Saturday, July 10, 2010

14 days to go

Today's task: 50 minute run, nice and easy

Logistics: This is a "Dad" weekend so the biggest challenge was getting out of bed.

I ran the Cooper River route today. Usually I hate this route but yesterday I biked around it three times and I think that must have finally broken my perception that the 3.5 mile loop stretches out to 15 when I run it.

During the run I thought back over the past year. Back in March of '09 I had just started training for my first 5K. I was elated the day I ran 15 consecutive minutes. I remember being so concerned about what I would wear that would keep me comfortable but not let people see my bulges and bumps.

This morning I did the run in a sports bra and shorts. Men and those women who have never struggled with their weight may not understand how momentous this is. I ran through the neighborhood with my midriff exposed. I even stopped to talk to people and didn't clutch at my middle while chatting.

Now I want to be clear, I haven't shed some enormous amount of weight this year. In fact I'm probably only 5 pounds lighter despite tripling the amount of exercise I get. I have toned up in a few areas for sure, but there's still a belly roll. The difference is that I am starting to see my body more as an engine. During a run I am so busy thinking about how to keep my legs moving, dismissing small aches and pains and resisting the urge to stop that I just don't have time to worry about what my butt looks like in these pants. We're in the middle of a heat wave here in the mid-Atlantic and I'd run buck naked if I weren't worried about mosquito bites in places nice girls don't scratch. I've started thinking about food differently too. I look at what will give me the most energy for the least effort and will last the longest (well last night I thought "Hey! There's still pie!"). At the very least I try and choose foods that won't make me need to poop in the middle of my run.

So the countdown is on and my mental work becomes staying calm about the race and making sure I enjoy every minute of it. It's been a long time coming!

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