Making It Happen

Next week I’ll fly to Tampa to run in my last race of the year. The longest and most challenging one yet.

IMG_5897A group of us started training in January and next week we’ll get to experience the joy of accomplishing what we set out to do……..the reward of almost 12 months of dedication and hard work.

Our goal: The Spartan Trifecta – to conquer a Sprint, Super, and Beast in one calendar year.

This race is the final piece of our Trifecta. The culmination of all our training and commitment. It will be grueling, but oh the joy will be sweet.

Because the longer and harder you work…….the more it means.

And this means a lot. Three years ago I couldn’t run a quarter mile without stopping. I’ve come a long way since the Couch to 5K app and running my first 5K in 2015.

I’m not sure what’s next in my journey but whatever it is I plan to work at it with as much courage and dedication and surround myself with those that will cheer me on, push me, and lift me up when needed.

I couldn’t do this alone. These women and my family have been a vital part of my conquering.

So here’s to setting goals and making them happen. Here’s to taking on new challenges and overcoming obstacles. And here’s to doing it with some of the most beautiful and strongest people I know.

No compromising here.

Victory

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”

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How does a photo of a light pink sunrise over a foggy hay field show victory?

About 4 months ago I made a change. I wake up an hour earlier so that I can run in the morning before work.

The victory is that I run. For a long time I believed I couldn’t run. But I did it anyway. Barely, but I did it. As my endurance increased I started to believe I could run. The more I believed the longer I ran. The longer I ran the more I believed.

And now I run. I will run my 2nd official 5K Thanksgiving morning. I ran my first 5K in April. It was a significant event for me that I wrote about in a post called Run.

Victory.

Another victory in this is that I made a new habit. A good habit. That first morning was hard but I did it anyway. Now I wonder what took me so long because the morning run on my country roads is one of my favorite parts of the day.

I experience all sorts of beautiful things on my morning runs. The sound of birds chirping, cows bellowing, the rooster crowing. I see the bright moon and stars in the dark sky just before the sun wakes up, or fog blanketing the fields, or glistening dew, or a light pink sunrise. And occasionally one of my neighbors sitting on his front porch drinking his coffee. We wave at each other as I run by.

Victory.

We’re not locked into what was or what always has been. We can change now and make what will be better than we ever dreamed.

This victory is only the beginning. I’ve decided to move from strength to strength and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Triumph

I Did It

I took Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5k Challenge and completed it this morning. This is a virtual event and can be completed anytime during Monday, October 26th through Sunday, November 1st.

I used the Runkeeper app recommended and liked it a lot. Every five minutes the app told me my distance and pace. image

I ran my first ever 5k in April and I’ve increaed my per mile pace by over a minute. Progress feels good.

Don’t mistake me for a runner. I didn’t start running until a little over a year ago and I liked it. That’s all. I’m just a middle aged wife and mother trying to stay fit and found out this is a pretty good way to do it.

I’m also starting a new Thanksgiving tradition and will run a 5k called the Turkey Trot that morning.

Who knows? A 10k might be in my future.

Run

On April 18th I ran a 5K.

This is amazing because for 30 years I believed I couldn’t run.  I am physically capable but I had a mental block about running.

I started to believe I could run after doing 8 weeks of Seal Fit and eating differently. Each workout of the day consisted of various exercises that included short runs. One part of a workout might be 4 sets of a 200 yard run, 20 squats, 10 mountain climbers, and 15 push ups.  My endurance increased after each workout and I liked the way I felt after running.

I have a friend who trained for and completed her first half-marathon last year. She suffers with asthma but she learned to control her breathing and ran the entire race.  I was inspired by her resolve not to let asthma control her.

Last fall I began using the C25K app on my smart phone with no real intentions of doing a 5K.  I was so excited when I ran for eight straight minutes during the 5th week of training.  Then I ran 10 minutes, then 20.  The next thing I knew I wanted to run a 5K and set a goal to run one in 2015.

When I learned that Hospice of the Valley was hosting a Celebrating Life 5K I knew it was the one. I would be able to run in honor of Mom. We were blessed to have them care for my mother during her last 7 months battling COPD.  They were all very special to Mom and to us.

For two weeks leading up to the race I was a bit nervous.  I didn’t care about my time.  I just wanted to run the entire race.

On April 18th I ran the 3.1 miles placing 81st of 120 runners.

When I thought about quitting I thought of Mom who couldn’t run. I thought about how I would feel when I finished. I thought about my husband and daughter waiting for me at the finish line.

My daughter took this picture right after I crossed the finish line

Needless to say that was a very happy moment for me. It was exhilarating to run that race.  More importantly I was excited about what it meant for me in other areas of my life.

The thing is, I can do a lot more than I think I can. My mind just has to change first.

Any deep change in how we live starts with a deep change in what we believe and how we think. The change can start with trying something new.  Or experiencing a job loss or health crisis. A tragedy can spark the change.  Even watching someone else change can inspire it.

Whatever that thing is you thought you could never do:  try it.

Want to sing?  Paint?  Start a business? Write a book? Lose 50 pounds?  Be a speaker?

Take a class. Get some information. Do something.  Just try it. You might be amazed at what happens.

I plan on participating in the Celebrating Life 5K each year. Not only that, I’m going to run another 5K in the fall.

And I’m going to place better than 81st.