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June 09, 2008

Its My Birthday!

I walk up to the line. 

My memories drift back to just two short years ago.  I know I've written about it before, but it was a major turning point in my life.

I had failed so many times in my previous attempts at weight loss.  But I figured I had one more try left in me.  I was walking quite a bit in the beginning as anything more strenuous would just be too hard on my overloaded joints.

As I was starting my nightly walk, I spied my neighbor taking his dog out for a walk too.  My neighbor is an older gentleman...I figured I would be able to keep up with him without issue.

Big mistake...

After just a couple of blocks, I was huffing and sweating and having trouble keeping my dinner down, let alone keeping up with him.  Meanwhile, he's apologizing to me about having to go so slow.  His dog's arthritis was apparently acting up. 

By the time I got home, I legs were on fire.  Joints crying out in pain as I gingerly went down the stairs.  That old man and his arthritic dog really put me through my paces.  It was a week before my legs stopped aching.

But I made a vow that it would change...that I would change.  That was nearly two years ago.

And now I'm walking up to the line.  No time to think about the past.  I need to be focused....I need to live in the now.

Its my first 5K race...I'm excited....I'm nervous...I really didn't expect this many people.

The race starts...I want to run fast...faster...but I know I need to resist.  I need to keep a slow, even pace or I will burn out before the halfway mark....but it is SO TEMPTING.  I pass just a couple people...then a couple more.  I've passed a dozen people before I realize I'm going too fast. 

Close my eyes....and breathe...slow it down...okay...that's better.  Don't get upset if anyone passes you...you will probably catch them.  Keep an eye on your heart rate...don't let it get to high.

Okay...that's better.  Feeling fine...oh...there's the first mile mark.  That was fast...

Still feeling good...heart is up a bit higher than I like...relax...breath easy....okay...that's better.

Next thing I know, I'm at the half way mark.  This is where I slow it down to a walk...give my heart a chance to slow down some.  Just a minute of walking...that's all I need.

Then back into a good steady run...the people that passed me while I was walking are now behind me.

There's the two mile mark.  Yeah, I can do this.  I'm going to finish this thing.  No pain so far...feeling good...keeping just a bit of energy in reserves...going to need it soon.

Then it happens....I round the last turn...I can see the finish line.  Everything outside the race disappears...I don't see the crowd of people watching us....I only see the finish...  I dig deep and pull out the last of what I have left....and start to sprint.  A full out run...everything I have, and everything I am....all in one last burst of speed. 

I'm half way to the finish line now....I can feel the last of my energy starting to wane.  There is a nagging feeling to stop....stop...catch your breath....you just need a minute to rest.  Just a minute...  My vision widens just a bit...I see my lovely wife cheering me on.

I don't listen to my body...I refuse to stop...or even slow down...the finish is so close...so close....

...and it is behind me.  I DID IT!  But now I can't keep my breath in ...can't catch my breath.  I'm sure I've made a horrible mistake.  I've sprinted before but never this long.

I try to walk it off...slowly my lungs fill up again as my breathing slows.  Okay...I'm going to live.

Later, I get my time... 33minutes and 27seconds.

It took me 2 years, but I'm pretty sure that now I can beat that old man and his arthritic dog.

Progress Report

I ran a 5k.  What more do you want?  Oh...here's a picture of me after the race.... 

 DSCF3898

Yeah...I wore a TFG shirt for the race!

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

5 Comments:

Blogger Erik said...

33:27 - damn! That's over 30 seconds better than you thought... congratulations again!

June 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST 5K!

Dude, that is an awesome achievement, and if you haven't done so already, you need to frame your race bib with a photo from the event.

FWIW, I am really proud to know you. You've made amazing changes and achieved something I've thought of but have yet to realize.

Someday...

--JB

June 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous glow said...

hello! im so very proud of you and the success's your are having! keep it up, oh...and Happy "your a year older than me for a bit" Birthday!!

Glow

June 9, 2008 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Absolutely amazing success!! I am so happy for you!!

June 9, 2008 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Emma said...

The hot sweaty thinner look works for you. I think you are looking thinner. Running, whew, I can't imagine. maybe one day. i used to run everywhere.

Emma

June 9, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

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