As most of you already know I LOVE TO RUN! Let me rephrase that, I love the feeling after I finish a run. The feeling of great accomplishment after running a pace or a distance that I once thought was unattainable. That feeling of Success, that feeling of Shoving my run in cancers face! Yep, it feels pretty darn good and keeps me coming back for more.
Some may see me post about my running and think I've ran all my life and running must come easy for me but that's far from the truth. You see, when I was in high school I ran track but my distance didn't go further than the 800 meter dash or the 1 mile. I was actually a cheerleader and more interested in my gymnastics skills more than anything.
Fast forward to my college years and I mainly did gymnastics and weights for exercise with the occasional one mile jog. I was never interested in running more than a mile and certainly wasn't interested in running a 5K. In fact the first time I ever ran more than 1-2 miles was just last summer when some friends from church had this crazy ideal to train for Tough Mudder KY.
I was just recovering from one of my multiple Melanoma type surgeries on my bum in May 2012. Four weeks later I started training with my team and I thought I was going to die. I could barely run a full mile without feeling this burning in my chest and I couldn't breath. It didn't help that it was 90 something degrees outside. After training for four weeks with my team I signed up for my first ever 5K. I didn't finish in some amazing record time but I did my best with a 30 minute 5K.
After four months of training it was finally time to face Tough Mudder Ky. It wasn't as tough as chemo for a year but it was definitely tough. 12 miles in the cold mud all while getting electrically shocked, inhaling smoke, jumping over fire into muddy ice cold water, the dreaded arctic enema, the berlin walls, and many other of the 21 military style obstacles. Needless to say it was an amazing thing to finish with my team. Tough mudder is a different beast than running. It was more mental grit, strength, and stamina than cardiovascular strength. It was cold unlike anything I've endured--we all had hypothermia from being wet the entire time. I don't mind running in the cold because I eventually warm up, but with tough mudder we were cold the entire time because we were constantly in and out of water with ice cubes.
Anyways, my point is we each have something we battle each day to get up and get our run on. As a cancer patient, who thankfully has no active disease, I still battle with the lingering effects from the surgery to remove the invasive melanoma. I had a lot of muscle and nerves excised from my left hip and lymphedema in my pelvis from the lymph node removals. Thankfully these mild annoyances motivate me to run harder and farther. Some of us are mother runners and that is a battle in itself. Others may battle a physical ailment that makes it difficult for them to run. For others, it may be a battle mentally such as feeling you just cant possibly run. But please don't look at someone else's success and think it came easy. It came with a lot of hard work and it was earned. Those who run Marathons and half marathons are no different than you and I. You and I can be marathoners too, we just have to want it bad enough.
I actually started back running just 2 weeks ago (after recovering from yet another surgery, thankfully not melanoma related) for my first ever half marathon coming up April 27. I feel better than ever! Running gives me the mental clarity I need to be the best wife, mom, friend and sonographer I can be. I usually run at 5 am while everyone in my house is still asleep. I only run 3 days per week-- 2 short distance runs and one long distance run on friday or saturday. I'm not sure running a marathon is in my future because I don't have the desire to run that far at this time but I sure do admire the hard work and determination it takes to run that kind of race. In fact I am inspired by all runners, even if you can only run for 3 minutes without stopping because you are simply an overcomer! Your obstacle may not be cancer or the lingering effects of surgery but what ever it is, let it motivate you to move forward to a better healthier you. Please remember to love the skin you're in! Share the love and spread the lotion especially if you will be running outdoors. Blessings to each of you as you set your goals and achieve them!