Today is the Firecracker 5k here in Charleston (WV) two years ago that was my very first 5k; my first official race. It’s been two years since I started the sport of running. As most of you who have been reading this blog know, the last time I ran was December 17, 2016, which was the Jingle Bell 5k. Its been a long day today my grandmother was in the ER all night (she’s fine) but during the long wait, I remembered the Firecracker 5k was today. I thought that was my very first race; here is the post about that day (Race Day). It was a rainy day and I was one of those people that swore I would never run “in the elements” but not only was our last practice run in the rain but race day itself was in the rain. Never say never right. There are two things that stand out the most to me about that day, well, three, the first is being really nervous the day of the race. I had no idea how I would do, it was raining, and I didn’t want to finish last. The second thing I remember is during the turn around the rain stopped, the sun came out and the way it parted the sky it seemed like it was a sign that I could finish that race. I had about a mile and a half to go and I kept telling myself if I can get to the end of this block I’ll be okay, that was my mantra for the rest of that race. The third thing I remember about the race is just as I crossed the finish line I had no idea they would call my name as I crossed, that was cool, but the moment I crossed I remember a feeling that was almost indescribable. I couldn’t stop smiling, I was also impressed with my time 48 minutes, in the rain!
I felt so high, in that moment, I knew I was going to be okay. You see I started the running program for several reasons one of which was to regain my self-confidence. I had been through a difficult experience and doing this running program was part of helping me work through it. I learned through the program it wasn’t about just the running it was more than that; it was about who I was as a person. I think that is why I miss it so much now. I get/got a lot from running. It was after that race I decided to start working on my doctorate degree, another goal 😊, Of course, a year after this 5k I thought I would see if could complete a half-marathon. Never in my life would I think I could do 13.1miles; this became a big challenge with an injury. But I did it and that milestone became one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.
On my two year running anniversary I have “a long way to go” as my physical therapist said to me before I can be back out there again (hopefully next spring) I wish you all great running, great races, and never give up on your goals. 😊
Well my MRI is finally scheduled for Thursday of this week exactly two weeks to day that I had my doctor’s appointment. I’m not sure what took so long to get the pre-authorization from the insurance but I’ve never had a pre-auth take almost two weeks to obtain. Hopefully we will have some answer soon as to what is going on. Which leads me to the point of this post. It’s interesting when some people ask me about what has been going on I start to hear the horror story of age. I don’t see myself as an “old person” in fact when I someone tells me I don’t look my age I’m often perplexed by the statement. What exactly does that mean? What exactly is my age “supposed to” look like. I got a text from a friend today who is the exact same age as I am and she described herself as “overweight, sick, and old” but she started training for the distance run here in Charleston in August; which was going to be “an uphill fight”. I keep telling people despite whatever is going on with me, my goal is to be back out there running again. I’m going to let my body really heal; but I plan to be back out there no matter what. I don’t use words like old, sick, aging, etc. I find them to be negative and if you bring that type of thinking into your world that is what you become. I’m not sure why our culture is programmed to believe when you get into your 40’s or for some your 30’s somehow life is over and it’s all downhill. That’s why I don’t tell people my age anymore, not for vanity sake so people can’t put me into a box of the “supposed to for your age” BS. When I don’t tell people what my age is they actually think I’m years younger than I really am. I think that is in part due to my attitude, I don’t talk about aliments all the damn time, you never hear me say dumb stuff like “I’m getting old”, I do my best to keep negativity out of my world, and I’m good to my body, one of the reasons I want to get back out there running again. My doctor said my labs were great, cholesterol every thing were fantastic! Whoo! Why on earth would I call myself old for crying out loud?!
I’m not sure what happens to us as we transition into adulthood. It’s like my running coach told us, our bodies are built for running. As kids we run all the time and don’t even think about it; it’s fun. Then we become adults and we forget it was once fun and say ridiculous things like “running is bad for your knees”. Maybe it’s all that weight on top of your knees that’s bad for you…just sayin…Anyway, I don’t want to be one of those people who is always talking about becoming an old person, that’s the fastest way to become one. As a child of the 80’s I saw all the John Hughes movies (wasn’t that a requirement). The Breakfast Club was one of my favorites. There is a line in this movie when they are questioning if they are going to be like their parent’s. To which Ally Sheedy’s character says “it inevitable when you grow up your heart dies”. I think there is some truth to that statement. We grow up and forget how to play or that we even once kids. I’m not talking abut being irresponsible but not following some script that says I have to stop living, dreaming, accomplishing and being adventurous because I’v reached a certain age. Where is this written??
My 50th birthday is in January and I’m already thinking about how I want to celebrate it. And one thing for sure is there will not be anyone allowed who will be talking about being over the hill or any old stuff; I am not the one. Heck, maybe I’ll be ready to do my first full marathon by then..who knows!!..I’m currently watching this ultra marathon going on across the Sahara Desert, SlowRunnerGirl mentioned it in her blog. This is the coolest thing ever; I’m not saying I could ever do this but there are people of all ages doing this thing! I gotta give props! Ultra runners amaze me and they have my respect. They inspire me to keep going and not get caught up in all the negative stuff. But the same can be said for those who are finishing their first 5k and never thought they would, that was me three years ago. I admire people who don’t limit themselves with the excuse of age and get out there do what they want.
So MRI on Thursday and no matter what the results show I will be pushing forward and do my best to not get caught up in those “old” negative Nancy’s out there. Maybe I should take one of those emotional age quizzes. It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of those; the last time I did one I was much younger than my biological age.
Update after my MRI…until then keep it positive and watch those thoughts…🙂
Happy Fat Tuesday! It’s been a week since my last post and frankly it’s been quite slow as far as my training has goes. My trainer cancelled on me last week due to a family dinner they were having regarding his grandfather and I haven’t heard from him since. Not sure what’s up. I haven’t been back out for a run since my last two miles last week. I know now I probably should have just done the mile and half my leg/knee were sore. If I stand while I’m lecturing in group at work I’m finding I can’t do it for long periods of time I eventually have to sit because of the pressure on my left side. I’m not sure what to do at this point I don’t like feeling discouraged and I know the longer I’m not running the longer it will take to come back. I’m also concerned about weight gain from not being as active as I was when I was running regularly. 😦 This running thing is the hurdle I have yet get over.
The hurdle I did get over was I found out yesterday I passed my doctoral qualifying exam!! I was at work when I got the email notifying me of the results. I yelled out so loud I know they heard me down the hall! HA! I was so excited..I have been so anxious since I submitted my exam I literally have not slept since. So now I can go on with my research classes into the dissertation as an official doctoral student..I’m a part of the club!
Now if I can just get my running groove back….
I met with a personal trainer this evening I told him what has been going on so he started me out with a warm up on the treadmill with a high incline and an attempted a speed of about 3.2 or so but my leg was uh..nope! It was pulling and the pain was sharp. So he took it down in incline and speed. Once he did that it felt a little better and my leg started to loosen up. It is amazing how much we can lose when we stop moving. After a few minutes I could tell my leg was adjusting but the trainer (TR) had me stop and walk backwards on the treadmill to take some of the pressure off my leg. I did that for a few minutes and then I turned back around and he had me pick up the pace just a little; I ended up doing about ten minutes at a pace of about 2.6 or so, I don’t exactly remember. There was a woman on the treadmill next to me running her little heart out I thought “that used to me”; but in due time.
After the treadmill TR had me doing squats (50) with a band, can I just say ouch! He said we had to build the knee back up and make it strong. I gave him 50 and he wanted me to do 50 more with the band but my knee would not corporate, it hurt like you would not believe! So I did a modified version and did another 50. My leg felt better it was much loser more than it had been in a long time. After the squats he had me do several of the leg machines. He works with athletes, he told me when he’s working with people who have injuries like mine it takes a lot of lower body work to build the strength back up to support the activity. He told me I still can’t run my leg is too weak and I could damage it and risk possible surgery. But he said I could probably be back out there in about two weeks if we work about three times per week “I’m going to push you” he said; Ole dude is no joke! We did about 30 minutes today he said when working with the type of injury that I have that’s about all he typically will do. When we were done I felt okay my leg felt good and lose but trust and believe I am going to feel this tomorrow! 🙂
We are going to meet again on Friday then set up a schedule to go from there. My membership at Planet Fitness is toast! The trainers there were subpar to say the least it was hard to get them to work with me and when I did getting them to stay focused was another problem. I don’t even think some of them knew what they were doing. I’m excited about what’s ahead but this is not going to be a picnic by any means….
Life is full of changes it’s the one constant that we can always count on; why so many resistant change I will never know. As you know I’ve “been on the bench” since I’ve had my issues with my knee/leg. That was/is an adjustment that has caused me to miss a race and quite possibly the next one coming up on January 29th the second one in the series I registered for this winter. The next big change came when I got an email from my academic advisor with an updated schedule of courses that pushed my graduation back from 2018 to 2019; in part due to the research courses related to the dissertation. I called it a punt on the football field of life…not happy about this unexpected change but I’ll adjust and move forward just as I am with my leg. But just as with my knee and leg there are some things I can do. I can double up on a class or two during a semester when I won’t be too overwhelmed. As for my leg/knee I can continue to do stretches and other exercises to help the healing process.
I work with a population for the most part many of them the first thing they say is “I don’t like change”. Well for as long as we live, as sure as the seasons change, we are going to have change in our lives. So we may as well accept it, stop resisting it, and learn to cope with it when it happens. What gets us into trouble and frustrated is how we respond to change. But what I know for sure is mindfulness and gratitude can help anyone through any change no matter how easy or difficult.
I’ve got a foam roller now and I’ve been doing the stretches the physical therapist recommended. My leg is still a little sore but not as bad as it was last week. So Saturday instead of running I went for a 4 mile walk and by the end of it my leg was hurting a little; so I came home and used the foam roller and did the stretches.
Today I decided to go for an actually run..well a run/walk. I went 25 minutes out; I ran more than I walked and I may have over did it a little. One the way back I had to walk when I tried to run I could feel a dull to slightly sharp pain in my hip and down my leg. So I walked back I may have over exerted and I probably should have run/walked more evenly and more slowly on the way out. It has been a tough two weeks my job has been frustrating and going through changes and this thing with my leg just as I’m supposed to be starting to train for the half-marathon. As I was walking back I started to have those doubts about whether or not I will be able to run the race in November, 13.1 miles seems so long. The issues at work with starting and having to build a practice and all the scary things that go with it. I tried to shake those thoughts off but they were strong today; I was by myself so no one to distract me.
I guess I’m in a state of change and transition it just seems like it has been going on for a long time and these last two weeks have been overwhelming. I’m trying to figure out what I’m supposed to learn through all this. I am going to the training tomorrow I will do what I can and hopefully keep the doubting thoughts at bay…