I’m in week 7 of the couch to 5k program. 7! That’s 7 weeks longer than the last time I tried this. Well, the reality is, on week one day 2 it was longer than the last time I’d tried it. Nevermind that, though.
Here we are in week 7. Today’s run consisted of kicking my ass with a full 25 minute run. No walking. Let me say that again. 25 minutes. No. Walking. I’m sorry, I think I just forgot who I was for a minute.
When I was running this morning, aside from thinking “there’s no way I can do this” I thought a lot about my growing up. Fitness and health were not a priority in my family growing up. Sure, my brother and I were active kids – he played baseball and did karate and I did everything from gymnastics to dance to swim – but nobody taught us about nutrition or regular exercise or anything like that. My mom didn’t really “cook” per se. She prepared food. Baked potatoes, broiled chicken, nothing with any imagination or real thought to the idea of fueling your body. I had zero concept of protein, carbs, cholesterol, etc… Fast food was a staple. I was blessed with a decent metabolism and apparently enough physical activity that I was never overweight, but healthy I was not.
Two years ago, prior to my first FET/miscarriage, I saw my doctor for a checkup. I was the heaviest I’d ever been, matching my full term pregnancy weight with the twins. My bloodwork showed I was unhealthy. Cholesterol was high, and I was charged with exercise and losing weight. We flipped some things around diet-wise, and I brought my cholesterol down a little over 20 points in four months and lost about 10 pounds. But my cholesterol was still over 200. My doctor was satisfied with the progress and told me to continue on the path.
What followed were two years of TTC hell for me, between miscarriages and BFN’s and bad test results and tough decisions. And a new decision. Taking control. June 3rd I started the couch to 5k. The more I ran, the better I felt. The better I felt, the better I wanted to feel. I started craving foods differently. I practically gave up chocolate. Fast food places are judged by whether I can get a decent enough salad.
Yesterday I went for another cholesterol panel. I was curious how things looked. I knew I had been eating better and exercising more than I ever have in my life, but would that be reflected in the numbers? I won’t bore you with the minutiae of the various things they test, but I’m incredibly happy with how they look. I need to tweak a few things, but I expected that, and as far as my doctor is concerned everything is normal. This. Is very good news.
This morning, I achieved a goal. Despite the doubt that plagued me through portions of my run, I ran 3.1 miles (5k distance – and technically it was 3.14 miles) by the end of the prescribed c25k workout. I ran it the other day, but needed extra time to get there. Not today. Today, I came home after a completed 3.26 mile run and ate a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, and a cup of blueberries. Today I came in from a run to find my kids asking me what my pace was.
I’ve done them and myself a disservice for too long. This isn’t easy. My knee hurts, and I’m babying parts of my body I didn’t know I hadn’t used in order to keep moving. But I’ll be damned if I’m stopping now. I’ve been doing a lot of motivational posting to face.book recently, in large part because friends of mine have asked me to keep posting as they’ve started the program a few weeks behind me. What’s interesting to me is how my own family have been markedly absent in the comments sections of these posts. Not even so much as a “like”. There’s a lot of “I can’t” in my family. A lot of excuses.
You know, I know I’m not fast, or destined to win a marathon. Infertility changed me. Running is changing me again.
This is who I am now. A mom. A wife. A runner. It’s my choice to leave out infertile. It’s still part of me, but it will no longer define me.