What motivates you? For me, it’s being told that I “can’t” do something. When I was in high school, the boys I wanted to date were the ones that my Dad refused to allow me to date. In hindsight, thank you God, (and Dad), for not letting me marry a couple of them...especially that "one". Speaking of which, the boy that I married? The leaders in my church told me that I “couldn’t” marry him. Again thank you God, (and Dad), for overruling them on that one too. I got a good one didn’t I Dad? Oh, and how about the high school art teacher who didn’t think I was good enough to be an artist and gave the art award to the class pet? Has the class pet been featured in a national artists’ magazine? Has she ever sold a painting? Shown her work across the country? Can you tell I am a little “full of myself” today?
At this time last year I had begun my search for a diagnosis to the chronic fatigue and brain fog that seemed to have creeped up on me from out of nowhere. You can read about the quest for a diagnosis here: http://www.blogher.com/part-one-healthcare-saga (The diagnosis: pernicious anemia which is a deficiency of Vitamin B-12, one of the components in our bodies that helps carry oxygen to the red blood cells).
The search for a diagnosis lasted several months and included more than one medical professional telling me that I could no longer be a long distance runner. “You need to resign yourself to the fact that running long distances is no longer in your future”. In other words, “You Can’t”.
Ahem…Turns out I CAN. I have PR’ed in my last two races, one of which was a half-marathon. Not only have I set new personal records, I have set both by several MINUTES off of the times I was running even before I got sick.
I won’t lie and say it has been easy. Running is still difficult for me. Almost every run I have I start fighting the voice in my head that tells me to quit in the first mile. Hey people, RUNNING IS HARD! Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. But there is something about the achievement of putting your body through long periods of exertion that is so satisfying. The patterned, repetitive motion of running enhances the mood for that “runner’s high” that people always talk about. I never have to really worry about my calorie intake, in fact I think I might even be smaller now than I was way back in high school. So…Why would I, or anybody, want to give that up?
So, how I have managed to claw my way back up to where I am today? Trust me, "claw" is the correct word.
Through sensible training, good nutrition, and listening to my body when I really AM too tired to tie on my sneakers. By giving myself a “break” and not chastising myself for cutting my 12 mile run down to 8, or 6, or even completely taking the day off on days when I am tired. But much of the reason that I have been able to accomplish what I have is because I have shared my story with a network of very supportive people who encourage me to do all the things that I just listed above. And the most amazing thing has been happening in the last few months. People who have never been runners before are getting on the running bandwagon. I am so excited to see my friends and family being excited about doing something that I love and KNOW is so beneficial to their physical and mental well being!
So really? There may come a day when I can no longer call myself a distance runner. But today is not that day. Today is the day that I ran a 5K in well under 30 minutes. I haven’t done that since my mid-30s, and I am looking 49 square in the eye…and.. I’m NOT gonna’ blink.
What motivates you?
Post Note: My awesome son ran his first 5K today after only training for a couple of weeks and beat me by almost 4 minutes! I am a proud Mama!
f you're gonna get in the saddle, you'd better be ready for the ride.
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