Monday, February 13, 2012

Running

I am an accidental runner. In high school, I kind of thought it seemed like it would be fun, but it took work and I didn't really put in any effort to try out. I was in music and theater plus I worked full time- yes, I really did. 30 hrs per week during the school year and up to 40 hrs per week during breaks. How did I do it, I don't know but I needed the money. Dad had gotten sick my Freshman year, mom went to work but had no college so she made minimum wage. There were six of us kids and I was one of the oldest. The only way to have anything extra was to buy it ourselves. I also commuted to school. I went to Judge Memorial Catholic High School and I intended to graduate from there. My brother and younger sisters all ended up in public high school due to finances and other things. I had a car payment so that I didn't have to bus everywhere and I paid for all my books and fees. My grandma paid part of the tuition and my parents paid the rest. A lot of the kids were rich, not just well off but rich- the mayors kids, the very affluent lawyers in the community, but I didn't know enough to know how poor I really was.





So as I was saying, I didn't have time for track on top of everything else I was doing. As a young adult, I was going to college and working so again, I didn't have much time for other things-especially things that required exertion! Then I hit 39. With each of my three pregnancies, I had gestational diabetes. Diabetes really doesn't run in the family so I didn't really pay much attention except to eat very carefully during pregnancy and make half-ass efforts to exercise. I just thought it was how my body reacted to pregnancy. I think my OB thought the same because I actually had to convince her that we should do an A1C two years after my last one. So when it came back high- I don't mean 5.9 or 6 but 6.9 it threw me into a tailspin. Diabetes before 40! No No No! I immediately took action got on the exercise bandwagon. I have never been excessively over weight. Yes, a bit, but at 5 feet tall you don't get much leeway on weight. That is when I started running and got my A1C back to normal.





I'm not super fast, about a 34 minute 5K which is middle of the road for my age. And if you run the right race you can place- I can't wait to move up to the next age group! I've run numerous 5Ks and 1 10K plus done two bike rides and a triathlon. Now, I'm registered for Ragnar!!!!!!! After I paid my 100.00 to Bernice, I found out she is driving the van and leaving us sorry suckers to run. It will be fun though. I don't know my spot yet, I'm hoping for the hills. My boss said she gets the shortest legs but I'm hoping for no more than 4.5 each leg. I'm pretty sure I can do that. So for now, I've got to step up my training.





Saturday, I got on the ol dreadmill. I like to run outside- it feels better but I'm a wimp when I don't have to run in the cold. It was one of those nights when I just wasn't feeling it. My sciatica was bugging me, my pace felt off and I just wanted to do 2 miles and quit for the evening. But just as I was at that spot, dad's "song" came on my ipod. For his funeral we did a DVD collage of pictures and each of us kids picked a song. I chose American Pie because the song represents a huge change in culture and a point of no going back. That is basically what I felt about losing dad- we can't go back and we must move forward; but unsure what forward was going to bring. So that song came on and I stepped up my pace and I got a second wind. Thanks Pops! Well right after that ended, Uncle Joe's song came on- Dancing Queen! (More on that in a moment)





Uncle Joe died 22 days before dad. He was Uncle Ken's partner for about 13 years but I think they dated before Ken and Dave were together. (Dave died of AIDS in 1997) Ken and Joe were a true couple I don't care what anyone says about gay marriage; the two of them were more committed and dedicated to each other than many straight couples- end of subject! Joe was doing OK but they decided to end the cancer trials he was in because he hadn't responded the way they anticipated. They ended the trial on Friday and he died on Wednesday. Dad was supposed to officiate at the burial but he bought himself a night a the hospital after coding at the end of a bronchoscopy. So both dad and mom missed the funeral (mom was ticked!) It was at the funeral that I found out Joe loved ABBA and Dancing Queen- well it just fits him. (long ago when they came to the Corned Beef and Cabbage event at church- hey, we are Irish! Joe was talking to my mother in law about cruises and in his loud and boisterous voice he said "well all I can tell you is that I will NEVER do a Princess again! He meant the cruise but Barb and I took the other meaning and still laugh about how Joe won't do princesses) He was wonderful, funny, talented, kind and truly gay and I mean that in the most complimentary way. I miss him. So Dancing Queen right after dad's song made me think the two of them were up in heaven pushing me to my max. I ran an extra 3.25 miles for a total of 5.25. That on a night when I had nothing in me. It was a great run, the kind that makes you feel good and proud and want to do it again.





I just wish I could feel as good at the start of a run as I do at the end. If someone can figure out how to give me the endorphins at the beginning, I would be very happy!

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