Remembering the Beginning

This Saturday marked my return to running after being sick. The schedule had 3 miles and I ran those 3 miles. Not fast. Not pretty. Not glorious. Just done.

While I was running, I was thinking about being sick and running. I would have never imagined I would ever be a runner. 

I started running about 14 months ago. I joined a Couch to 5K group at the community center. It wasn't my first attempt. I had tried a few months earlier on my own with my husband as my coach. Big mistake. My husband is very competitive and he didn't quite get the mindset of "I can't" and how to convince someone they could. I also injured myself by not doing any stretching. (Yes, even running for 30 seconds at a time you need to stretch. Who knew?)

I joined a group. When I joined the group, they had been together for a few months. Most of the ladies had already "graduated" to running a full 30 minutes at a time. I was content just using my RunKeeper app, sharing space and listening to music.

Each week I was supposed to move up my time. Each week I explained to my coach that I just needed one more week. I know part of it was fear but I also knew that I needed to pace myself. A program that was supposed to take 9 weeks, took me a total of 18 weeks. Our sessions at the community center were 6 weeks. What took most people 1 1/2 sessions took me 3. I didn't care. I was running. 

I have said before, it was about 3 months before the burning in my chest went away. I kept asking the other participants if this was normal. It wasn't. At least for people with normal immune systems. For people with Sjogren's Syndrome it's pretty normal. Even for someone like Venus Williams.

There were some other accommodations I had to make. I skipped any form of speed training for the first year. I made sure I was uber-hydrated. What does that mean? I drank (and continue to drink) about a gallon of water a day. I also cut back my sugar intake to 2 T a day.  

After reflecting on being sick, I realized I was going too hard lately. I was working out with a trainer twice a week and running three times a week. For most of you, that wouldn't be a big deal, but for me, it's too much. At first I was sad that I have to cut back. Remembering the beginning helped me realized that I am not cutting back at all. I am just doing what's right for me and my body.

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