Monday, July 25, 2016

A True Love Affair

I found this picture on my memories on Facebook this morning. It's my second race ever. My nephew, Jakob, came down to Louisiana from Oklahoma to run it with me. He had been at my first race the month before and figured he could do that too. So he did!

When this picture came up this morning 7 years of memories flooded my mind! I had no idea at the time that I would still be running today. The future was actually very fuzzy at that time and I was barely making it day-by-day. My son and I were staying in a nursing home in a small town nearby and I honestly had no idea what to expect. I had just found running and had fallen in love with it. I'm happy to say that we are still involved in quite the love affair. lol

I didn't know I'd reestablish myself and build a home back in Oklahoma and become a full-time caregiver for my son. I didn't know I'd face my own health issues in the coming years. I didn't know I'd run 20 half marathons. I never dreamed I'd finish a full marathon either.

I remember seeing a guy running around a lot before this race, and thinking to myself if I run to warm up - I won't have anything left for the race. That's so funny to me now and I think of it often. Now I know he might have needed 5, 10 or even 20 miles to meet his training plan for the day. I've done the same thing too - just a couple weeks ago I did 2 miles before a 5K because I needed 5 miles to make my planned miles for the week. My how things can change.

Even though I can't run as hard or as fast as I did back then (I'm a little chunkier now) - and even though I have to use much more caution in my training - I'm still running. I'm still moving. And I have no intentions of stopping now.

As one would expect, I've faced injuries (including a chipped knee cap from a fall). I put 10 miles on that "broken knee" before I got an x-ray! I've pushed way too hard after learning of heart issues. I've had to take time off to heal, to let my body rest or to regain my focus. But I'm still moving.

This picture is my motivation for today. Not only to get out there and get some steps in - but to do it smartly. It's a good reminder to NOT overdo so I can keep doing what I enjoy. I also like this picture and I'm glad it came up on my timeline because this year I purposed to do more running with others instead of just for myself.

My daughter and I have done two 5Ks together this year. We did the Cowtown 5K together and then I did the half the next day.

In this one, we pushed Chris, my son for whom I'm a caregiver, in a racing chair.

And I did the OKC half marathon beside a young woman who is a friend and fellow martial artist.

And I have to say - it's been super rewarding! I've enjoyed running and walking along side others. It gives a race more significance in many ways to spend that time with someone else rather than just running for myself. While running is its own reward - there are many, many other benefits.

I have no idea how many miles I've run over the last 7 years. I may be slower now - fatter now - but I'm more persistent and dedicated now too! I've run races in 6 states so far and hope to cover a few more soon. Yes, I do have plans! I may not be as fast or as strong as I was back then - but I'm still stepping. And every step is still a victory!

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