Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Holidays

And welcome to Run. Stretch. Fly.

I'm actually struggling with the holidays this year.  I'm feeling bummed and disconnected and more like Scrooge and the Grinch than Cindy-Lou Who.  My husband decided last night that one of the reasons for that was putting the tree up in mid-November. He's probably right.

But I might also argue that it's because I've done no Christmas baking this year.  Not a single cookie.  Not a single batch of fudge.  Not even a cupcake.

This is a change for me.  I love baking (and eating the results).  But that's part of how I've become who I am - an obese woman struggling to do the things she loves while wishing she could hide from the world.

And so, I made a decision to not bake.  And then I decided I would bake.  And then I came to my senses before I bought the ingredients and I returned to my decision not to bake.  Because I know that when I get home for Christmas, Mom will have made every cookie, square and candy that could be considered festive.

Thankfully I've developed a nut allergy and she struggles to make anything without throwing in a handful of nuts.  My niece and I can sit safely away from all the goodies.


And the reality is that I'm working very hard toward some pretty big goals in 2014.  I just have to keep that in mind.

I'm a runner.

I'm an obese runner.

Think about that for a moment.

And understand that it isn't as unusual as it might sound.  We're out there, even if it is hard to find technical gear that fits.  Even if we feel like everyone is staring at us while we run - on treadmills, tracks, trails and streets.

And as a runner, I know that every extra pound I carry makes me slower. lose makes me faster.  And every cookie I eat makes me slower.  Which is undesirable.

I ran a half marathon 2 years ago.  Ok, I ran/walked.  At a walking pace.  But I finished.  And then I spent a lot time recovering from injuries caused by my stubbornness.

I have another half marathon next fall.  My goal for this is simple again - finish. Wait, no.  Finish healthy. 

To finish, I'll have to also be faster.  My original race time, while good enough for the RnR half in Vegas, is not good enough for my planned race.  I have to bring my time in under the 15 minute mile for the entire race.  And I'm close to that number for a 5K right now - which is quite exciting after so many injuries and setbacks over the last two years.

It probably also means that many people stopped reading there.

Why would reading the blog of someone so slow be valuable to someone faster?

Maybe it won't be.  But at the end of the day, we're all trying to be faster.  We're all disappointed by our times.  And often when I see the times and paces that people are disappointed with, I get discouraged since that isn't even in my sights.  Yet.  A 12 min/mile pace for a 5k?  Or a half?  Maybe.  Someday.

But getting faster is going to take the same hard work for me at 16 min/mile that it will take for someone trying to break 10 min/mile.

And, you know what?  There are other people like me, trying to move from their first successful 5Ks where they just focused on finishing to setting and meeting time goals and achieving personal bests.  And who doesn't want to give advice to the struggling newbie?

I'm a success story that's just begun.

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