The Future is Looking Better! For Running Anyway…

4 Nov

Yes, I realize this is a VERY old photo; but it reminds me of just how far I’ve come. And today it was very inspiring for me to see it again. I’d actually forgotten about it, and stumbled upon it today. I vividly remember this picture being taken on a “Mai Tai” Sunset Cruise off of Waikiki. I must have tossed back 10 Mai Tai’s that afternoon.

The next day I noticed my feet and ankles incredibly swollen. “Edema”, I thought. “Crap.” The “cankles” slowly diminished and I carried on with my life. That same year we went to Las Vegas for my birthday/New Year’s Eve, (my birthday is Jan. 1) I noticed on that trip that my ankles swelled and I was quite short of breath on occasion. I secretly got VERY scared!

When we got home I decided my life needed to do a one-eighty. FAST! But what to do?  I was listening to a “self-help” cd of Dr. Phil. I’m not a fan anymore either! BUT, the one thing that hit home was this haunting question he asked “If it ain’t workin’, WHY ARE YOU STILL DOIN’ IT?!”  The “IT” for me was dieting. I had tried every diet out there. It didn’t take much thought to realize I had to either take in fewer calories, or use more calories. Well, since the first idea didn’t work, I decided to try the second one.

I needed a goal. The inaugural P.F. Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon was hitting Phoenix in January. They had an optional half marathon. I signed up. I found a coaching group, (RACELAB) and they were VERY kind! I remember Gus saying “Okay, run the straight part of the track and walk the curves.” “Easy Peasey” I thought. After the first lap around the track I seriously thought I was going to die! After the first session, kindly, Gus’s wife Bettina said “Gus says you have REALLY good form.” Always a positive attitude and comment from either of them. ALWAYS. I made it to the start line, which all runners know is a major hurdle! I swore I would NEVER do another race! Then I crossed the finish line. I swore I would do as many races as I could and run farther.  I stayed with Racelab until I outgrew them, or them me. They are still a wonderful group to train with and always positive when I see them out on a race course. Even though I don’t train with them anymore, they always cheer for me! Thanks!

Then came triathlon. Just a sprint at first. Kind of like “Just a little skin prick”, and then the drug starts seeping into your brain, then every atom of your being, and BAM! you’re hooked like a junkie after that first hit of heroin. You struggle, you say to yourself “Just one more race, just a short one. Okay, I won’t race, I’ll just go watch, I’ll volunteer for an Ironman. Volunteering doesn’t mean I’ll sign up for next years race. I can do this. I can be close to it and not feel any twinge to race again. It’s JUST TRIATHLON, pffft, it’s easy to walk away.” Until you hear the cannon fire and 2000 swimmers take off. Or worst of all, you hear Mike Reilly  on the speaker ” Joannie Smith, YOU are an IRONMAN!” (just made up the name). And that feeling, that wanting,  craving, the gnawing wells up in your gut, in your brain. A thousand emotions, including the one I felt that very first Ironman and the one I felt the last Ironman, they begin to fester, they begin to seep into every nucleus of my being. And I KNOW down deep in my soul, I will  I MUST compete in another. Like an addict, I need that rush again.

The beginning of my first Ironman Finish.

So today was a HUGE step

Running the final loop to my last Ironman Finish. 3 guesses who was there to take the picture! I love you Larry!

closer to getting my drug. It sounds like a small step, I know, but after having been told that I would probably never run again, I ran a total of 5 miles today. I ran 3, then walked/ran another 3. My knee feels “normal”, so again I say. I AM ONE LUCKIE GIRL!

5k race next week-end. I am optimistic that a 10k IS possible!

Stay Healthy!

D

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