This Crazy Heat…and Family Matters

It was just crazy hot today; I think there was a heat advisory but I went for a run about 6 this evening  thought it was about 88/89 but the real feel was in the low 90’s oh let’s not forget our friend humidity. So my running parter Rich and I took a slow easy pace and even then it was just exhausting. At about 20 minutes or so Rich got a little dizzy and had to stop and rewet the towel he had and he walked a little until he felt better. I walked for just a few minutes and then continued to run. But honestly that heat was pounding out there so I did a lot of run/walking today. I was out about 46 minutes today and the sweat was like rain coming off me. I couldn’t wait to get some water!

So here’s one..this month has gone by so fast I totally forgot this was the weekend for the Charleston Distance Run, of course I’m doing the 5k, there is a marathon, a 15 mile run and a 15 mile relay. It’s a big even that happens every Labor Day Weekend here in Charleston,WV. So I have a 5k this weekend! Whoo! I called my grandmother in my excitement of forgetfulness and she was not nearly as excited as I was about the upcoming race. I mean she tries to be but she doesn’t under understand it; she’s 92 in good health but running is not something the really gets. She talks about it as if running is something I’m required to do not something I just do to do you know..She asks that question like..”did you win?” She doesn’t know any better.

Honestly, physical fitness has never been very big in my family. I have a family with a long history of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and high blood pressure. I’ve learned from my family history and I don’t want to go out like that; so I’ve made changes to lifestyle and diet. I have hypothyroidism and recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease both of which can contribute to weight gain. I asked my doctor if I should go to a gluten free diet and he said what I was doing already was great and to keep doing it. If we are good to our bodies they will be good to us! He did say maybe increase the running to a few more days a week… 🙂 (like 5..what?)

I come from a history of southern soul food cooking and I don’t eat that way anymore; it’s funny it is so new to my grandmother she will say things like “can you eat that” or “will that hurt you”. Like I’m not making the choice to eat better because it’s just good for me. It’s a foreign concept in our family to make lifestyle changes for better health that does not come in the form of a pill. (of course I think that’s a national problem).  I recently had a hamburger and my aunt made a comment that I didn’t eat the bun. I just said no I didn’t and went on..it can be exhausting explaining all the time. My uncle, who lives in Kansas City, MO, is the only person (friend or family) who has been to one of my races. He came to the Thanksgiving race last year. It was so cool to have him there; he’s a photographer and he took pictures and filmed me crossing the finish line. I’ve come to accept running is my thing and my family may congratulate me when I tell them I “ran another race” but they will probably never understand what it feels like to cross a finish line, hit a PR, or just the sense of accomplishment of going the distance, (all except my uncle 🙂 of course) and that’s okay. I run because it’s something that gives me confidence, gratitude, good health, and it’s changed who I am as a person.

See ya Saturday…wp-1472431945007.jpg

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Author: Tammi Lewis

I was born and raised in WV. I live in Charleston, WV. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Charleston and from Marshall University Graduate College with my Master’s Degree. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have been in the field of mental health and substance abuse for about 26 years. I started running about two years ago by beginning a running program to help me prepare for my first 5k. I had wanted to run a 5k for years but never got around to doing it. Two years ago there was an event that happened which sent me on an emotional rollercoaster; starting this program was a way to get off that rollercoaster. Once I finished that first 5k I got the running bug and haven't stopped running since.

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