh goodness - the best I've done so far is a 13 minute mile!), I'm not good, it's not pretty - but I am doing it.  My asthma is now under control.  I no longer suck air.  I'm still in pain - but not like I was at the beginning.  Although I'm really nervous about next Sunday - I'm - well - I'm proud of myself.  I'm proud that I have not given up, not quit, not walked away - not done what I've done for 42 years -- failed to believe I was capable of such a thing.  I have done it and this is only the beginning.

I want to encourage all of you.  I was that person reading these blogs, dreaming of the day I might do something like this.  I was that person that said I could never, that would go out and walk to the mailbox out of breath.  I was that person watching biggest loser eating a bag of chips thinking "if only I were on that show, then I would be able to do this thing".  I was that person.  I NEVER, in a million years, believed I would EVER be the person on the starting line.  Never.  Not really.

I also want to share that I am still overweight.  7 months later, a million runs later - I still have 50 more pounds to lose.  I have lost 50 and I have 50 to go.  I have done this still being overweight.  You can do it to.  I'm not going to stay overweight - that I know - but it's been a slow process.  But I have still run - and so can you.  I promise you.  If I can do it - I KNOW you can to!

I just have one thing left to say after this very long post.

I am a runner.
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