January 22, 2017

Nothing Runs Like A Deere, But I Try!

I watched the posts rolling in the day of the Outer Banks Marathon. I was particularly excited to see one special runner cross the finish line and post a photo with her mama. She ran for her daddy, who she lost the year before to cancer.

A few days later, I sent her a message...

I'm so proud of you! You inspired me...maybe next year I will run with you!

She replied, "Yes!! FYI there is a half in April!"

I looked up the Flying Pirate online immediately. Although I've started 'couch to 5k' about 10 times and quit when it got tough, something in me was really excited about trying again...and you know, trying for 13.1 miles and not just a little over 3.

April 23...I read it and started to cry. I started typing my reply...

I just googled it...it's the first anniversary of Daddy's diagnosis. It's meant to be!

She replied, "Perfect! We will run in your daddy's honor!"

I knew I would have to start training soon- otherwise, I would never make it. The next weekend I broke out my running shoes and hit the pavement. I ran to the end of my road and back- running one minute, walking the next and so on...it was a little less than 2 miles and I cussed, when I wasn't gasping for air, the entire 30 minutes. My lungs hurt. I felt like I was going to cough up a blood clot and possibly die. At one point I looked at the sky, in true Fred Sanford form and whispered, "I might see ya soon, Daddy!" 

When I made it home, I collapsed on the couch and didn't move for the rest of the day. As the shock wore off, so did the pain that I thought I was in. My muscles forgave me and I realized something...I did it. I took the first step and nothing bad happened. 

The next morning I got up and did it again. This time, trying some of the breathing tips I read about during my post-run couch-coma, I didn't think I was going to die...not one single time.

That was in November and I'm still going strong. I alternate using the Couch to 5k app with other apps for running. (Couch to 5k builds you up from walk/run to running. Each day you run a little more, walk a little less.) When one run seems rough, I do that same run again the next day. I started not only tolerating my runs, but enjoying them...even looking forward and depending on them!

I never thought I would be a 'runner' (granted I run slower than a turtle in peanut butter) but I think I am. It resets my mind and gives me peace. I have found that I need my runs more than I need coffee in the morning. (And that is saying something.) I don't stick with just mornings or just evenings- I switch back and forth. Sometimes, if I have a really stressful day, I do both...not for my body or for training, necessarily, but for my sanity and the safety of others. 

Knowing that I'm running for my daddy gave me the drive to try it, again- and stick with it this time. In the still of my early morning and late evening meetings with the asphalt, I feel his spirit with me. I hear him telling me to take it easy, bud...but don't give up. 

So Don Deere...on April 23 I'm going to do my best to run like a deere. ;-)

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