Jul 13, 2010

Comment on Roni's $100 Challenge

I posted this comment today on Roni's Question of the Week blog post: "What have you accomplished that at one time you thought was impossible?" Thought I would share it here too...

Shew, where to begin. First, it's cool that you're picking the winner at random, Roni. No pressure, just people sharing stories, and one of us wins a contest. Pretty sweet.

Well, I definitely used to say "I can't run." I feel like  a broken record mentioning this all the time, but I have had plantar fasciitis in my foot for years, which basically just means incredible pain whenever I'm on my feet for very long... walking, standing, whatever. Getting up in the morning used to be the worst part; I would have to hobble for the first several steps, like a very old woman. I hated it.

I had known for a long time that someday I was going to be living a healthy lifestyle, I just couldn't grasp when that was going to happen, or how. One day last summer I was at work, and I just decided that I had to change. The first thing I did is go to iTunes to find some podcasts to listen to that would be inspiring. I found Ask Roni, and Two Gomers Run a Half Marathon. They were both awesome. I started eating healthy that very day. My first goal was to eat 500 calorie meals, 3x a day, no matter how I had to do that. That wasn't the healthiest goal in itself, but it evolved.

I followed as The Gomers trained for their big race, and as Roni didn't much train for her marathon (last October). I was floored when Roni just went out a few days before her marathon, after not running much for the last few weeks, and pulled out a 20-miler like it was nothing. She is amazing; I laugh that she could ever have said "I can't run," when it is obviously something that comes naturally to her. It didn't come as naturally for my other podcast buddies; they are nothing like runners. A professional musician and a youth pastor, and both Star Trek fans, these guys are the epitomies of Geek (or more specifically, Gomer). They managed the half marathon though, and this year they actually did the full marathon.

While listening to all of these tales of running, I started to wonder if I could try it. I had been doing elliptical training a little, because it is easy on the feet, and I didn’t know what I was even thinking considering running. It hurt to walk, to stand for an hour… how could I possibly brutalize my foot by running on it?

Despite my trepidation, I decided to try it one day. I said a quick prayer “Please God, don’t let this hurt my foot too awful much…” and off I went. I tried Day 1 of Couch to 5k training, and let me tell you, it was brutal on this 235ish pound lady. But afterward, my foot didn’t hurt at all! It was amazing.

I decided I was going to do it. I was going to train for as long as it took, and eventually I was going to be able to RUN 3.1 miles! This was about January, and I found a 5k that was in June and signed up for it. I started on the treadmill, and decided I’d move it outside when the weather cleared up. In March I ran outside for the first time, and it was much harder than the treadmill. I kept at it though, and before I knew it I was able to run 25 minutes at a time.

One week before the race came, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do it. At that point I had still only run 25 minutes at a time, and no more than 1.5 miles. I was nervous. What had I been thinking?? The race was coming though, and I had to know if I was going to be able to do it. I decided one evening that I was just going to do it. I left my house for the rail trail, and told my husband to pick me up in “about 50 minutes” at the end of the trail, 3.1 miles away.

And I just started running… It was hard, but I just kept going. Before I knew it I was in the final stretch to the end of the trail, and I was still running. I made it to the end, and looked at my time. It had been just over 40 minutes! I had done it! I was so relieved, and so proud of myself as I sat and waited for my family to show up to get me. It was awesome.

A week later I ran the 5k. This past weekend I ran my 2nd 5k. I am going to run one 5k per month until the end of the year. I talked to some friends at work today about doing a team event in April. They are excited about doing it with me.

The biggest thing I’ve learned about running is that it’s all in your head. It doesn’t take much training for your legs and lungs and heart to get on board with what you’re doing; the hardest thing is telling your head that you can do it, and that you’re going to keep running even if you feel like stopping. Once you get that, you’ve got it.

That’s my story. Sorry it’s so long for a comment post… but there it is


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