Fra-gee-lee

This past Saturday, I ran the 45th annual Steamboat Classic in Peoria, Illinois. While I’d signed up for the 15 k race a few months ago and worked hard to get myself up to the over 9 miles that the race would require of me, I dropped to the 4 mile race when I went to packet pickup. I didn’t take the decision lightly. There was already a heat advisory for the weekend when I ran 3 miles on the Wednesday prior to the race. The humidity was oppressive for each of my runs leading up to the Friday pickup. I checked with my [best] friend, Liz who would be running the race with me, and we agreed that 4 miles was just a better idea since she hadn’t trained for the distance and I wanted to be healthy for my fall half marathons instead of nursing injuries (again). What also helped was that my 4 mile best time was pretty close to my 5 mile time on Athlinks because last year’s Steamboat was tough on the injury I’d been nursing. I knew I could beat that 4 mile time, but my best 15k comes from 2016, which was the year I was in the best shape of my life.

At packet pickup, I asked to join the Athena class for female athletes over 180 lbs. I hopped on the scale and pushed that baby close to the 200 lbs mark. I didn’t try to cover it up from those waiting in line behind the scale. I didn’t insist I take my shoes off. I wasn’t surprised by my weight, either. Prior to my injury, I’d weighed 170 lbs. At the end of 2017, I was tipping the scales closer to 215 lbs. It was so hard to be heavy and to get motivated to try hard again. I’ve worked to lose over 20 lbs over the last 6 months and I’m still working hard at it. I gave it a lot of thought over the weekend and even discussed with my best friend about how there is a difference between saying that I’m proud of my weight and accepting it for what it is. I’m disappointed that it got so far. I wish I was the same size I was when I was 150 lbs and trying to lose weight. I wasn’t strong then. I didn’t run. I smoked cigarettes and I ate crappy food. There is no pride in the sizes that I have been no matter how small or large. The size I am right now, I’ve worked to get to and I continue to work to be a healthier, stronger woman. It’s what I have and I’m working with it. I will always be a work in progress and I’ve accepted that. I’m currently on a 1 mile or more a day streak and it is helping me stay active when I don’t want to be.

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Liz and I post run

I ran a 4 mile race. For the first time in a race we’ve done together I told Liz to slow down at the start of a race and hold a pace and I kept reminding us to hold it. I tried to keep up conversation even when the heat was taking its toll on our bodies. I also felt good about the race, though. I wasn’t slowing down. I checked the statistics from the timing mats. Liz and I moved ahead of 144 people from the 1 mile mark to the finish. We held our pace knowing that it wasn’t a day for negative splits or a PR.

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The look on my face says it all…

At the finish line, a tall woman ran ahead of me. A silent agreement between Liz and I had us separating at points if we needed to during races we’ve run together. I took off assuming she might be part of the Athena class and that I’d need to beat her if I wanted to get an award. All the way up through the finish, it was a race. She came in 2 strides ahead of me and I was pissed when I saw that I was 2nd in the Athena class. I was so mad at myself that I didn’t pull those couple of strides out of my pocket and come in ahead. Later on, Liz would pull up the finish line photos and the stats on the Athena class winner. The 1st place Athena had come in 3 minutes prior to me. That woman I had such an intense race with had nothing to do with my 2nd place award. She also had started ahead of me, so her chip finish was a tiny bit after mine.

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Athena Class award

 

So, I won an award that clearly says on it that I weighed more than 180 lbs when I won. It doesn’t have to mean I’m proud of my weight or that I’m promoting obesity. I’m aware of those people who say those things to heavy women. Although, I did carry that weight across 4 miles in some intense heat and I’m pretty sure some people lighter than me couldn’t do that. I actually got my best 4 mile time. Athena. It’s pretty cool if you think about it.

Time to train for my fall half marathons. The heat has been intense. I’m finally able to feel good in the hotter runs, though. It took me a couple of years to get faster after I started to run. I’ve been out of physical therapy for less than a year. I need to continue to have self discipline, but realize that progress is progress no matter how small. I hope I can run a 5 k in less than 29 minutes again one day. I hope I can weigh 25 or more lbs less one day. It doesn’t happen overnight and working toward it is something to be proud of.

Do you know where the title “Fra-gee-lee” came from? I won a “major award”, you know. There’s probably a movie reference there.

I love comments! Please let me know if you have something you want me to write about. Good luck on your journey!

 

So done. And so ready.

Summer is kind of stressful, guys and gals. Especially when there are kids in the mix. My oldest graduated high school [a year ahead of schedule] and my youngest two are going into 1st and 2nd grades. The oldest child found a puppy on the side of the road that was only 5 weeks old. Fortunately, she’s been okay to eat wet puppy food and she’s doing much better than when found. My 6 year old dog is not amused by this puppy and looks at her with contempt.

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Having everyone home and the puppy was a little hectic. Then, the teenager had her tonsils taken out last week. Along with the puppy being around, things need constant attention by me around my household. This past week, I fell behind on my household chores a few times. The fact that I am a neat freak and prefer things to be clean adds stress to an already stressed mom.

I’m running a streak. Memorial Day to July 4th, I will run at least 1 deliberate mile each day. Sticking to it has been tough with finding the right time to get away to do the mile. Wednesday was the goal race for the 5k group I’ve been working with. I stood at the start with no real expectation about what I was going to do. Then, I noticed a couple of women I’d run with in the group going at a speed that was significantly faster than they’d been accustomed to going in practice. I took it upon myself to ensure they would finish the race and not wear themselves out in the first moments. It was hot and humid, but they finished and they ran the last bit into the finish. I overheard them talking about how I helped them and I was thinking about how they totally did it on their own and I was just there to see it happen. I’m glad they thought I helped, though.

Friday, I set out for a little over a mile and I wound up running 3 miles while it was 84 degrees out. I loved it. That’s so unusual for me to say because I tend to quickly overheat and become fatigued. It didn’t happen on this run. Saturday night, my youngest child (she’s 6) was being kind of a handful. I invited her to go run a mile with me. She came along and told me that we were actually jogging because we weren’t going very fast. She averaged about 12:50 pace for the entire time. I told her that we were taking it easy to be sure we could go the whole distance. She still mumbled that it was a jog.

Sunday, I set out to do 8-10 miles. I have a race this coming weekend that is 15 km, so the distance wasn’t really an issue because I’ve already trained for those miles. I tried to hang close to home because there was a chance for thunderstorms. Once, the rain drizzled overhead and I ran. Mostly, I was hot and sweat was just dripping off of me as I ran. I had hydration and nutrition with me and I refilled each of my two bottles during the run. I felt great and even energized despite the humidity and how hot it felt outside. On the last let of my run, I started to run up a street that runs behind my house. Suddenly, my headphones were making a horrible sound instead of music. It was the emergency signal on my phone saying there was a tornado warning and to seek shelter.  I turned around and cut through a neighbor’s yard to go home. I ended at 7.5 miles. A few minutes after I arrived at home, the sky opened up and it was pouring. Good thing I went home. There was no tornado in my immediate vicinity. I wish the best to those who experienced one, though. I can’t imagine how scary it must have been.

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The stress remains, but I have felt good about running. I have my 15k this weekend, a 5 mile run on the 4th of July, and nothing else planned until my October half marathon (13.1 miles). I hope I can continue to have good experiences running in the heat of summer.

Do you use running to de-stress? Do you have any races on the calendar?

Thanks for reading! I love suggestions and comments.