......I did my first run. I did 2 miles as part of a military fitness challenge test. It took me a little over 22 minutes and I thought I was going to die. The run was part of an incentive program at the fitness center. I had lost about 50lbs and needed a new challenge so I decided to try the Military Fitness Challenge. 2 minutes of push ups, 2 minutes of sit ups, and a 2 mile run. The run was awful. I hated every minute of it and wanted to stop, but there was a car driving along side me blasting techno music and screaming at me while I ran. In the car were my friends and trainers, Erin and Tim. With a quarter mile to go, Erin hopped out and ran with me. I really felt like I was dying. My lungs hurt and legs didn't want to go any further, but with her by my side I crossed the line where my friend/trainer Jenine was standing holding the stopwatch and I finished the 2 miles.
So hard to believe it all started with a little challenge and since then I've come so far. I've run thousands of miles since then and completed more races than I can count. 7 months after that first run I completed my first half marathon and shortly after that I hit the 100lb. milestone. I never looked back. I said goodbye to the Fatty McFatterson and hello to a new me, a fitter and healthier, happier me. So, happy anniversary to ME and rest in peace Fatty!
This past week was a MAJOR accomplishment and another first for me(I'll get to it, but first let me tell you about the week leading up to the accomplishment). After running 18 miles AND a half marathon I was, for lack of a better word, JUNK last week. I took Monday AND Tuesday as rest days, then did a SLOW 7 miles along the Charles Wednesday. I attempted another 5 on Thursday, but we had a bit of a heat wave in Boston and it was over 80 degrees and my legs were still kind of angry with me from the weekend before. I made it about a mile and a half and stopped to walk. I did the 5 miles, but it took me well over an hour and I walked most of it. It was a nice day for a walk. I might have even got a little bit of a sunburn on my face.
So, Friday I decided to rest and do something I've been thinking about doing for a while. I bought a new road bike. My local bike shop (Foxco on Bridge St. in Dracut) was having a sale and I promised him that when I was in the market for a new bike I would go to him. I knew he didn't or wouldn't have the bike I wanted in stock, but I knew he would help me get the right one ordered and assembled in time for some spring training rides before my first triathlons of the summer. I had a general idea of what I wanted and how much I wanted to spend. He seriously hooked me up with my dream bike and a few add-ons to make it ALL MINE. It's a Specialized Amira Elite Compact carbon frame with Shimano 105 components. I'm in love with it and counting the hours until it's ready to ride.
Saturday morning I went to Ayer to run with Kim. We did a nice easy 8. Legs STILL a little angry and body just not happy. I felt ok during the run, but we averaged about a minute per mile slower than usual and it felt like we were running a minute per mile faster than usual. Everything about it just felt forced and difficult. It was windy and a little hilly. Just not great, but we finished it and that's about all either of us had to say about it. It was done.
Afterwards I went to the running store (Whirlaway on 110 in Methuen) and got some new shoes. I realized I had over 300 miles on my current pair and I bought them in the end of January! DAMN, that's a lot of miles in only about 8 weeks. After the running store I went to REI to get a few trinkets for my new bike. I had my dividends in hand and got a pump, computer, tire levers, small seat bag for spare tires - all for the grand total of 43 cents!
Sunday was the Eastern States 20 miler. It was in the 40s and rainy. So, here it comes....my big accomplishment....a first for me....I BAILED. I've done that race before in cold rain and it sucked! I have 8 weeks to go til my marathon and more than enough time to do one or two 20 milers and I didn't need to do one this early, I just registered for the race because I've run it since 2009. In looking back at my training log, I was a little overdue for a recovery week anyway and after 3 weeks in a row of 40+ miles it felt absolutely amazing to do ONLY 20 miles total for the week. So, I spent the day Sunday in my pajamas doing a whole lotta nothing and it was AWESOME!
Monday after work I did 8.7 along the Charles and it was like a whole new experience. I had new shoes and a well rested body. I felt great. I could have gone further, but I held back and decided there was no need to make up for lost miles, it's a new week and rest is just as important as running. I'm actually learning to listen to my body and not overtrain!
Last night I did a super fast 6 along the Charles and met up with my friend Erin (yes, the same one from 5 years ago that ran the last quarter mile of my first run with me) and we celebrated. I felt amazing. We talked about all the crazy things I've done over the last five years. I never in a million years thought when I finished that run 5 years ago that I would be having dinner with Erin 5 years later discussing training for my 10th marathon. I wonder where I will be and what new crazy things I will have accomplished 5 years from NOW....