Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I'm writing this blog to myself to remind me of all of the great things that have happened to me, all of the lessons learned and what it is to find my inner champion.. The weather has been improving to where I will be able to finally get outside and run. I haven't seriously been running since my half marathon in November. There is quite a bit of anxiety that i have been feeling about getting back out there after such a long off season. Much like the anxiety one feels when you have been straying from your dietary goals and you know you should at least weigh in and face what has happened. As hard as it is, one needs to know the truth about where they stand. Running is no different.
Avoidance and procrastination is the classical response for me when I have to face something where I am really dreading the outcome.
My first few treadmill runs were about as expected.. lots of floundering and awkwardness. Thankfully it is true that cardio comes back fairly quickly. Last night I scored my best treadmill 5k yet. Best of all, I found my old running enthusiasm coming back by the bucketload. My time was 38:45 for 5K, best yet this year.
To get myself motivated, I started walking down memory lane, remembering all of the great moments in running, savoring the feeling of empowerment. In spite of all of the setbacks and issues, I seem to have a way of pulling through, sort of like the "Little Engine That Could".
- My first race ever, the local Turkey Trot 2009 - Bumble Bees aren't supposed to fly and big guys like me are not supposed to tackle a 10K as their very first event. At 330lbs, I crossed the finish line last, frozen, shoes soaked with slush, and beaming with a feeling that I will remember for the rest of my life.
- The fist ride on my new bike in 2008, I went for my first bike ride in many years and pushed, sweated, wheezed and finished a ride to my friends house and back, 10 miles! big moment. last year I finished 75 miles in 5 hours. Both victories were equal in my heart, only the distance was different.
- My first half marathon, October 2010. I had to face down my anxieties at the starting line. I did the work but that doesn't chase away the butterflies, especially when I learned that it was mostly a trail run. I didn't do my homework, just signed up for it because it fit into my schedule and it was local. Note to self...read the fine print. The sense of victory was incredible when I got my medal at the end. I earned it.
-My first marathon Sept 18th, 2011, Rochester NY. I never trained so hard for any one thing in all my life. So much so that toward the end, my mind went into full running revolt and refused to run for several weeks. I rode my bike instead. The anxiety was in full swing the night before the race. It melted away when I got to the start line. all of my hard work gave me a settled confidence that this is nothing more than just another training run, you got this. The unplanned event was that my hamstrings got tight like guitar strings at mile 8 and I nursed them for 18.2 miles. The discomfort was intense but I finished. If you have never been there, let me tell you that the feeling of achievement in becoming a marathoner is intense. It reminded me that I CAN.
My first triathlon - June 30th, 2012. I taught myself how to swim. Everything I have done up to that point was just splashing around in the water. I got a DVD and learned basic form. I trained the best I could with my limited access to a pool and went from gasping after a couple laps to being 24th out of the water out of 43 at my first sprint tri. A few weeks ago, I finished 2 miles... that's 88 laps in the pool at the Y.
The first time I finished a half marathon with a time less than 3 hrs. - Fall Classic Half Marathon 2012, Cleveland OH. My friend Jan Frandsen paced me and kept me focused.. even took away my Garmin mid race to keep my mind on task... lol... finished 2:59. Seeing the clock after crossing the finishline was a sense of elation! last half run a month of so earlier was 3:15. That simple medal and that day was filled with meaning.
I could go on but my personal pep talk has done it's job. Within me, there is a champion. I may be squishy, but I have alot of heart and determination. Once I get my focus, i will see it through. I have done it before, I will do it again.
70.3, here I come.