Running for my Life

I told someone the other day that I don’t really like to run, I do it because it is a way to measure my fitness. When I started trying to come back from morbid obesity in 2008, I could walk, but not too fast and not super far without a lot of pain. I started doing sprints in November 2009 – run as fast as I could for 30 seconds, then walk back. Run 30 seconds, walk back. I could do maybe 5, sometimes 10 if I really pushed myself. I have no idea how far I went – it was inside, so I’m guessing 20 yards. But you’ve got to start somewhere and that was where I started.

On Thursday I celebrated two milestones: one year of successfully managing my weight loss after gastric bypass and being able to run a 5k. I ran the first mile without stopping with a time around 12 minutes. The course was more hilly than where I’d trained, so I’m actually pretty happy about that. I finished the 5k in 37 minutes and 38 seconds which means I averaged 12 minute 32 second miles. Not too shabby considering I walked at least 1 mile of that.

I’m an athlete. I have completed a triathlon. I have run my second 5k. I kickbox, swim, bike, run, lift weights, walk, hike, snorkel and now I am adding scuba to that list. (Great class last night – spent lots of time in gear on the bottom of the 12 foot pool. Never made it that far in my previous attempts!) Next – belly dancing!

Here are a few pictures from my surgiversary “party”:

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Ran my first continuous mile

I’m starting to realize that I don’t push myself often enough.

I just ran my first continuous mile in 10 minutes 53 seconds – much faster than I thought I could.

I walked and recovered for 90 seconds, then thought, hang on, I think I can do another one. It was even faster! 10 minutes 43 seconds.

I walked, stretched and breathed and thought why not? Ran ANOTHER mile in 11 minutes 33 seconds.

3.2 miles, 3 running, the rest recovery time – all under 36 minutes. Which means I shaved 12 minutes off the 5k I walked/ran in the Triathlon in June.  I didn’t actually have a speed goal – just wanted to be able to run one mile, without stopping.

Like I said, I don’t push myself hard enough, often enough.

Today I did and to prove it I have a blister on my instep and another one on my toe. My back and legs are tight and I am beat. But I did it.  I ran a 5k. It was hard – I had to really push myself.  Not so much physically, though that was part of it. Mostly it was my brain. My brain that wants to set limits and past that “thou shalt not go”.

I felt elated and victorious when I finished. Walking back, singing The Climb at the top of my lungs and then punching the air to Eye of the Tiger. Then I started to feel overwhelmed with something else. I cried a little bit. I came home and got praise and hugs from Fred and Jacob. Fred made me a celebratory cup of tea while I had a soak in the bath.

I think what I was feeling was regret and fear. Not much. Just a tiny bit. Regret that I didn’t realize years ago that all this was within my grasp. That it was up to me to make it happen.

The fear is harder. It sounds boastful to say it out load, but I was feeling fear because if I can do anything, then that means I can make all my dreams come true.

I just have to push a little harder.