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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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