Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Triumphant Return

So many of you might have noticed that I haven't blogged in several years. There were two factors that kept me from returning here, mostly the fact that Google kept telling me something was malicious with my page.

I migrated all my content over to Word Press, and then I didn't know how to work Word Press, until I started having to teach my students how to use Word Press for our online news site, and then I read over my previous entries, and thought to myself, "I'm not half-bad as a writer; why did I stop blogging?" And thus, I decided to make 2012 the year I start back on my blog.

I'm starting my first and kind of my last (because I intend on making some more blog posts before the 31st) entry about my reentry into the running world.  I promise you I'll try to update here more often and give everyone a chance to reflect on his or her own personal motivation and inspiration.

Some of you know that diabetes really kicked my overly developed luscious booty the past several years, including giving me the gift of diabetic neuropathy, which disabled feeling in my feet the past three years. That's when I decided to get off that so-called booty (which I truly am thinking about getting in shape with some sort of Brazilian Butt Lift program, an informercial for which I watched continuously one night that I couldn't sleep), get back into running, and lose some weight.

I successfully lost around 70 lbs with the HCG diet in two rounds (and believe me, I couldn't do another single round) and started back running. I gained 20 lbs back over the summer, with traveling and eating processed foods, but quickly just lost all that since October 30 with Medi-fast and a dietician. I'm 15 lbs over my lowest weight, my goal, of 150. And I'm trying to make it there again by April, when I run my SECOND (yes, you heard me) half-marathon at the Christie Clinic University of Illinois Marathon the last weekend in April.

I ran the Rock N Roll St. Louis Marathon in 2:51:13 on October 23, 2011, to add that accomplishment to the list of crazy arse goals I set for myself before 50 (and the time is a ticking away, believe me - I still am upset I never reached my first goal before 40 - skiing the bikini slalom - yes, seriously - and at that time, I was in shape to do it!).

Yes, I completed 13.1. And I can now wear proudly those obnoxious stickers you see on runners' cars (and you bet your sweet bippee I got one immediately after the race!).

I was certainly undertrained for this race, only having run 6 miles, and not even straight, but on a dare, I did it, and I finished. I even lost my first toenail, christening me as a real runner.

And so, not letting anything get the best of me, I decided, much like after childbirth, that yes, indeed I would do this again, but this time, do it even better. So I finished the C25K program and signed up for a bunch of 5Ks with my son. I vowed to feel better than I did before after running a half marathon, and to that extent, I signed up for the Fleet Feet Training Team this winter and will start January 21 at the kickoff meeting.

So in an effort to force myself to keep running in the winter, I've spent beau coup money on cute running clothes and all kinds of gear to keep myself running in the winter. I even teamed up with several journalism teacher friends to keep track of our runs online (#runningondeadline). So far, so good. I've seen so many neat (and pretty weird) things on my weekend runs, which usually take place at several locations: Katy Trail, Grant's Trail, Creve Coeur Lake Park, Meramec Greenway by the river, you name it.
#runningondeadline friends at the JEA conference in Minneapolis

The best part of this is competing against myself for better times. I have improved, even if I can only run a little over a 9 minute mile (7:25 is my PR for a mile - how the heck I did that, I do not know).  These guys and gals, some of them marathoners, helped pace me to a 5K PR of 27:37 that cold day at 6 am outside the Hilton.

But as a side, I actually like running with my sidekick resident PITA, even if he does poke me the whole way through races (yes, he literally pokes me and sacrifices his time). It's been the one thing he and I can do in common that unites Mother and Son (even if he'll always finish with a time that beats the pants off me). And today was no exception. We've raced every single Saturday now since Thanksgiving Day, and we intend on doing it all the way through the Saturday I have my first training team. Most likely, he'll be on the sidelines helping me run a race effort at that training team expo, but it really has helped me to know he wants me to do better, even, as I've said before, he talks non-stop during the entire race. (I believe his favorite phrase is "Open up, Mom, c'mon, open up." Like I'm some sort of race car.

Today, we wore our Santa shirts from our St. Charles Santa Dash race on December 10, where there were 1K Santas racing through Historic Main Street in St. Charles. That was a fun race, but the beards kinda cramped our style. And last weekend, we ran the Reindeer Run 5K in Tower Grove Park just to keep up the spirit. Today's race, even though it was only 2M, was no exception to time. I plugged along at a 9:15 mile to finish just under 19 minutes. Son #2 (affectionately hereafter called PITA), of course, finished before me. He's tired of sacrificing his milage and time to me.

Because I'm competing in a Christmas Virtual 5K (and, of course, her NYE Virtual 5K), I have on an extra bib, and I'm linking this post to one of the running blogs I read - Daily Vitamin F (here on Blogger as well). Because I'm short 1.1M, tomorrow morning, in the still of the morning, I'm going to attempt to wake PITA up and run a short pre-Christmas run of 4-5 miles by the river, in order to make sure I get the milage in for the contest. On New Year's Day next week, we'll be running the streets of University City in the Snowball Classic New Year's Day Run, where the race is capped at 150 because the UCity police want the day off - can you believe that? :-)

So - why don't you come run with us? I started running years ago to find a place my children could not bother me, and years later, I'm finding a place where my children like to run with me. Even the older college bitter child and the middle asthmatic ran the Reindeer Run 5K last weekend. Now to work on the patriarch who says his knees hurt when he uses the elliptical at the gym.

I guarantee - Linda Brady - my old PE teacher at Crystal Lake Central - is turning over in her grave right about now. Who would have thunk it - Jill Miesen, the girl who walked and came in last so the other girls who couldn't run wouldn't feel bad - would take up running? There are many reasons I run. I need to start blogging to list them here, and when I have a shin split, like I do today, or it's freezing out there, and I don't feel like freezing my fanny off (like the past week), or I just ate too much, I can look back on posts like these and remember why I run. And why I can't stop.