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Graduation Day

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The news about the weather today in Chicago started about 3 days ago. Seriously. They've been hyping this HUGE COLOSSAL WIND STORM that is going to take down trees and uproot buildings and put us out of power for weeks for days now. They've nicknamed it the "CHI-CLONE". Don't you love the media? They need to nickname everything now.

So needless to say, I was (only a little) concerned that my running morning happens to be Tuesday and that the Chiclone was set to descend upon the city this morning of all mornings - my last day of C25K training.

My alarm went off at 7:15am. It was very dark. The rain was pelting my window and I could hear the wind whistling. Um...SNOOZE BUTTON. 8:15am - a little brighter outside, but definitely not done raining yet - and here's where the argument starts in my head...

"If you're going to run today you need to get up NOW"
"But it's raining outside and I don't want to run in the rain - what if I slip and fall"
"Well, what if it's raining the day of the 5K? Are you going to give up and not run because it's raining then?"
"Well then you better get out of bed and train in the rain"
"I can train tonight after work. I promise."

9am - by now I HAD to get out of bed or I would be late for work (I know, I know - I get to sleep every morning until 9am - it's ridiculous). I got up and looked outside the window. It was windy, but the rain had stopped. It was too warm in my apartment. I had closed the windows because of the wind, but I was antsy for some fresh air so I cracked the door a bit. A gust of wind breezed in - the fresh smell of morning mixed with rain and wind - refreshing! Well - what if I went running now? I would be done my run in 45 minutes - that would put me at 9:45am - that's still enough time to have a shower and get out of the house by 10:30am. Hmmm - maybe I WILL run now. Yep, I'm gonna run. Really? Really.

So I chowed down a banana, drank a couple of glasses of water and dressed in my new running gear. Yep - I was running. A wonderful feeling washed over me. I was opting to run over not running. I guess that really makes me a runner - right?

Out the door - the morning was actually quite beautiful. It was overcast, and a bit humid from the rain, but the wind was cool and would be at my back for most of my route. I set my iPod to Week 9, Day 3 and off I went.

Well - it wasn't the greatest run. My new tech shirt kept riding up and showing my belly, so I had to keep pulling it down. My energy tanked before I even hit my second mile marker and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to shoot for any extra distance today. I had to dodge a lot of broken tree limbs on the sidewalk, so my focus wasn't where it should have been. And that wind that was supposed to be at my back kept changing and blowing my hair in my face. It was warmer than it has been for my last few runs, so I tuckered out too soon.

BUT - I RAN! I completed my 30 minutes (31 in fact because I finished the block I was running after my time was up) at the 2.5 mile marker. W9D3 complete. C25K training complete. Now all I have to do is run a 5K.

I started this program 12 weeks ago - August 2, 2010.
When I started I weighed 277 pounds. I was heavier than I wanted to be and was convinced that I was too fat to ever run for 30 minutes straight.
I proved myself wrong.

Today I weigh 255. 22 pounds in 12 weeks, and I know it's because I'm running. Sure I'm eating right and I do other exercise too, but my body LOVES to run.

Today is Graduation Day. Even though it wasn't my best run, today I have accomplished something more than I ever thought I was capable of. Today wasn't about book smarts, or getting a good job, or being top of my class. It was about me, and the pavement and choosing to run. This isn't something that will go in my professional bio. But it is something that I can count on to change my life for the better. The personal feeling of satisfaction that no food can ever HOPE to match. I did something, and I did it for me. I may not be the best, I may not be the fastest - but none of that matters. What matters is that I did it, and I am so proud of me.

I am a runner!

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