Reflections about my running…
Sorry I havent been blogging much lately. I’ve got so much going on right now, that when I get home from work, I just don’t have the energy to put into a long post about anything. Today though, I found a few minutes, and wanted to put them to good use.
I have been doing alot of thinking about my running and how far I have come since Jan 1 2012 when I started the journey all over again. My life of obesity needed to change and come to a halt, so when I was offered the chance to join Weight Watchers at my workplace, I made the decision to go for it. That luckily, has changed my life completely. I can’t say enough about Dawn, our group leader. She is so engaging and dynamic, she draws everyone into the topic of the meeting and really makes you feel special. We have a wonderful group of women that get together at lunchtime once a week to support each other through this journey in life. Dawn is like the “house mom” looking over all of us and providing the encouragement when we need it, as well as advice or anything else we need at the time. We are lucky enough to have Kelly, who just happens to be another WW leader, as part of the group. Between the two of them, it makes for a fun and educational meeting every week.
Going to Weight Watchers has allowed me to lose enough weight to become a runner again, after 25 years of doing nothing at all. I was always active and very competitive growing up, so sitting on the sidelines because I was too “fat” to do anything, was just killing me inside. Around Christmas 2011, I was walking through the hallway at work and glanced into my reflection in the window. I decided right there and then that I was going to do something before I died from heart disease like many in my family.
I started running in March of this year. I would call it more of a “WOG” than run.. hahaha… I couldnt go more than 1/10 of a mile without my lower back cramping up so bad I had to sit down. I felt like all the people at the gym were staring at the fat lady trying to go around the track. I didn’t give up though. I thought to myself how if I was there working out, and I saw an obese person trying to exercise, I would think, “Good for you! Go for it!” I would even try to find a way to say hello and offer encouragement. I figured that if I felt that way, maybe someone else might too, and so I was no longer afraid of what others were thinking. When the weather got warmer, I started going to the cemetery to walk, and before I knew it, I was up to a quarter, then a half a mile!
I started doing research on running shoes as I was having lots of pain in my ankle (one I had surgery on) and my knees. After many hours online, I figured out that I probably was better off to try working my way down to a minimalist shoe. (Nearly flat, from heel to toe). I bought some Vibram Fivefingers ands started to walk in those. I had to take it very slow, as my feet were very weak from wearing super supportive and stiff sneakers with orthotics in them.
As the months went by I saw a gradual increase in my strength and endurance. I plateaued at the 1 mile mark for almost a month, and got a little depressed, thinking I would never progress past that distance. Once again, I did not give up, and before I knew it , I was running two and even three miles. I got myself some Kinvara 2’s and rotated between those and my VFF’s. Then when Mizuno blessed me with a pair of the Wave Universe 4’s, (completely flat) I knew I was a minimalist runner and there was no turning back!
I want to explain something though, as my running has taken a different turn… I lost my father to cancer at the age of 92 this past June. Since his death (mom died in 2007) I have taken the time to pay attention to the beautiful things in life. I figure at age 50, my life is half over and is slowing down, so I want to fill it with all the beautiful things in the world God gave us. So when I’m running, if I see something interesting I stop and check it out. Sometimes its a butterfly or two, a flower, or a nice view of the river. Sometimes it’s a friend or neighbor to stop and say hi to. I no longer pass these things by. I have given up the thought of running races to “win”. I have already won. I have lost 70lbs and am running again after all these years. No one can take that feeling of accomplishment away from me. I ALREADY AM A WINNER!
I feel so fortunate to be able to have a renewed interest in life. I am trying to change my diet to be more healthy and to encourage others to do so also. I spent a lot of time reading and researching about healthy eating and exercising. Before Jan 1st of this year you would never have seen me doing any of that online! I will admit that I have been a junk-food-junkie all my life and it isn’t easy to change that. I am taking it day by day, replacing the unhealthy stuff with better choices and hoping to continue.
Thanks friends for listening again, to my story and letting me vent online. I am not a fast runner. I will never win a race against other people. I have already won the biggest race of all, against my former self, and that’s all I need for me!
Love to you all!