best run yet

I haven't run since 2003. What started out as a way to lose some weight for my sister's wedding quickly turned into a daily hobby, a ritual, a personal love and ambition. Every day for nearly a year, I would challenge myself to run harder, run faster, run longer. I felt strong and powerful. For me, running was more a mental feat than a physical one, even though I was in the best shape of my life.

After feeling comfortable at running 4 miles a day I made the (mental) decision to run a 5K. (Sidenote, this is how dum-dum I can be... I thought a 5K was a 5 mile race. lol. Go ahead... laugh with me. lol) I was running six days a week (taking Sunday off as a 'day of rest'). As a responsible 'runner' (I felt I nearly earned the title) I decided to see a dr for the whole 'consult your dr before beginning a workout regimine' thing. I had some pain in my lower left leg, left arch, and numbness in my right shoulder blade area. But hey, no pain no gain. It was hindering anything. I would be sure to stretch better, hold my posture better, make small adjustments and everything would be hunky-dory! Then I was diagnosed with Scoliosis and was told that I couldn't (more like shouldn't) run anymore.

I was devastated. Truly beyond bummed. I was so close to reaching my goal of running (my version of) a 5K. And now for reasons beyond my control, I was not going to reach this goal... this goal that was the Mount Everest of my lifetime thus far. I felt chopped off at the knees. In one whole moment, my drive and determination went in hiding... for a really long time.

Fast forward 8 years later to 2011. Pass the several bouts of depression (one quite dark and serious), kids growing and stress building, family drama, family loss, grief, more depression, and nearly 60 pounds gained... here I am.

I've done well to start eating clean and taking care of myself, and I'm down 28 pounds from my heaviest. But this isn't about weight loss...

With everything I've mentally gone through the past year (last year's success of losing 45 pounds before my 30th birthday, then the loss of my dad less than a month after my birthday which consequently led me to gain 30 pounds back in four months) I have decided that I need to mentally dedicate myself to Me again.

And running is how I want to do that.

I know what the dr says. And I know the do's and do not's of scoliosis, but regardless, this is what I feel I need to do. For me.

A friend once told me on the day that commemorates another month of daddy being gone, to do something to make him proud, something to honor him. On February 15, 2011... the 5 month anniversary of daddy being gone... I put on my new shoes and got back on the treadmill.

It was the hardest thing for me to do, both mentally and physically.
Mentally, I wanted to find strength to honor my dad. I wanted to find the strength to find him in myself, to achieve and overcome the smallest of odds. He was the strongest man I've ever known, going through so many medical issues in the past few years, never giving up or giving in.
Physically, I wanted to feel the strength I know I had once before. I wanted to set a physical goal and reach it, and then surpass it to the next goal, and the next, and the next. Daddy went through Air Force training as well as Sheriffs Department training putting him in physical strength to handle anything he needed to. That is how I want to feel.

I started at 1 mile on 2/15/11 (hey everyone's gotta start somewhere). After that run I was ready to give up. I wasn't sure I still had it in me to do this again. I mean, after all, it IS 8 years later, I'm still carrying a lot more weight than last time, and (who's kidding who here) I'm 30 now... things have most certainly changed! haha.
Today, marked my 8th run... and I quite comfortably ran 1.83 miles! I excited myself, running for time rather than distance. It was my best run yet! I could feel my pace quicken, my body fall into its stride easier, and I was able to get my mind focused right away. It was (so far) a perfect run for me. It makes me excited to run tomorrow, especially knowing that I had to (quite literally) drag myself onto the treadmill today.

Whats more important to me, is that I can begin to feel (inside of me) the drive and determination slowing start to work its way back out from its hiding place. Ultimately I would like to run a 5K, but honestly, that's not even in my mindset right now. Right now, I'm running to heal me, from the inside out. :-) 


Gina said...

This is so awesome! I love that you're running again & I love the reasons why you're doing it. Congratulations & keep going girl!

Tiffany said...

I am so proud of you ~ !! The hardest part is the first step~
(About what the dr said, just use caution and pay attention to your body, I think we all need to do that anyways :)) (you will know your body's limits!) I am so so so proud of you!! We can text each other for motivation if you want!!
email me or call 801-673-9268!
Love you!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good job Jen!! Keep it up. And for the record I can't even run to my mailbox (pregnant or not)...eeekk. Truth is I hate running.

Love ya!

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Jen ~ I'm so proud of you. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other... I'm routing for you!!! xo

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Maira Gall