Breathe in. Breathe out. Put one foot in front of the other. Keep moving forward. Don’t give up. These are the phrases I repeated to myself often over this past month (it’s been a tough one). They also came in handy on Sunday, when I decided to test my endurance before my run, which is now less than two weeks away. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a worrier, and I had to get a 10km run under my belt before the day of the race, or else my fear that I wouldn’t be able to complete the course would have gotten the best of me.
And so, armed with a playlist on my iPhone and a water bottle, I set out to see what I could do. The first 5km were a breeze- I ran that in about 30 minutes, and if I hadn’t been trying to conserve my energy for the final 5km, I could have done it even faster. Kilometres 5-8 were harder, and my pace slowed a bit at that point. The thoughts of “Why the hell am I doing this? What kind of sicko finds this activity enjoyable?” started to creep into my mind. The final two kilometres were the toughest. My breathing was laboured and my legs were tired. I really just wanted a hot shower and my bed. I was determined to finish, though. I thought about everything that my little Penelope has been through- everything she has endured and every obstacle she has overcome. All the testing and therapies and the surgery and this latest hospital stay– she has made it through all of that with a smile on her face. If she can do that, well, then, I can run a measly ten kilometres. Those last two kilometres, I had her face in my mind with every step. And I did it. I ran ten kilometres, and it felt amazing.
Now that I know that I can actually run 10km, I can rest easy heading into race day. And I have a feeling that running with a bunch of people, with a crowd cheering on the sidelines- it will feel easier than it did on Sunday. I am very close to reaching my fundraising goal for this run- thanks to everyone who has donated! And if you haven’t yet donated and are inclined to do so, you can find my fundraising page here.
I have to admit that I am pretty proud of the progress I have made with my fitness. A year ago, if you had asked me to run ten kilometres, I would have laughed and laughed, and then probably passed out from the exertion of laughing. I just didn’t think it was something I would ever be able to do. In my mind, I was too old, too fat, and too scared to really test myself like that. If that sounds familiar to you, well, listen up: I am proof positive that ANYONE can improve their fitness. Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can- a year ago, I was a sedentary couch potato who regularly gorged on ice cream and cookies. And now I can officially add this to the list of my life’s accomplishments: ran ten kilometres. I may even put that on my tombstone- “Devoted Wife. Loving Mother. Caring Nurse. Ran 10km.” It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?