Friday, February 09, 2007

I run for life

Today it all clicked. For the first time since I started running again last fall (after about six months of not running more than a mile without walking), I got that runner's high, that feeling that you could run forever and that it would never hurt, that feeling that I am so powerful, that feeling that sends tingles up your spine and makes the hair on your arms stand up. Part of it was that I was well rested and part of it was listening to this song (repeatedly after I got that wonderful feeling the first time). My training called for a three mile run today, but no way was I stopping after only three miles.

Something about hearing Melissa Etheridge's voice blaring: "She'll tell you it makes her complete. I run for hope. I run to feel. I run for the truth, for all that is real. I run for your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife. I run for you and me, my friend. I run for life" reminds me of why I am doing this and how life changing it has been for me. True, I don't run because of cancer, but I run because of something almost as insidious - facing my own prospects of an early death due to obesity. I also do run for all those things. Running has become for me an outward manifestation of all my hopes and dreams, of the impossible I can achieve. I was that girl in your elementary school class who couldn't run the mile for the presidential physical fitness exam. It was annual embarrassment that just made me feel emotionally terrible about myself and physically in an immense amount of pain. Its the only thing I can remember cheating at as an elementary school child - one of my friends once counted me as going an extra lap around the track. She probably saved me from being the last person to finish that day.

I was convinced then that I just couldn't run. I was convinced that my body just wasn't meant to do this, that I never could, that it was impossible for me to run a sub-ten minute mile. And now, now I know its not. For me, training for this half-marathon is my hope for a future that's brighter than I see when I look at my parents. I don't want to have had both of my knees replaced before I am sixty after 10 years of incredible pain. I don't want to be so overweight I'm convinced I can never even be close to a healthy weight. I don't want to be on daily medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Its future I refuse to accept and running, running brings me hope and faith that its a future I don't have to accept.

I am running for more. Today, while I was running I pictured the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure - as of last June it was the largest Race for the Cure in the Country. How powerful is that image:
I'm gonna be a part of it this year (ummm...assuming that our float trip isn't the same day like it was last year...hehe, a girl's gotta have priorities ;-) )

Anyway, today felt great, and I refuse to be upset about my weight gain this week. My skinny clothes fit so really the scale is a bit irrelevant. Yes, I would like to weigh something that would make my bmi be in the "healthy" range, but I'll accept being able to zip my size 6 ann taylor pants (they still don't fit to the point where I would wear them out, but they zip without catching!)

Weight: 158 (home scale)
Miles: 5 (53:31)

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