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But I Can't...

Friday, June 08, 2012

I have not run since Tuesday. I haven't really cross-trained either. I had scheduled a 3-mile crosstraining walk on Wednesday. Ended up taking the kids with me, thinking they'd be fine because they are young and in shape. They were not fine with 3 miles. Bunch of wussies! Lol. Actually, the problem was the 4 year old boy. Are you kidding me? The kid has so much energy we can barely keep up with him EVERY other time in life...EXCEPT when we go for a walk. Sheesh. Turned out to be a 1.8 mile walk or something...and a very slow one at that. I didn't feel like I got any sort of a workout at all, although I'm sure I must have burned some calories.

All that to say, I feel like a big blob and cannot WAIT for my 5k race tomorrow morning. It will feel SO great to go on that run. And the best part is...it is taking place on the same trail and stretch that I run in every single training run. No surprise hills this time! Should be a GREAT run.

Been thinking about the Boilermaker Half and reviewing my training schedule and, you know, when I look ahead at the next 18 weeks, I feel a bit nervous. The distances in training don't look terrible. And they certainly build slowly enough, but when I see that number of 13.1, I will admit...it scares me to death and intimidates me quite a bit. Knowing that once I pass the 10-mile mark, there will be all sorts of new things for me to learn (refueling while running, hydration systems, special diet restrictions and additions/subtractions, types of running gear, etc.) It seems like an entirely different world and, quite honestly, I think to myself at times, "Do I have it in me?" CAN I actually handle this? Am I really ready for this to be a SPORT? Am I an ATHLETE? Seriously? What if my injured body just can't handle this intense of a sport?

I just coughed up $5 and bought the July 2012 issue of Runner's World Magazine last night. When money is involved, you know I've got an addiction. haha. There is a great page this month (pg. 26 for subscribers) that touched me to the core. Written by Debra Witt, it is just a short little blurb, but it stunned me into silence.

What It Takes To Run A Marathon After 25 Surgeries

In 2004, Janet Oberholtzer, of Pennsylvania, was in an RV that collided with five semis. Days later, she came out of a coma, only to face 25-plus surgeries, many on her left leg. Her doctors doubted she'd run again, but Janet kept the faith, and by 2011 she was running half-marathons. In May, on the eighth anniversary of her accident, the 46-year-old ran the Bob Potts Marathon.

"I'm so thankful now that my legs carry me on a run." - Janet Oberholtzer

WOW. You know, my 5 measly broken bones don't seem like such a big issue in light of this story! My extra 89 lbs of weight seem like a mere blip in terms of hardship when taken into consideration. I'm young. I'm fairly healthy and getting healthier every day.

I receive so many comments on my blogs - many are telling me that I inspire them, etc. I love these comments. I also get comments like this:

I can't run and I'll never be able to.
I wish I could run.
I will try running when I have lost some weight.
I can't do it, but I'm glad you can.

Obviously, I'm not a doctor and I don't know everyone's individual situation. And, certainly, there ARE medical reasons for not being able to do a jarring activity such as running. And, frankly, some people just don't LIKE to run and there is nothing wrong with that either. People have gotta find what they LOVE to do...it's the only way they'll keep moving for life!

But I also wonder how many COULD do it...if they wanted to? How many just THINK they can't do it, but haven't really tried? How many just haven't decided that they want to take charge of their health and push their bodies to bring about change?

Like I said, I have no way of knowing. I just know that I hate that "C" word now. If anything, I have taught myself that there is no such thing as CAN'T. And I have just begun. Will you just IMAGINE the possibilities when I actually get GOOD at this sport after many months and even years of training?

So, on second thought, let's pull that 18-week program out again and have another look. Yes, this looks very do-able. No problems whatsoever. Let's MURDER this training schedule! Boilermaker Half Marathon, brace yourself...cause I'm coming for you in October.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It does take a lot to remove that C word from our vocab sometimes. I know I struggle with it all the time.
    2139 days ago
    Thank you.... I know I can.
    2139 days ago
    2140 days ago
  • FARIS71
    That's true - we can do anything we want if we are determined to do so. Never say never!
    2140 days ago
    2140 days ago
    You are an inspiration. There are so many mornings that when I walk I think if she can run so can I. However the reality of the situation is that I am not able to physically at this moment who knows a hundred pounds from now my foot might co-operate with me and let me but right now it is just walking. But I am not saying that will be the same next year. However if I ever am able to You will know it I promise ...
    2140 days ago
    2140 days ago
    I have done 2 5Ks--I have never run before this past year--and I don't know if I want to continue. BUT I have DONE 2 5Ks so I am a runner if I want to continue. (I just got a new pair of running shoes....but we'll see what happens!)
    2141 days ago
    2141 days ago
    You DO have it in you. You CAN do it. When are you starting your training for your half?
    Refueling, gels, it's not that complicated...You'll get there.
    So many of us CAN do more than we think.
    I have been able to get my 5 year old up to 2 miles but they are sloooww and a lot of whining and "can we go home now?"
    The trick to keeping her moving is racing her to the next tree/ stop sign/ corner, etc. She stays much more interested. Walking or jogging for a long period will only bore her. So I try to make it fun. Great that you were able to take the kids on a walk but it doesn't really feel like you got a workout....I know the feeling.
    Keep up the great work! I love your blogs!! emoticon
    2141 days ago
  • HEARTS116
    Great work!!
    2141 days ago
    2141 days ago
    Good luck on your 5K today! Cant wait to hear how it went. How cool that you have been training on the very trail of the 5K race. About the half-marathon, I feel the same way you do! My main concern is my bladder, it's small! LOL. You are inspiring me to want to try one, though.
    2141 days ago
    2141 days ago
    Enjoy your run. I have run off and on for years and I am embarrassed to say that because I'm slow and don't have that graceful look of a gazelle. I huff and puff and struggle and yet I still want to do it. Thanks for putting some things in perspective for me because while it's not pretty I CAN do it. Good luck. Can't wait to hear about your race.
    2141 days ago
    When my children say "I can't", I always answer back, "Really? You can't or you won't?" Now I need to ask myself that....challenged anew!
    2141 days ago
    You're wonderful inspiration! Have a great run!

    2141 days ago
    If anybody can do it, it's you! Best of luck on your 5K!
    2141 days ago
    great work!
    2141 days ago
    Hope you have a great run today!
    2141 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    emoticon WOW, how grand to have your BLOG FEATURED in the SPARK MAIL. What an honor. You are certainly an inspiration to thousands of people. emoticon
    2141 days ago
    I've been running 5k races, started this year in February and I'm now eying a 10k race coming up on labor day. I recently printed out a training schedule for that so it's something to look forward to. You know, running is addictive, but it's a good addiction! All the best with your race today!!
    2141 days ago
    Leah, your blogs are always full of inspiration and intelligence and kindness. It's true that not everyone can or even wants to exercise. I spent most of my life avoiding it, except when I went swimming, which I love. (BTW, a few years back, I went swimming 3 times a week and got up to 60+ lengths, and lost an amazing amount of weight. Put it all back on though...)

    I'm thrilled you're signing up for a half marathon! Go for it!!!!

    emoticon emoticon
    2141 days ago
    you are totally right that more people than think they can can run ... and also that people should choose something they enjoy as their exercise. the thing is, frequently you have to learn to do it before it becomes something you enjoy doing. i didn't enjoy running when i started ... but i loved the feeling of coming home knowing i had done something i really didn't think i was capable of. and i signed up for a 6K before i started even (in late April, for an early september race) so i had a goal and was able to say, and if i don't like it by then, i'll find something else. and the rest is history.
    btw, i don't think you need to learn fueling and major food changes for halves. which is part of the reason i've chosen it. i eat pretty clean and i don't think those fuel bars and gels are real food. my running coach says a half is the longest distance you can run and still enjoy going out to dinner that evening! (she is btw an ex-sparkie who lost more than 150 lbs and has kept it off and loves exercise of all kinds -- she's also a soccer coach!).
    have a great race!
    2141 days ago
    A very close friend of mine is actually friends with Janet and going to be running with her in a couple months. An amazing woman, isn't she?

    You know...you are right, the truth of the matter is some people just can't manage to build to that distance due to injury, pain, or maybe just realizing it's not for them. And there is no shame in that. The goal is to be healthy and happy however you choose to do it. For you, I'm pretty sure you will and can run there. Don't play mind games with yourself getting there though. The longer distances are in the future. Work on each phase as you reach it. We are all still evolving. If only you could have seen what I was wearing for my first HM (I was not prepared and did not train for the drastic turn in weather the night before). This is one of the best places I know to get guidance and advice. I'm loving watching you grow and progress. Have a great race tomorrow.
    2142 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Have a great run tomorrow!
    2142 days ago
    Yes you can do it and you will! Spark on!
    2142 days ago
    Your blog inspire me to keep pushing. I am not interested in running at all but that might change down the road. I have come to the realization that I can lose this weight and I can get healthy if I just keep my focus and don't beat myself up when I trip up.

    Thanks for the encouragement!! emoticon
    2142 days ago
    You are an INCREDIBLE inspiration! Just keep doing what works for you! I get so much strength from your blogs and status updates! I just left a comment on your feed ... saying I live for the day when I can get in a "quick 2 mile run" ... I think your progress is wonderful and I'm so grateful to you for sharing your journey with us! It really helps ... emoticon
    2142 days ago
    Tip for walking with kids -- let them bring their scooters. Suddenly it's fun to them, and they can just coast on them when they're feeling weary or feel like big stuff for zipping ahead but still not really being that far from you. :)
    2142 days ago
    hey, sorry your walk was lame. i would have started running and challenged them to keep up! ha. even the 4 year old. lol but if its not their idea its not as fun. but let them out with friends and they'll run all day!
    hope you have a great race tomorrow!
    2142 days ago
  • JENNNY135
    Don't forget this is your race and no one elses. You can walk during the race, I do it all the time. Running is a mental sport and one way of making yourself stronger is challenging those preconceived notions we all carry with us. I can't do it, I'm too fat, I'm too old, I can't run the whole thing, I'm too slow.

    So take one run day at a time, some days will be great and others will be awful part of the game. Just visualize the moment you cross that finish line and get that medal around your neck - it's all worth it.

    2142 days ago
    you are such an inspiration - your blogs make the reader feel that anything is possible - and now i went and signed up for a half marathon too!
    2142 days ago
    DO IT!!! MURDER THAT TRAINING SCHEDULE!!! Good luck and enjoy your 5k tomorrow!
    2142 days ago
  • AWOOD1973
    Good for you, purchasing that mag for a little inspiration. This has now lead us to be inspired by you! We know that you can do anything that you put your mind to... You already have proven it to yourself and will continue to get better with time!!! Great blog, Leah!! :-) Thanks for always being inspiring!!
    2142 days ago
    You CAN do it. You are truly and inspiration. I look forward to reading your blogs so much.
    2142 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog!!! My age is against me on regards to running. Also health problems prevent me from even trying it let alone doing it. Smoking ruins your health and what you can do. So please do not start and if you smoke try to quit. Or Just Quit. You inspire so many people. This is the way to go. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Day and Week. Go Get Them. You Can Do It.
    2142 days ago
    If you hate the "can't" word, read on.

    I wanted you to know that this week I attempted to do something I had been afraid I could never do. There is a "mountain" (probably more like a bluff or a butte or something) that's here in my hometown. I hadn't climbed it since I was a young girl, and ever since, the mountain has always seemed huge and imposing. I thought it must be impossible for me to climb it now that I'm much older and (still) overweight. Well, I DID climb it this week---three times!!! I climbed it twice on Monday (the batteries went dead on my camera after the first climb, and I was bound and determined to get some pictures---so I went back up AGAIN, the same day) and then I climbed it again yesterday!! I proved to myself that I CAN do things that seem to be impossible!! I can't tell you how exciting that is!! And it's because of YOU. You always encourage and inspire me in your blogs to push myself past my own roadblocks.

    What's next for me? Who knows?! I think the sky's the limit!! emoticon

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you. I always look forward to reading your blogs for encouragement.

    2142 days ago
    I was lucky enough one year to train under an elite runner. He would always tell me to take one mile at a time. It works so well. Then I also got advice to take it 10 minutes at a time... don't look at miles look at time. Can you go 10 more minutes? Yes ,you can! emoticon I am living proof that you can go from walking a mile to running half marathons and a marathon! It just takes consistency. You have to commit. Some day's will be great running and some will not. You just do it over and over and over!! I love what running teaches me and the journey involved in distance running. You can do it! Keep reading Runners world. You will be inspired beyond measure. I know I have been and love that magazine! Run Happy!! emoticon
    2142 days ago
    Okay, I didn't cry this time.
    I did feel motivated, though.
    I still won't be taking on any running at this point, but I feel like I may be able to tackle a 5 mile charity walk.
    And tomorrow morning I will walk 5K on the treadmill as a tribute to you.
    2142 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    We all fall victim to the "comparison" mindset, but the truth is, you just have to try and see if you succeed. And running is nothing more than really fast walking.

    Right now, I have no marathon aspirations, but I'm putting away my "I'll never do that!" mindset because who knows what tomorrow will bring!
    2142 days ago
    Thank you for this post! I thought I was the only one having a rough week or so but you are the third or fourth blog today that mentions a rough week. I really want to start training for running again & just seem to keep putting it off.....
    2142 days ago
  • SJOHNS30
    I started looking at marathon training programs and got scared. I havent done a 5k yet so i guess its like my eyes being more ambitious than my legs lol. But why not one day!? I am 24 and have less than 40 more lbs to lose. I dont have kids and dont have any major ailments. Ppl do it with sooo many more obstacles. I agree that ppl r so quick to say thats great for u but i cant. Or i wish i had that time. YOU control ur own actions. YOU have to decide to make it happen. Cant wait to hear how ur 5k goes and please post how the half marathon training goes. If u like that program i mite do it too.
    2142 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/8/2012 2:18:21 PM
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