This is my first blog. I won’t dwell so much on who I am or what I do. I’ll save that for another blog.
Today marks a special anniversary for me. Six years ago today I completed a half marathon. Six years ago today I crossed something off my bucket list. I knew before I turned 40, I wanted to run a half marathon.
I trained for 12 weeks, had a special calendar printed, and used a color coding system to mark my efforts. I surpassed my goal of finishing in two hours. My actual chip time was 1:58:27. I was truly astounded by my finish. I felt good through the entire race, even to the point, I thought after I could have been faster.
I had a somewhat epiphany today as this memory was brought to my attention. There have been many variables since the day I crossed that finish line: two surgeries to remove two different organs, multiple ankle injuries (never occurring while running), and I am now a motherless daughter. In between each setback was a weight gain/weight loss/weight gain again. I kept pushing myself to get back in the game. However, becoming a motherless daughter pushed me over an edge of no return, or so I feel about every other day.
I titled this blog ‘My Constant’. I use the word constant as a noun, and not as an adjective. My true constant has been my hunka hunka through it all. Many who know me, know I refer to my husband as my hunka hunka. Have you seen him? Hello…no need to explain that name for him. At the end of every finish line, every post op recovery, every sprained ankle, but especially when I lost my mom, I opened my eyes to find my constant always there. Even moments when I felt I just needed alone time, he was always there sitting across from me on the couch never saying a word. I just knew he was there.
He was the one today to point out about my half marathon anniversary. He was the one there for me through all the half marathon training of literally blood, sweat, and tears. There was a particular Friday when I had to run 9 miles in excruciating Indiana humidity. I had to stop and walk many times during the run. I even cut the run to only 7 miles. When I got home, I said I was done. I hated the demanding schedule of training. That pulled from my love of running when it all became a chore. My hunka hunka just listened to me. The next morning we talked about how I was feeling. Did I change my mind or was I still quitting? Within a few hours I looked at my calendar to see what my next training was going to be.
Today he asked if I was ever going to run again. Run? Me? No way. The day I ran that half marathon was 50+ pounds ago. No way can I do that again on my joints. I hadn’t truly run in nearly 4 years.
On the inside, it sparked a bit of a desire. I pulled up my old running pictures. I ran for over 20 years in all weather. Nothing ever stopped me from running. It was as if when I took that first step out the door, the worries in my world disappeared. I solved all mine and the world’s problems with each step. I dropped all the weight I was carrying on my shoulders and left them on the pavement. The more I let go of my worries, the lighter my steps became. Soon I felt I was running on clouds by the time it was over. There is such a thing as a runner’s high. I had it every time I ran. I have had every emotion of running from crying to laughing. My hunka hunka always called me a lone wolf. I have nothing against running groups, but they are just not for me. I’m not into the social scene. I just want to do my own thing. I had a former running partner to whom we shared many great times together. I have my brb (best running buddy) to whom I shared many races, even this very half marathon. However, through it all I liked my alone time to focus on me. As I put my thoughts onto this screen, I can only ask myself why I wouldn’t run again.
Nothing ever stopped me from running before. I have run in subzero temps, as well as greater than 100 degree heat index. I have been run off the road, followed, stuff thrown at me, but it never deterred me from pushing forward. After my first surgery, I took time to rest, but kept going forward. My second surgery was tough. I just did not feel the same. That’s when I started to decline in the thought of never running again. After that surgery, I seemed to be on track with spraining my ankle about every six months. Life seemed to just be caught in a crazy hamster wheel. Work was busy, family was busy, and life was busy. And then I lost my mom. The further away from running I was, the less of a desire I had to do it.
Thanks to Facebook memories, my half marathon popped up today. From the moment my hunka hunka showed me the memory, I could not turn off the thought of running again. Do I miss it? Can I do it? I reviewed memories of the half, as well as feelings of other races.
I changed clothes and jumped out the door. I didn’t know what I was doing or how far I was going. I just told my hunka hunka that if I wasn’t back in 45 minutes, he should call or come look for me. I may have passed out, or even died.
I tried to wog at first. Wog is faster than a walk, but slower than jog. I felt like a hippo moving in slow motion. I think I made it about a half mile before I knew I would have to walk the rest of the way. I wogged/walked naked (no watch and no music). I could focus on my thoughts and all the sounds around me. I thought about how much I really missed running. I remember always talking to my mom about running before that damn dementia took her from me. She would say, “I don’t understand why you like to just run, but I’m proud of you anyway.” I also thought about how my hunka hunka was right. That one kills me to admit, but he is. I don’t know when I’ll get back on the road again, but for the 25 minutes today, I was free.
When I walked in the door, my constant was there waiting to ask me how it went. We should all have a constant in our life.
I crossed that half marathon finish line six years ago today. I left that girl at that finish line. I’m working on a new me. A new me that will never be the old me. I can look back and think of all the ways I used to be: faster, skinnier, younger, but it will never be the person I am today. I cannot compete with that other girl because she is no longer here. The girl today is who I am. I can only be a better me. I know I would not be the person I am today without having my constant there along the way.
Peace out, trout!