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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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strength

The “Not Quite 5k” 5k (and a lesson in strength)

Three months ago I said I was hanging up my racing shoes for awhile.

I cheated a little. (though in my defense I have cut down considerably mileage wise and have followed running restriction rules with the exception of last month)

As posted previously, summer running is not my favorite. The fact that this particular race falls in June is unfortunate. Hosted by Floyd Brace, the Sweatin’ For a Reason 5k benefits wounded warriors  and the company itself helps many of the kids in the clinic where I work by fitting orthodics and prosthetics. Even though I’m not a Physical Therapist, I still see the benefit for these kids and so it was a cause I really wanted to support. As an added bonus, the race is nearby.

registration tables

I ran this race last year as well during its first year. It was a small but nice race through a local neighborhood with some really beautiful Oak Trees.

that’s my shadow on the bottom right

I told myself I wasn’t going to “race” this one, but as I am inherently competitive by nature, I raced it anyway. However, I wasn’t honestly expecting much considering that I haven’t done much distance running and have had this asthma cough that I can’t seem to kick for the last 3 weeks. Regardless, it was nice to be in a race again – and how could you beat this?

this photo is completely unfiltered – meaning I actually took a decent picture all on my own


Right off the bat I could tell this wasn’t going to be my best race. In addition to my ridiculous lungs, I’ve also spent the last several months attempting to fix my running stance, and this was my first attempt at maintaining a decent speed for more than a mile or so. (For the record, I managed to stay on the balls of my feet for about 2.5 miles before I couldn’t concentrate on both breathing and stance). At mile 2 my watch read 15 minutes and some change though, so not bad. I hit a wall though near the end and nearly stopped to walk, but a song came on that helped push me through. (newly downloaded “Titanium” by David Guetta feat. Sia) Imagine my surprise when I was a mere hundred or so feet from the finish and my watch read 20 minutes. Imagine even more surprise when I crossed the finish line and the clock read 20:50- by far my fastest run EVER.

I lived my moment (literally) of glory until I asked a friend how he did, and he showed me his watch said the distance said only 2.8 miles.

Crap. It made sense though because in order to finish that quickly I would have had to pull off a 5 minute mile. My fastest known mile is 6:30. In other words, not possible. Figuring my pace and entering the correct distance, my time would have fallen somewhere between 22:45 and 23:05 – still not bad all things considering. Turns out when they were doing the course, they “left off a little loop somewhere”.

Clearly the person who measured the course was not a runner.

he beat me butthead

During the awards, the category was announced for the Phoenix Athletes who participated in the race (who, I believe, were also wounded warriors). Not only was I beaten by a guy with a prosthetic foot, but there was another guy walking the entire course with a prosthetic who hasn’t walked more than a few feet in months. We drove by him still walking the course as we headed home.

The perseverance of those guys amazes me. These are people who have suffered a major loss and came back to not only start or keep running, but to kick all of our butts along the way. They didn’t let this loss knock them down. That isn’t to say they didn’t suffer, but ultimately they didn’t let their loss beat them. I wish I had thought to take a few pictures.

I  hadn’t expected a lesson in this race, but there it was. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been feeling more discouraged lately. There is loss in infertility. (and no, I am not trying to say its anything like being a wounded warrior) The loss of hope, the loss of a plan, the loss of the kind of life we imagined, possibly the loss of the family we all desire so much. In many cases, there are the losses of miracles.  If these guys can suffer a loss, (both literally and figuratively) and come back fighting, we can too. This isn’t to say we won’t suffer, but ultimately we can come out stronger, too. That last song that pushed me through the wall suddenly took on a whole new meaning.

I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose

Fire away, fire away

Ricochet, you take your aim

Fire away, fire away

You shoot me down, but I won’t fall

I am titanium

You shoot me down, but I wont fall

I am titanium

NIAW – Dont Ignore….Your Strength

This week symbolizes a great deal for those of us pounding our heads against the infertility wall. (So that’s why I have a headache…) This  week, National Infertility Awareness Week, gives us a voice. The theme “Don’t Ignore Infertility”, is meant to bring awareness to others about what Infertility is. While I absolutely believe in the importance of this and will likely publish a couple of posts this week to that effect, I think its more important to start with us – the ones who face this every day.

In the 6 months that I have been blogging, I have read hundreds of stories. Many of us have been at this for years and have suffered multiple miscarriages and failed cycles. We’ve gone through counseling and attended (or avoided) a dozen baby showers. We’ve prayed, we’ve taken our temperature at 5am and taken just about every available natural remedy. We’ve depleted our bank accounts, infertility insurance, and emotions.

And yet we are still standing.

Infertility has a way of leaking into every aspect of our being. Marriages suffer. Vacations go by the wayside. We give up hobbies to allow our bodies to be in an optimal situation, if you will. Something that was taught in school as so simple and natural (and why you should ALWAYS wear protection) suddenly makes no sense. No one taught us that this might be difficult. We feel that mix of emotions when someone announces  a pregnancy that I can only describe as a “happy depression” -happy for the friend who is blessed with a pregnancy, depressed because we have been passed over yet again, especially so when it’s a second or third child.

But we are still blogging.

We’ve ridden the roller coaster of hope, whether through a natural cycle, IUI or IVF. The rollercoaster that finds us high with possibility one moment and crushed with failure the next. We’ve questioned our bodies, our expectations, the way things are “supposed to be”. We find ourselves drying tears and wondering if we want to get on the rollercoaster again – if the ride for the 34th time is really worth it.

Somehow, we are still trying.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from this group of women I have met both in real life and in the blog world, it is that we are incredibly strong.

We don’t really have a choice. There is no way we couldn’t be.

There is no way around it. Infertility sucks. We question. We scream. We cry. But we are still standing, we are still blogging and we are still trying for the chance to have a family, the chance we will all get someday.

This week, during National Infertility Awareness Week – Don’t Ignore Your Strength.

For more information:

http://www.resolve.org/infertility101  (Basic understanding of the disease of infertility.)

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)

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