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In which I run a 5K

A few months ago, after I had my second surgery to cure me from ulcerative colitis, I decided that I needed to whip myself back into some semblance of shape. I had basically felt sick for 4 years, and when you have a disease that makes you (a) lose weight without even trying because you’re not digesting things efficiently and (b) exhausts you from that mis-digesting so you have zero energy, there’s not a whole lot that motivates you to hit the gym. I was at my most active in college, doing a lot of kickboxing and bicycling, but  never felt like I could run. In fact, I basically felt like I pretty much sucked at it.

So in April, I started thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if I could run.” I mean, everyone who runs always talks about how much they loooove it, and how they get into the runner’s zone, and the runner’s high, and … well, they’re kinda fanatical. Enter Couch to 5K, the training program that gets you from doing zero activity to running a 5K in 9 weeks. I kept reading about how other people had had success with it, and other friends were doing it. I started thinking about it, and finally voiced my thoughts to Simon. He was shocked but supportive. So in May,  I started my training, and now I am shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed it. I mean utterly totally enjoyed it. Was it hard? Yeah, definitely. But the long and the short of it is that I saw in the past 4 years not only how sick my body could be, but I’ve seen it run the gamut of weight gain through pregnancy and then a long course of prednisone and then finally back down to my pre-pregnancy, pre-sick weight.  So I really wanted to see how much I could push my body – in a good and healthy way. And running seemed like a good challenge to take up. Because trust me – I never thought that I could run, but then again, I never thought that I’d experience any of the crazy medicines and crazy surgeries that I’ve put up with.

So Saturday night was my 5K – I made it through the entire Couch to 5K program, and I cannot even believe that I did it.  I chose to do the Midnight Streak, a 5K run that supports the City Arts Center here in Oklahoma City and it was so incredible. My sister Amy and her hubs Eric, and his sister Mary, and their 3 boys all came out to support me, and that was so so awesome. Eric, Matthew, and Benjamin all ran, too, as did Simon! Ben was my running partner and we had a great time together. It was SUPER hard on that last 3/4 of a mile to the finish line. The heat was stifling, even at 11pm and it was so humid. I kept thinking, holy cow, how am I going to make it to the end? I walked a whole lot more than I had planned to, but I think I was kinda wigged out and it was hard to get into my zone with all the people there.

Ok, are you ready for a slew of photos that are … ahem, not the most flattering? 🙂

Ok, this one’s cute and not bad. Matthew, me, Simon, and Ben, ready for the race. Matthew is doing a kids’ triathlon soon. How awesome is that?

Matthew receiving sage advice from Simon.

Me and Simon before the run.

Waiting for the race to start.

1330 people competed.

OMG, this is so awful. When I exercise, I get REALLY red in the face. Like, embarrassingly so. Of course the 5K was no exception. I totally look like I’m about to die right here.

All in all, such a fantastic experience. I can’t wait to do it again!

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