Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm A Runner!

I had many dreams growing up - I wanted to be a SCUBA Diver (professionally), be a veterinarian, a ballerina, earn a PhD, have a family.  I NEVER once dreamed I would want to be a runner.  My folks ran when I was younger, my Mom still runs every day.  I never really liked it.

But lately there is a change in the winds.  I started this year out with some cockamamie idea to finish a half marathon this year.  I began to enter 5Ks, run on treadmills, just putz around and run here and there.  But then I signed up for the USA Fit training on the island and things began to change.

I have gotten stronger, I smile now when I run.  I look forward to my runs, especially my long runs on the weekend - it's insane.  Today was one of those days for me.

My ankle has been irking me all week.  It has been tender, swollen, and crackling more than it usually does.  I was kinda worried about the interval training today - but no way was I gonna back out.  There are only a few weeks left in the program.  So I went.

We started out with a warm-up run of 0.94 miles - which I did in 11:27 minutes giving me a pace of 12:11/mile.  Are you kidding me?! On a bum ankle, hobbling here and there, I kept a decent pace.  I was blown away.  When I started this journey I was running 15:30/miles!

Then we did a few dynamic warm ups and prepped for sprints.  I started out in the back ready to take my honored position.  And the whistle went off, followed by us.  We had to run 45 seconds as hard as we could and then were granted a full minute recovery.  Ten times.  

I'd be lying if I didn't say I hurt.  My ankle was screaming.  But I just kept moving as hard as I could.  Even in the cloudiness and lower temperatures (it was only 88 degrees) I was dripping sweat.  I made it through the first 3 or 4 rounds without dying.  

And then I rounded the back of the track where Leno was standing.  He told me I had to dig deep and find another gear, really push it.  Holy hell - you gotta be kidding me!  But I tried.  He whistled, and off we went again on another 45 second sprint.  I went as deep as I could.  

Who knows what people around me must have thought as I grunted, panted, and pushed myself harder.  Then the 45 seconds were over, I stumbled heavily on my right leg and limped along until it was time to push myself again.

The next time I passed Leno - I swear I heard him say - "Starting to look like a runner."  I was absolutely flabbergasted, and I gotta say - a little proud.  

Of course I am pretty sure a runner should look like this:
 
All fit and fantastic.

I on the other hand think I look more like this when I run:


 
But hey - maybe someday I can be the other type of runner!

Anyway you slice it - today was a success.  I didn't rebreak my ankle, I didn't fall, I wasn't mentally pants'd, I felt great, I even ended the session smiling and happy.  

Hey - I'm a runner!

And just FYI - I did get a PhD and I get to SCUBA dive for my job - so dreams can come true.  That whole ballet thing was never gonna happen - I tend to be a lil clutzy!



And Saturday - is not only my BIRTHDAY, but I plan on running 6 miles (that way I can drink endless calories)!  Go team go - rah!!!!!!!

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