Thursday, October 13, 2011
I am a runner. That is how I see myself. It is who I am. Part of my identity.
I haven't always been a runner. Ten years and 50 pounds ago, I thought runners were freaks who ran in the road and got in my way when I was driving. Now I AM one of those freaks.
This past summer, I began questioning myself. I became tired, listless. I started dreading my runs - and many times, skipping them. They were drudgery. They were a chore.
A trip to the doctor and a few tests later, I found I had mono. The doc said I could run, but to pay attention to my body and rest if I became tired. Well, I was tired ALL the time! Mono plus the lovely rise in humidity in the South (NOT!) made me feel like a slug. I still got out there, but W-A-Y less mileage and slow-as-a-turtle times.
I decided it must be because I'm getting older (I turn 50 this year). I told myself, "This is just how it's going to be. You are now officially SLOW and OLD. I guess your marathon days are over. Besides, Half Marathons will be easier on your body." And, of course, I consoled myself with my best friends, tortilla chips and salsa. And Sangria. Needless to say, my weight crept up.
Not that I was a fast runner before. My fastest race I ran a 9:15 mile (5K race). But we're talking 3 to 4 minutes slower per mile. AND feeling as if I would die when it was over. Not a feeling that motivates you to throw on your shoes and run out the door!!
Fast forward to October, 2011. The weather is blessedly cooler - Hurray! And I am feeling GOOD. Healthy. I've gotten my eating under control (Thank You, Sparkpeople Tracker!). I've lost about 9 pounds. I am beginning to look forward to my runs again. And I'm getting faster. I can run farther. My long run is up to 10 miles!! My confidence is growing. Hey, maybe I'm NOT old. Maybe I was sick and my body was tired and I don't "do" humidity very well. But seasons change, and I'M BACK!!
Tuesday I went out for my 4 mile run. Hey, this feels pretty good - I think I'll run a little faster. Four miles already? Maybe today I'll run 5. I feel good!!
On my cool down walk, I checked my Garmin. I ran 5 miles at a 10 minute pace! Wahoo! Now, that doesn't sound fast to fast runners. But to me, it was AWESOME!!! I can't describe the feeling. I felt young and healthy and ALIVE!
Hey, maybe I'm not finished with those marathons yet....