Saturday, May 16, 2015

I Ain't Gonna Lose

Today I ran my 75th 5K. I didn't check to see how many races I've done overall, just 5Ks. I actually did pretty good. I had the best chip time of any 5k since my CHF diagnosis. I'm still really slow in comparison but I'm very happy to be under 40 minutes again. That just puts me closer to the 30 minute mark and my old PR which I honestly hope to reach one day.

This week I did a total of 20 miles and completed my second week of marathon training. I'm very happy with that, but it sure got me to thinking a lot about the journey I've been on. Last year I remember doing this race, the Oklahoma Strong 5K and just not feeling good. I felt like I was very sluggish and it was actually cold last year. This year it was 72 at the beginning of the race - which is really hot for me anymore. Even though I slowed down each mile, I still had all 3 under 13 minute miles. I'll take that for today. I can't get where I want to be without starting where I am. Oh, I would love to be back working on a 10 minutes mile but I can't get there unless I start rebuilding from right here.

All last year I felt horrible, and every race was so difficult. My ankles were swollen, I couldn't breathe, my chest was hurting and I worried myself through all of them and cancelled a lot of my "normal" ones. I didn't do any fall halfs and that's really unusual for me. I know - I should have gone to the doc earlier but I can should on myself all day and not change a thing.

But this week, even though I'm still horribly slow - I am feeling so much better. Every step is truly a victory for me. I feel better, my blood pressure is under control, I rarely have chest pains during a run anymore (usually they start just after though! lol), my ankles are not swollen and I can breathe! Over the last few months I have made lots of changes, many of them uncomfortable like having to take medication and watching my salt intake diligently. But when I cross each finish line I have more assurance that I can do this thing! I will run a marathon (I use the term "run" loosely, lol) with CHF!

This week is the first week in a long time I have made my goals for running and cross training and I am just a little bit excited! Very tired right now - but super excited. One of the songs on my playlist is Queen's We are the Champions. And one phrase that always gets me going is the one that says :

It's been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise,
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
and I ain't gonna lose.....

That's how I feel. There are days I just don't have the energy to do anything much and I am learning to deal with it; not always too gracefully or patiently, but learning to take it for what it is and move ahead. I have to space out my runs and work my cross training in between with caution; but I'm determined to beat this thing and I'm gaining ground one small step at a time.  

Every Step a Victory!

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