Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cancer Sucks - or - Does This Mean I'm a Runner Now?

Experts say that when you are trying to loose weight or become physically fit it is good to train for something so you feel like your exercise time has some meaning.  A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to walk in a Susan G Komen 3-day Breast Cancer event.  They have them in cities all over the country.  I thought it would be a great adventure and I would get in some good walking.  I have known a couple of people that have been touched by breast cancer and several that have been touched by other forms of cancer.  And, I guess because I am a woman, I chose to embrace the cause of breast cancer.  I figure if they know how to get rid of breast cancer it will be a step in the right direction toward getting rid of all cancers.  Unfortunately I was short on my fundraising goal and could not participate that time.  I still would like to one day but because of life circumstances it will have to wait a while.  Until then, I can help to raise money and awareness by participating in local events.

I got it in my head that I wanted to bump up the walking to running (thanks, Biggest Loser!) so I decided to run in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure here in SLC.  That was about a month ago.  Before that, I would go walking (almost) every day.  I have a membership at our local community center.  It has an indoor track.  So at 8:00 I drop the kids off at school and head over to walk in circles with all the "blue hairs" of Syracuse.  I would have occasional bursts of running to keep my heartbeat up but for the most part I walk as fast as I can.  Once I decided to run this 5K I started running more.  Last week I ran half way without stopping to walk.  That was a great day for me.  This week is race week so I planned out a little schedule:
  • Monday - Brisk walking and then Yoga
  • Tuesday - Run/walk the whole 5K
  • Wednesday - Brisk walk then Yoga
  • Thursday - Run the whole 5K
  • Friday - Easy walk
  • Saturday - Race Day!
Yesterday, Tuesday, I went the whole 5K only walking about a half mile in strategic places where I needed water or just to catch my breath.  I was so proud of myself!  Today, the weather is so beautiful, I wanted to exercise outside.  I walked to the end of the block and stretched.  I started to walk but I didn't feel like it was enough.  I had to start running.  I ran 1.5 miles before I decided I should walk.  I walked about a mile then had to run again.

Does this mean I am a runner now?  I used to think I hated running.  I used to think I could never run more than the length of a soccer field.  I would see runners going up canyons and think, "that person is CRAZY!".  Don't get me wrong, I am not sure I ever want to run a marathon and canyon running just doesn't sound fun.  I don't think my knees could take either.  But there is something about how I feel after running for a half hour, 45 minutes or an hour.  I feel better than not exercising and even better than just walking for an hour.

I think the whole cancer thing is a very motivating factor.  I also want my husband to be proud of me.  I want my children see me set goals and reach them.  But I also think I will continue to run after this race.  There are probably more races in my future.  Running makes me feel good.  And it will be a bonus if I loose some inches around my waist.  But maybe the bigger bonus would be for people in this world not having to worry about something like cancer taking their mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and friends.  I think that would make me feel better than the endorphin high I feel after running.

Wish me luck!  If you would like to donate, click here.


Tristi Pinkston said...

Wow - this is awesome.

Kelly said...

I can so relate to everything you said here. I walked most of the final leg of my triathlon as I hadn't done any training prior for the run. After finishing it on Saturday, I'm very motivated to start running, and feel exactly as you've described here. Thanks for the inspiration, Aimee!