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Reflecting on 2007.

December 31, 2007

It’s been a good year. Reflecting back on where I have come from it’s been a very interesting year.

Last year I decided I really wanted to get serious about running. I signed on with a couple friends to join their Reno Tahoe Odyssey (RTO) team “Sisters and Misters with Blisters.” I started kind of sort of training in about March for the run at the end of June. To help “keep me motivated” I agreed to run Pat’s Run with Pokey on Easter weekend. This was supposed to be the launch of my new running identity.

But, old habits are hard to kick, and my training was dismal. And I was fat. But, I flew to Arizona did a quick trip, ran the race and enjoyed myself. It gave the necessary motivation to try to get my butt moving.

Yes, that’s mooo, I mean me and Pokey at the finish of Pat’s run. I’m the fat chick with the long black pants.

pats_run_2007.jpg

So, onward I continued my quest toward fitness. I had been off the Weight Watcher’s bandwagon for some time. I was just trying to get back into running. A few weeks after Pat’s Run, Chet was running the American River 50 miler. I wanted to see if I could find a fun run to do that same weekend and sure enough, I found the Run Rocklin 5k. I signed up and did it.

run_rocklin_2007.jpg

It was the hardest 3 miles I have ever attempted to finish in my entire life. As you can see by my finish photo, it was all that I could do to make it across alive. But, I finished it.

I was further encouraged that I needed to do a LOT of training and get myself back in gear. I also knew I needed continued motivation to train for the RTO. I continued to try to make it out and run when I could (or when I was willing to make the time). I was doing pretty good until a couple weeks later I was over ambitious and I ventured out with G in the baby jogger and Truckee on his leash for a 10 mile run (yes I was VERY over ambitious). About 2 miles from home, poop hit the fan and I ended up tearing the deltoid ligaments in my left ankle. I was out of ANY activity for 2-3 weeks (ended up being about 3) and after that I was out from running for six weeks.

At the beginning of June, I started running again, training for the RTO and I decided to re-join Weight Watchers. I had pretty decent training during the month of June and was surprised when I did okay for my two legs at the RTO (the middle leg this past year was canceled due to the Angora Fire). I was very grateful that I was saved from 3 legs, as the two I did kicked my butt. I would have done it, but certainly not in the style I would have liked.

Immediately after the RTO we took off for a week long vacation and my cousin’s wedding. Even though I had the Big Sur Half Marathon looming ahead of me, I didn’t really do any substantive training. I would get out and run every once in a while, but there was no consistency and no set training. I was however, doing very well on Weight Watchers and loosing substantial weight.

By the time I ran Big Sur with Karen, I had dropped 25 lbs. and was back down to a weight I hadn’t experienced in years. Despite my dismal training for Big Sur, I went down with the right attitude and had a very good time running the race with Karen.

big-sur.jpg

After Big Sur, I realized that I really wanted to get my running game on again. I needed to. I’ve wanted to run Way Too Cool for several years. In fact, I signed up for the race back in 2004, didn’t do any substantive training and got pregnant, which provided me with a great excuse not to run it. *sigh*

So, I decided that I had to make running a priority if I was going to make this happen. One of the easy excuses for me over the years has been the conflict with Chet’s training vs. me making time for my training. I knew that I had to stake my claim and make it happen. Knowing also that Chet’s not a morning runner, I decided that I would have to take that spot. I’ve also come to accept the fact that I will have to make sacrifices to make my training and Chet’s training happen.

After Big Sur, I made the commitment. Reflecting back over the past year and even beyond, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. I am almost 50 lbs. lighter than I was two years ago, and almost 30 lbs lighter than I was at Pat’s Run and the Run Rocklin. I can’t even begin to explain what a HUGE difference that 30 lbs make. The last 30 lbs has made more of a difference in my enjoyment in running than the first 20 lbs. I find it very hard to explain the physical difference.

But, the truly tangible differences I can explain with the weight loss is how much easier it is to run 2-3 miles. Before, it was a struggle, and I *aspired* to be able to run 3 miles continuously. Now, 3 miles seems like a reasonable run. It’s still not “easy” for me, but it’s a reasonable distance and reasonable enough for me to enjoy running 4 miles and even try to do 5 mile runs on a more regular basis.

A year ago, I knew I was capable of running 10 miles, but I was having a hard time putting everything into perspective. My background as a competitive athlete skewed my perception of what my body is capable of TODAY. I kept trying to measure myself to my 17 year old fitness level. I think, somehow, I’ve realized, I’m twice as old and half as fit, and I’m accepting it. I’m no longer trying to hold myself to an unrealistic standard. That my friends, is a HUGE change in the right direction for me.

I now know that I am where I’m at. I’m learning to accept and love the body I’m in. It’s not at taught and toned as I would like. But, it’s a far cry from where I was in April of last year. I’m not feeling like the total “fat girl” anymore. I went shopping this past week because I’m in desperate need of new work clothes with the weight loss. I tried on clothes in a size 10! That’s HUGE for me. A year ago, I was looking at size 16, and praying not to have to buy size 18’s. When was trying on the clothes, I felt good. When I put on the pants I was wearing, I was amazed at how frumpy I looked. I looked and felt so much better in properly fitting clothes.

My body is changing. I’m really making progress. I’m happy with slow progress for once in my life. I realize fitness and weight loss cannot be met with instant gratification. But, perseverance and focus on the right goals has made significant improvements in my body, my fitness and my health. I’m pleased with the progress I’m making. I’m excited at where I’ve come from.

This has been a glorious year. For a decade or more I’ve been trying to find myself. I kept looking for the former athlete, the skinny girl. I was looking in the wrong places. I was looking for the wrong person. That was me, but I’ve grown so much. I’ve matured, changed, and evolved. Somehow, this summer, I stopped looking for that old person. Maybe I just gave up. Maybe I just finally got too tired of looking for her. Instead, I’ve found me – who I am now. I’m starting to like myself again and not resent the fat girl I had become. I’ve still got weight to loose, and I will. But, I’m realizing that is a journey of who I am today. I don’t want to fast forward through it.

It’s a tough road to travel, but my life, my identity has been defined by challenges, difficulties, stereotypes, and those types of things. I don’t know why I though the rest of my life would be any different. I’ve often told people the challenges I faced growing up defined who I am today. I realize that the challenges I face today will define who I am in the future. Life is a journey, I can’t expect it to be easy, and I’m at a place where I’m glad it’s not. Easy street doesn’t give you much to look back on and appreciate.

What a great year. I’m looking forward to 2008!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2007 11:55 PM

    Great post! I’m glad you’ve had such an amazing year; clearly you have even better ones ahead!

  2. January 1, 2008 10:16 AM

    Wow! What a journey! Your perseverance is inspiring!

  3. marieclaude permalink
    January 3, 2008 4:15 AM

    Your post is very inspiring! I came accross your blog via Tag Surfer and I will keep an eye on it. I started running in November, in an attempt to lose weight and get my life in balance again. I hope I can write such an post at the end of 2008 😉

    Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful New Year! -Micheline

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