Since I have started running, I have had a few incremental milestones that I have used to measure my progress. These milestones were set to coincide with the distance of races that I will be running. First was a mile, then 5K (3.1 M), 10K (6.2 M), and Half Marathon (13.1 M). I hit the mile mark and the 5K mark right on schedule, but then kind of stalled out distance wise when it came to to 10K. I was still dropping tons of weight, I just could not get myself to cover the longer distance. Kept trying, but one thing after another seemed to pop up and derail my plan. I actually had to alter my original schedule of runs to accomodate the fact that I was just not there yet. Whatever. “All good” I kept telling myself. “You’ll get there”. (at some point, I guess…) Well, that “some point” was this past sunday where I finally broke through the 6.2M barrier and ran my first 10K. It feels fantastic. It was slow, methodical, ugly, and labored; but it’s done and I am excited with the prospect of doing it again and again. This one means just as much to me as completing my first 5K, even though I was running by myself, and nobody was there to cheer me on at the finish line. There actually was no “finish line”, come to think of it. Just me pushing myself to do something I previously thought was insane. One way to talk about this accomplishment is to say I ran 6.2 miles, or to say I ran my first 10K, but honestly I will probably be referring to this as “my first time around the lake”. I have talked about this before, but near my house, in Bucks County, Pa, there is a little state park named Peace Valley Park, and in Peace Valley is a man made lake called Lake Galena. There is a paved walking/ running path that runs around the bulk of the lake, and this has always been one of Jenn and my favortie places to go. At first it was just us and the dog going for a little walk, and now, we love bringing Tessa there for a walk and picnic. The way it’s set up is that the parking lot we always use is located near the far end of the lake, the “fat end” near the dam. The walking path runs straight across the top of the dam and it gives you a perfect vantage point from the middle to take in the entire lake and surrounding area. It’s a beautiful sight and it also gives you an idea of the size of the lake, (it’s pretty damn big…no pun intended). At any rate, when I would be able to walk the length of the dam and back (less than a mile total), I would look out across the length of the lake, where it stretches so far you really can’t discern where it ends, and think that there was no way that anyone could ever ride a bike around it, let alone run it. That was just crazy talk. But sunday morning, I did just that. I set out to do what I previously impossible, and made the impossible possible. It was slower than I would have liked, but I still feel like I held a respectable pace, and after all, I did stop to snap pictures right before I began, halfway through, and once I was finished.
If I have learned anything during this entire prcess of running and losing the weight is that you absloutley need to have a plan, and that you absloutley cannot have that plan written in stone. Sickness, injuries, slower than anticipated progress, unforseen “real life” problems can all pop up and screw up your well researched and laid out plans, and if you can’t roll with the punches, you’ll be stressed and pushing yourself to catch up. At least that’s how I am looking at things. I refuse to not see the forest for the trees. It’s all about the big picture, the ultimate goal, and by that measure, any progress that moves me closer to being a healthier, more fit version of myself is good progress, no matter how big or small the individual steps. Yes, I completed my first 10K in July. Even though I originally planned on being able to do this in mid-May, (again, not July 8th) but you know what? To hell with that, I just ran around the lake. Booyaa.
I just wanted to share with everybody this milestone, and I look forward to breaking through the next one (13.1…better known as a Half Marathon) on Sunday, September 16. I’ll keep workng on that one…after all, I’m just about halfway there. Until later this week, take it easy.
(this month’s photo updates coming later this week)
The view from the bottom left corner of the map above, this was my “starting line”
Halfway! That’s the dam waaaay off in the distance. this is taken from a little foot bridge that crosses over the lake at the far end.
Done! Pretty amazing feeling. I can’t wait till next time I get to do it again. This is taken from the middle of the dam,. looking back at where I took the mid-point picture.