Yesterday I accomplished a big goal of mine that quite honestly I never thought would actually ever happen. I ran for 5 miles!!! For me personally this is huge. I knew it was going to be a good running day because I still felt great at 2.5 miles so I thought my goal of 3.5 miles that day would be easy and could probably push to 4. When I got to 4 I figured why not go to 4.25? As I was almost at that distance I flirted with the idea of 5 miles but thought I should just try for 4.5 instead. At 4.35 my knee started to hurt a little but not so much that I couldn’t keep going. I finally just decided that I would push to 5. I mean, I’ve always wanted to and why not let that be the day right? So, I keep going and at 4.65 my knee starts to really throb and I begin thinking, “What if my legs give out from under me while I’m running? Maybe I should stop.” “NO! If your legs give out at least you will go out running as far as you can without quitting. If you just stop you’ll always wonder if you could have really run the whole thing.” “Hmm, good point self. Carry on.”
At 4.75 my knee is killing me but for heaven’s sake I’m almost there. “What if by pushing my knee to keep going I damage it permanately? What if I’m never able to walk again once I get off this treadmill?” “Well, if that’s the case then at least the last thing your legs did was accomplish one of your goals.” “Well, what if..” “Shut up already! Geez, for the love! You have .07 miles to run you’ll be fine for crying out loud you big pansy.”
As I finished I was really surprised that I wasn’t even breathing heavy and aside from my left knee hurting, I felt great. I mean really good – happy and energetic. I thought of Legally Blonde when Reese Witherspoon’s character said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t. ” I don’t know about happy people not shooting their husbands but I was definitely feeling happy.
When I first started focusing on running about three months ago I could barely finish one mile and I would be breathing so heavy afterward you would think I was about to hypervenilate. I don’t know all the technical mumbjo jumbo for the asthma I have but it seems to kick into high gear when I get active. I know I had severe medical problems when I was born but neither one of my parents ever tried to keep me from playing sports or joining any type of teams. So I just struggled through it not knowing any better. I played basketball one year and volleyball the next just to see if I could. I stuck with track for 6 years running sprints and was actually pretty good and for 11 summers I played softball. I guess it was my own way of giving asthma the finger.
I never thought running anything longer than 400 yards was ever going to be possible but a few months ago I thought “Why not? According to the doctors you’re not even supposed to be able to walk and look at how active you’ve been. Stop telling yourself that you can’t and just do it.” So I did. Sure my knee is still a little sore today but I’ll get over it.
Do I think I’ll run another 5 miles today? Heck no! Do I think I’ll run it again this week? Not likely. But it doesn’t matter if I ever do it again because I did it once and honestly, that’s good enough for me.