As many of you know, I am training to do my second marathon at the Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana, IL on April 28th. I have been slow starting my training, as I missed a couple long runs due to life getting in the way. But now, with the start of the Bridge the Gap to Health Half-Marathon training under way, I am feeling more committed and focused. I do still need to work on my schedule a bit, as this HEAVY leg night of lifting on Monday may not work so well if I am going to continue to run on Mondays. HHHMMMM!!! Training is sometimes like putting together a puzzle. You have to find out where all the pieces fit to make it all go together right. It is a process that you have to work through. Here’s to hoping the process goes smoothly this year:)
While on the subject of running, I also wanted to share a little something that I thought was kind of a cool idea. The president of my run club(Heartland Road Runners and Walkers Club), Doug Seeber, proposed the question to us, “When did I become a “Runner”? I resisted at first, as I usually do, but figured, “what the heck”, maybe it would help someone else, so I wrote mine down and sent it out. To my surprise, I got some wonderful feedback and that only feeds me and my ambition to go farther. It is amazing how helping someone else makes me want MORE out of life:) Finding my way to a healthy lifestyle has all but made me a new person. I guess I am really still the same, just “improved”:)
Here is my answer to the question, “When did you become a “Runner”?
My journey to being a runner started out just wanting to get skinny! Yep! Did not care about how I got there, I just wanted, for the first time in my life, be what people called skinny. Little did I know at that time, but would discover over time, that SKINNY is not at all what I really wanted. What I REALLY wanted was to be fit and healthy and active and a RUNNER!
I started in September 2008 at 263#(At least that is the highest number I will admit to). After about 5 months and having lost about 35#, in Feb 2009, I heard about the Bridge the Gap 5k. I wondered…could I really do that? Could I ever really run 3.1 miles? I thought, “For Pets’s Sake, you have titanium bolts in your back! Could you ever REALLY do this?” HHHMMMM!!!! So I got on the TM and decided that I would not get off until I had completed a 5k. It took me nearly an hour! I thought NO WAY! But 2 days later, I tried again. I was about 30 seconds faster. HHHMMMM!!! So I thought…if I actually “train” for this like an athlete, MAYBE I could do it. So 3 days a week, I walked/jogged a 5k on the treadmill at the gym. By May, I decided that I could possibly do it in under 45 mins, so maybe I wouldn’t TOTALLY embarrass myself. I had NO running friends, and honestly did not want anyone there with me. I had a bad feeling that I would not be able to finish knowing that the start was that BIG Hampshire Street hill! But I registered and went!
That glorious day in May 2009, I crossed the finishline with a time of 38:54! And I could NOT have been more proud of myself! I stood there just on the other side of that finishline crying like a baby! At approximately 210#, with a partially fused lumbar spinal column, I had just RUN a 5k!
I was so happy I had sunglasses on. I had hoped no one would notice me, just like I had spent the rest of my life…..trying NOT to be noticed. But no such luck. A woman saw me and asked if I was OK. I told her that it was my first race ever, and how hard I had worked to get there, and she gave me a big hug and said, “And I bet you do even better next year!” I have no idea who that woman was, but she probably had no idea that she had just spent my “I am a Runner!” moment with me:)
I went on after that and ran a few more 5k’s and the 10k at the Mississippi River Run, and the next Winter decided to take the plunge and GO FOR IT! And signed up for the BTG ½ Marathon! Since then, I have run 3 ½ marathons, and ran my first FULL Marathon in Champaign last year with Doug Seeber! I hope I can keep up with him again this year:) All the while, continuing to fuel my body properly and stay active, and went on to lose a total of 113#!
Still a back of the packer, and PROUD to be:) I have had overcome a couple injuries this past year, but I am still going, because now that I have a taste for what that finishline is like, I refuse to give it up:)
No matter what you are training for….a marathon, a 5k, a fitness competition, or even simply a healthier life….HAPPY TRAINING!