For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.

Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

still running!!

So there's been a bit of a hiatus on this blog, but that doesn't mean I've quit!! I have been struggling for time, however. I was down to only running a couple times a week. But it is summer and in addition to the tons of social engagements, the hot weather, and the additional exercise I get from walking around fairs and fests, the lakefront and neighborhood, and Vegas (oh that's right Vegas), I've balanced things out quite a bit.

In ANY case, I decided to post today for various reasons! One, I received two comments in the last week from random passers-by thanking me for encouraging them to get out there! This, in turn, encourages ME too!! When I first started running, I read quite a few beginners' blogs and it was really neat starting at their first entry and seeing how far they had come. To provide that for someone else is the main reason I starting this blog and even if I inspire just one single person, it's worth every letter I type!!

Secondly, I rocked another milestone last week! I ran for an entire HOUR!!!! Obviously I've got an 8K coming up in about a month and a half. And as I just mentioned, my days running per week have not only decreased, but so have my miles...clocking in 3.5miles at most. Not good when you're trying to get up to running 5 miles comfortably ("comfortably" being the operative word here). So on Wednesday evening, I started out with the intention of trying to run for at least 40 minutes to try to build my stamina back up. Well, as I approached the first mile, I hit a major wall. My upper abdomen cramped up and I could barely run. I stopped for a minute to stretch my legs and it died down. But I ran for another minute and it came back with a vengeance. My mind was racing...I was down by the lakefront park and I thought to myself: I should just go back. I'm barely going to make it two miles, let alone the 40 minutes I had planned on. But something inside my brain clicked and I knew I was just going to have to force myself. And not the kind of force where your alarm goes off at 6am and you "force" yourself out of bed to go for a morning jog. The kind of force where, with every step, you feel the most painful blood curdling stab in your side and you barely breath because that just makes it worse. But off I went...

After mile two, I started "getting used to" the the sort of way where I basically tried very VERY hard to zone it out. I felt like a zombie running up the lakefront path merely focusing on the breath going in and going out of my lips in short bursts. And then...suddenly at about 3.5 miles, like MAGIC, the pain was gone and I was golden. And every five or so minutes after that point it just got better and better. Basically my body decided that apparently this is what she and I were going to be doing for the next chunk of time, so we might as well feel good about it. Like a pouting infant whose mom won't let her have the toy at Target, so she just gives up and moves on. Somewhere at this point, I think it was at the 40 minute mark, I decided to go the whole hour. As I rounded up the last ten minutes, the only part of my body that really hurt were my hip flexors, as they aren't used to the ongoing forward/back motion.

When I returned to the apartment, my sister and her BF came downstairs and were all "where were you this whole time?!?!" It was a GRAND feeling showing them my watch and saying: No, that isn't a minute and two seconds...HOUR AND TWO MINUTES!!!" Awesome! In any case, I'm going to try very hard to run an hour once a week. It's very difficult to find the time and the weather to do it in (Wed night was a cool 65 or so...very atypical for August in Wisconsin!). But I think at this point, if I can get through the awful stabbing I endured on Thursday and still run for an hour, this 8K in October is totally ON!

Here's to second winds!!!

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