I Did a Thing

Running has been a hugely important part of my adult life.  I found my way back to God because of running.  I found self-confidence because of running.

I have ran 4 marathons, 4 half-marathons, 1 amazing Army Ten Miler, and a few shorter races.

And during my last marathon, I was about 5 miles in, and my thought at the time was that this was stupid.  I had already proven I could run a marathon, multiple times.  So I no longer had anything to prove.  I made the decision to take some time off of running, and a year later, I had just started running a couple of times, and then broke my ankle in 3 places.

My ankle makes me look like I’m turning into Wolverine.  And I’m kind of ok with that aspect of it.  The pain associated with it, not so much.

But there isn’t much I can do about that.

My knees are another matter entirely.  I have known for many years that we are on the “when not if” timeline of my knees needing to be replaced.

For the past several months, I have been walking.  A lot.  It’s all Cheese’s fault.  And I really thought that I had come to the place where I was ok with not running any more.  Just with walking, my knees ache.  And how much more damage do I really want to put my knees through.

Turns out, I failed at following my own rules.

Buy.  Good.  Shoes.

For my birthday, that hasn’t happened.  Yet.  My mom took me shoe and bra shopping.  The bra shopping is a completely different story that I just can’t get into yet.  But shoe shopping is always an awesome time.  You MUST go to a shoe store where they actually know what they’re talking about.  When you enter the store, and you can physically tell that the people working are also runners, it’s a good start.

I’m not the shoe salesman, so I’m not even going to get into the details of the differences in shoes.  All I’m going to tell you is find the shoes that fit you best.  That are most comfortable for you.  Brooks have always worked well for me.  I have ran all of my marathons, except the first, in Brooks.  I LOVE my Brooks.

My mom, on the other hand, hated her Brooks.  It’s all about what works best for you.

Did I mention I love my Brooks???

Anyway, I got new “walking” shoes for my birthday.  And it’s made a HUGE difference.  Embarrassingly so, my now retired Brooks were many years old.  I ran my last marathon 6 and a half years ago.  I was still walking in the shoes that I ran that marathon in.  Not a good idea.

So no wonder everything hurt.

After I started walking in my new shoes, I had a yearning.  A yearning to run.  Because truth be told, I desperately miss running.  Not really the feeling like I’m going to die while I’m running kind of thing.  I miss what running does for me.

I started by running a quarter of a mile.

And it felt awesome!

The next time, I decided to run the last mile home.  Cheese thought it was the best day ever, and couldn’t understand why I was running so slow.

Tip: If your dog is a sprinter, like Cheese, do NOT run at his or her pace.  Run at the pace YOU NEED TO RUN.

Had I ran at Cheese’s pace, I would have passed out after about 10 feet.

I might not have even made it that far.

But I ran a mile.  And beyond that, I ran a mile at an 11:30 pace!  Which isn’t fast.  But then, I have never been a fast runner.  And when I haven’t ran at all in a couple of years, I’m more than please with an 11:30 pace.

So, then I did another thing.  Last night, I ran almost 2.5 miles.  Not all at once.  I walked, than ran a mile-ish, then walked some more, then ran another mile-ish.  All adding up to almost 2.5 miles.  And I ran them at an average of a 10:30 pace!!  Granted, I felt like I was going to die for a little while.  But I did it!!

But beyond actually just being able to run that far, something else far greater happened.  I, my mind, my body, everything, remembered why I love running.  I had a smile on my face!!!  While I was running!!  That hasn’t happened in FAR TOO LONG!!!

I know that should I continue to do this, I need to do some serious strength training.

But I kind of already started looking at the calendar for how far away this one 1/2 marathon is next Spring.  And to just see if it might be a viable option.  Maybe.  Just, maybe.

But for now, this pretty much sums up where I am in life…


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