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Today is the one-year anniversary of my starting to run. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve stuck with it for an entire year—not my usual M.O. I think this blog helped (even though I abandoned it for a while), keeping a log helped, but it also helped to have a running partners and friends who like to do the different races in town. Thank you all for your support. I’m going to celebrate today with my favorite long run by the river and then I’m going to register for a 5K coming up on May 1st. Run for the Zoo: that was my first 5K, a year ago, and I walked more than half of it. I’d started out on a walk/run plan of running a minute, walking a minute and I did that through the 5K (I think I was up to 3-minutes stints by then).

I’m not sure how I feel about this anniversary. A bit emotional, actually. Very proud, but a little embarrassed or disappointed that I haven’t become a marathon runner yet. I suppose I thought I would be farther along now than I am. I had a few down months, slogging along, running maybe two or three times a week—a couple of times only once—terrible weeks. February was awful with below freezing weather. I did run some—never missed an entire week, in pretty cold temps mind you, but it did slow me down.  A terrible cold, the death of my cat (I actually ran more that week—running is good for grief I found), moving, chaos at work…lots of reasons not to run. And then, to my dismay, I gained weight; six or seven pounds, seemingly overnight. So now, I’m back to watching my weight and pushing myself to run more. It has not been easy. My legs have been weak, flabby in the thighs, muscles have gotten mushy; running has taken a lot more effort this past few weeks than I remember it being in the beginning. But for two weeks I’ve pushed myself to run longer and more often and it’s finally feeling like fun. I’m stronger; seeing some muscle tone in my thighs. I’ve dropped the weight and I can really tell the difference in the way my body moves, in the energy I have.

It’s amazing how quickly one can lose momentum, frightening really. A cupcake here and there; skip this run or that yoga class. It’s like I started thinking I was immune to calories. I was eating more but maintaining because, I told myself, I’m running now. Denial is not a river….The fact that I lost the weight by cutting out the junk and exercising wasn’t registering at all. I’m not cured of calories; good lesson there and it applies in other areas of my life as well.

My goals for year number two: keep watching what I eat and improve my stamina and consistency. Sure, I want to do a few 5Ks but I’m not concerned with racing. What I really want is to lengthen my runs (4o minutes instead of 25-30) and instead of running three times a week (sometimes 4), get up to running five times a week. I also want to do more trail running. That’s what I really love; running on dirt, under trees, and away from cars and buildings is inspiring and makes me love to run. 

Here I go, into my second year running…

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