Sunday, July 28, 2013

Today...I Ran for my Mother

I had no desire to do any exercise with my first two pregnancies except maybe walk around the neighborhood. I craved pizza with the first and oreos with the second. The third, however, was very different. With the third, I craved running. All I wanted to do was run two miles every morning, and I did. On days that I didn't run, my body was upset with me. At about seven months pregnant I ran a five mile race and felt fantastic! A week after that, I attempted to run a 5K and made it about a mile but then had to walk the rest of the way. The baby was too big, and I was uncomfortable. I officially stopped running with her that day, and then I got sick.

I don't get sick. During my K-12 education, I missed school one day, in seventh grade, with a fever. It is the only time I got sick. Even when I became a teacher, I would have your typical cold, but nothing I had to miss school over until then. I had bronchitis, a sinus infection, and developed exercise induced asthma. The bronchitis was so bad by the time I went into the doctor, I had to have multiple breathing treatments before my doctor would let me leave. Armed with meds and an inhaler, I spent the next four days in bed.

Fast forward three and a half years later.

A few weeks ago I was finding that my inhalers weren't really working for me. Funny thing with exercise induced asthma is it is not really consistent. It had been over a year since I had to use the inhalers and my exercise routine didn't really change. I didn't even have much trouble during my workouts but rather in the late afternoon, long after they were over. I went to the doctor and she diagnosed me with an inflammation around my lungs caused by pushing myself a bit too hard and put me on an inhaler plan until further tests in the next few weeks. I let up a little bit these past few weeks during my training for today's race and cut out my weight classes, spinning, and boot camp. I think it was a blessing in disguise. 

I don't remember an Ele's Race where it wasn't hot, humid, sunny, and about 80 degrees until today. The weather was perfect-55 degrees and overcast. My friend Cora, who is just naturally fast, was my pacer. We started out fast and by the time we left Jackson National Life she was telling me to speed it up. Our goal was to run a 7:15 first mile. She talked to me the whole way telling me to let the road pull me in. Once we turned the first turn, I was instructed to watch the flags. We picked it up at one white house until the  first mile clock and made sure to stay in the middle of the road, away from the water tables. We ran our first mile in 7:05. That first mile was tough for me. Not because my legs weren't in shape, but because I could feel it in my lungs. I just kept thinking of the fight my mom dealt with. My asthma can be fixed, per say, her cancer could not. After the first mile, we were able to back down just a hair but focused on seeing her husband and four children at the turn around point  cheering us on. We were at  a great speed until we were passed by two men, both pushing double baby joggers, with two kids in each stroller. That was enough for her to push me a bit further. At all times she was a few strides in front of me, encouraging me and telling me to get up there with her. By the time we got to the 2nd mile, we were at 14: something. I want to say 30 but I could be way off. All I know is our split goal was to be there at 16:00. Having a bit of a buffer is good because for me, I tend to falter between mile 2 and 3. If it wasn't for Cora, I probably would have not gone as fast as I did. At one point between mile 2 and 3, a father and his son passed us and she said, "Stick with them." I did my best to, but I am not sure if I passed them or they passed me. I just kept thinking of my mom. When we turned back into Jackson National we had about half a mile to go. Cora kept telling me I had x amount of time to get to that finish line. She dropped back behind me and continued to tell me to push myself, give it all you got, and you are almost done. I crossed the finish line in 23:45, 14 seconds faster than what my goal was and two minutes and ten seconds better than my best time.

I know I made my mother proud. After all, she was the one to instill hard work and goal setting into me. I just wish she were here today to see it.

Ele's Race 2013

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