I was going to blog about my 5k experience, and maybe I still will. But to me, this is more important. The 5k will be but a distant memory after I've run my 2nd, and 3rd, and 10th, but this moment RIGHT NOW is one I want to memorialize in a blog post. Because it's not about how I felt when I raced, it's about how the race made me feel about myself. Training for it, participating in it, and running even after I don't feel like I need to train for something specific, just because I CAN.
So here is the blog post I want to share with y'all - I hope you like it.
I can find beauty in so many things, so why was it so hard to find beauty in myself? I'm smart, I'm talented, I love fiercely. But it took my 5k experience to feel beautiful.
I had photos taken by the lovely and talented Joy Robertson for my author page, website, books, etc. Some I thought looked pretty good, while others had me questioning everything. Why was this one included? I look fat. Why did I wear that shirt? It doesn't hide anything like I thought it would! Why did she see the beauty in these shots, when I don't?
But once I got over the fact that I'm gonna look how I look in pictures, I decided to DO something to make me WANT my picture taken! You'd be amazed at how beautiful that moment can feel, when you've just lost 10, 15, 20, or in my case, 27 pounds!
Am I perfectly thin? No. Am I perfect at all? No. But when I stepped on the scale and saw THOSE numbers, I felt beautiful!
When I looked at my photos from the Color Run, and saw I still had some of my old arch enemies sticking around (tummy, chin, etc.) that I've yet to run off), I still felt beautiful! Because I just ran a 5k and I was covered in color and I was sweaty and dirty and probably smelled a little - but I did it! THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!
Training for my first 5k is...well, harder and easier than I thought it would be. Harder in the sense that I'm pushing my body harder than I have in nearly twenty years. Easier in the sense that I'm actually able to do this.
When I first started out, I had no idea if I could walk half a mile, let alone run one. Sure, the elliptical is MUCH easier than running on a track (been there, survived that), but being able to sprint a half mile without needing my inhaler is a victory nonetheless.
The farthest I've gone in one shot is two miles, walking most of it, but running some. The 3.16 mile course for the Color Run is daunting, to say the least. I have just over one week to build up to that, which probably makes me pretty dumb for signing up for a run when I haven't run since high school.
The best thing that helps me, whether it's in my running or eating the healthier food that allows me to run without feeling sluggish, is my faith in God. I pray that He will allow me to enjoy the things that are making me healthier. I pray for that second wind, the burst of adrenaline, the ability to go just a bit more after I feel like I'm done. He answers my prayers, daily, by giving me everything I need to run harder, faster, further.
I've not only felt better, done better, been better - I've lost 19 pounds in the week and a half that I've been at this, and used my inhaler less than I would have without the added physical activity.
That, if nothing else, is my victory.
Some of you may know that I was hospitalized with severe asthma about seven years ago. I was driving to work and, having had severe symptoms for weeks, began to have black spots in my vision. I pulled over and used my phone to start calling for help. I even managed to call my boss and said I would be in later, probably just needed a steroid shot. Three days later, I was discharged from the hospital. I've been on a preventative medication ever since, and that day I started to black out remains the scariest day of my life.
So for all the times I've said I couldn't do something like this - and don't tell my husband I've said this - I was wrong.