Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this dashboard.
I miss it.
While I’ve needed the break from blogging, I feel as though it’s about time to bring it back. I’ve been focusing on photography and on finishing my first quarter at Northeastern. It’s been a whirlwind fall season.
What hasn’t been a whirlwind, though, is everything regarding fitness.
By now, most of you know what happened over the summer, but what many of you don’t know is that I took it out on myself. I blamed running. I blamed lack of running. I blamed myself for all of it. 99% of the time I blamed myself, I was quiet about it. An internal battle that has raged on for the last few months. It seems like everything happened so long ago, but the end of July was only 4 months ago.
So what did I do?
I quit running. I quit doing anything, really. All I’ve done for the last 4 months is throw myself into studying, caring for my family, and photography.
And it’s shown.
Confession: I’ve gained weight. I’ve been terribly down on myself – and I believe my husband is ready to strangle me. I’ve been beating myself up over every little thing, and about two weeks ago, I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to do something to change things. What did I do?
What I did 4 years ago.
I signed up for a race.
What I didn’t do, though, is set the date for months ahead of time like I did that first time. I set it for two weeks away. I know that some of you will probably give me the “you didn’t train!? you could have injured yourself!” bit. Go ahead, say it, but I promise you, I already know that. But, hey, luckily, that didn’t happen, right? I wanted the chance to recommit to running. I needed something to revive me…to boost my motivation…
and this did it…
Race day didn’t go how I planned, though. I had signed up for a 10K here where I live thinking that for the next two weeks I’d train my butt off and at least feel okay getting through it. I didn’t go into this thinking that I’d be running nonstop, grasping a new PR, and losing the weight I’d gained over the last few months. (Because, let’s face it, I quit running, spent hours upon hours editing photos and studying (sitting), and ate like I did before…believe me, I know where the weight has come from.)
I don’t know why, but I only got three runs in before the race. Over two weeks. I think it was a mix of being so incredibly busy with all the sessions I’d had on top of papers and finals for the quarter. I also think it was that lingering lack of motivation.
So when race day popped up, I woke up, scared to death, but remembering what a good friend told me…”your body knows what to do”. I wasn’t ready for this, but I had to do it for me. Just for me. Not for anyone else. I didn’t care about the time or my pace or anything else. I just wanted this for me. Before the first mile was complete, we ran past the parking lot where we’d parked. As I approached it, I could feel that familiar tightness I’d get warming up, and instead of remembering I was just warming up…I took it as weakness and began running to the parking lot. I got a few steps into my almost-DNF, and I turned back. I got back in with the crowd and I kept going. I didn’t want to give up on myself. I didn’t want to disappoint my husband and children. I wanted to finish this…reminding myself that this was my recommitment.
The biggest hills were in the first mile and the last mile. A rolling hills course, which was actually quite refreshing. I cried coming over the first hill (right after the parking lot), thinking about everything that went down in July. Reminding myself that it wasn’t my fault. The rest of the race is kind of a blur…I remember being surprised at how quickly the mile markers came and went. I remember reminding myself that it was okay to walk when I needed to…that I didn’t really prepare myself for this.
And when I got to the finish line, I heard the words come out of my mouth.
I just PRed.
I just PRed.
I just PRed?!?! I beat my 10K checkpoint time (the only 10K time I have to really compare this to) from Chicago!?!
I PRed in that race. I still can’t believe that happened, but it did. I ran the fastest 6.2 miles I’ve ever run before. I’m not sure how that happened, but I can tell you this…I worked for it. I pushed hard in that race. It hurt. It sucked. But I did it. And I even walked a little….and I can’t believe that despite some walking, I PRed. I can’t believe that if I’d continued to run like that for the full half, I would have beat my half time by 24 minutes.
I just got myself a 10-minute 10K PR.
The lesson I learned on Saturday?
I have no excuses. I cannot seek out any more excuses regarding how fast I can or cannot run. I cannot seek out any more excuses as to why I couldn’t possibly be a runner.
I’m evolving…and I just need to remember to push.
(Pardon the selfie. I am SO not good at them.)
With that, I am thankful for everything that I endure that breaks me down and for my inner strength that builds me up. I’m thankful for my husband, who always always stands by me and pushes me to succeed. He is truly a blessing. I’m thankful for my family and friends who know just how to lift me up when I need them.
And I’m thankful for this life. It’s beautiful. It’s challenging. It’s perfect.
A couple of things before I end this. I know I probably won’t blog before Thanksgiving, but I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you!
They’re awesome. I admit it. Totally two of my best Thanksgiving recipes yet. Hehe.
So watch for me…I’ll be making a blogging comeback. Lots of new stuff. Lots of recommitment. Lots of good.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.