I looked at my calendar today and realized my 5k run is only 5 weeks away. I have been officially running for a month and a half now. I signed up finally for The Color Run just today so I am completely committed to it now. I am really looking forward to it. I will be running without my best friend who was going to fly in and run with me, but she had other responsibilites that were far more important than this. But I get to run this again in June when The Color Run comes to Chicago. So, I’ll still get to run it with her. She had better be ready, though. It’s going to be awesome! My run takes place April 12th in Dallas. I believe it’s in Fair Park which is great. We go there every October for the State Fair so I know I’ll enjoy the scenery.
This particular journey began around the same time that I lost my dad. Laura, my best friend, sent me an email about The Color Run. Normally, I would have deleted it but I didn’t. I kept it for some reason. I was 148 pounds at the time. I kept looking at that email every day, and, one evening, I finally came to the conclusion that I was going to do that run. I emailed Laura and told her “let’s do it.” I began watching how much I was eating and I quit drinking sodas. In January of this year I began walking around my neighborhood, missing only three days because of ice and bad weather. A week before February I began running.
At first, I ran because I wanted to do this run, and I wanted to lose weight. I didn’t sign up for the run right then because I wanted to make sure I was going to keep the commitment to myself so there wouldn’t be so much pressure that I’d quit before I began. I’ll never forget that first week of running. There wasn’t a single part of my body that didn’t hurt. I thought my legs would never stop hurting, that I’d never make it up The Hill in one go, and that I just wouldn’t be able to do it. But I kept going. At least, until I hurt my knees. Then I had to stop running for about a week and a half. Yet, they healed and I went right back to running. There were days, though, when it took every bit of will power I had to go out and run. (Ask me about the 25°F windy day. Yeah, that was fun.) There were days when I took one look at The Hill and thought, “Oh my god I’m not going to make it today.” But I did. I kept going.
I began to realize that I hated missing even one day of running. It made me feel good. I had more energy. I was building lean muscle and losing inches that I thought I’d never lose. I was sleeping better at night and thinking better during the day. I looked forward to each and every run. I’m breathing more deeply nowadays (minus the allergy-fiend trees), and I can run a little easier every day. I am stronger and I have more stamina and I can keep going even when I think I can’t.
Currently, I am doing running intervals of run 6 minutes, walk 2 minutes which I began today. It’s all part of the training schedule. Next week I begin 9 minute run intervals. I can’t wait. Every time I run longer during the intervals I always notice how much easier it is to run that the next day. I also have to face The Hill more often and I discovered he has a sister, and she’s not so nice either. But she is prettier. Also, I don’t hurt anymore. My calves are sore but not painfully so. My body has adjusted and I find it is able to compensate so much quicker than it ever did before. I never thought I’d get to this point but I here I am.
I was asked recently why I am still running in The Color Run since my best friend isn’t coming down. Since I am going to Chicago and running it up there with her now, the thought was that I didn’t need to run in April. My answer was that I am still running in April because I’m not running it for me even though it was a goal, something to reach for and attain. Running isn’t about making the 5k run now. It’s not about losing the weight anymore. Why do I run now? Because I can. I run because I enjoy it. I run because it’s good for me. I run because it makes me feel younger and stronger than I have ever felt. I run because I love it and am turning into sort of a geek about it. I run because my dad can’t, because he’ll never run again, and in my heart, I know he’s going to be there at the end of that run with the biggest damn smile on his face because I accomplished what I set out to do. He would be proud of me, and more importantly, I am proud of myself. It will be the first of many goals and dreams I accomplish. You’d better keep your eye on me. I’m going to do whatever I damn well please, and that includes running this 5k for my dad.
I am officially a runner.