Monday, September 15, 2008

Start - Finish

I did it! What can I say but "I DID IT!" My daughter Kathy and I started out at 8:00 am and drove to the North Salt Lake Center St. overpass and waited for the 5K (3.2 mi.) to begin. First the bike riders went, 850 of them! It took a while for all of them to get through the start gate. Then the 10K'rs, then it was our turn.

Before we left my house, we were pinning our numbers on the fronts of our shirts and adjusting our timing devices on our ankles when Kathy pulls out two more things to pin to our shirts. She had made fabric signs honoring my sisters (her Aunts) and my niece (her cousin) who are battling cancer. Kathy, you are amazing! It provided us with a tangible reminder that we could 'share' with others as we ran.
As we waited with the hundreds of other participants for the horn to sound indicating the beginning of the 5K we warmed up. We stretched, trying to release any tension in our leg muscles and hoping to prevent any injury. We looked around at the other runners; short, tall, fat, thin, young and old. Kathy pointed out an older man and told me that if he could do it, I could do it. He was probably only a year or two older than I was, but hey, she was cheering me on in her own way! Then the horn sounded. Ready or not, let's go....I started with a slow steady pace. I felt sorry for Kathy because she obviously was used to running a bit faster, but she slowed to accommodate me and we fell into an even, steady stride. A lot of people passed us. But we ignored them. Soon we passed her car which was parked a long way from the start line. The crowds thined. The bikers were starting to come back along the route. Kathy commented about how they ride in 'packs' which was really true. Several 'packs' passed us as we ran. I had my watch and was keeping track of our time and it was OK. Slower than Kathy would have liked, but she kept assuring me that we were doing this together and to have fun. At the time it didn't seem very 'fun' but we plugged on. At the half way point they had a water station set up and a young girl gave us small paper cups of water as we ran past and turned the corner. It's hard to drink water while you are panting heavily. But we sipped, and then just threw our cups down on the road. It was kind of cool to do that :) Whew....half way! We just kept up our steady pace and we started to pass other runners. Off in the distance we could see the overpass (finish line). It seemed so far away. But we kept going. We soon passed Kathy's car going the opposite direction, we were getting closer. I tried to step up my pace, we were still lagging behind Kathy's time, but she didn't seem to care. As we got closer to the end, people were lined up along the way and were cheering us on. Kathy grabbed my hand and held it up high with hers as we crossed the finish line, tears welled in my eyes as I realized that I had actually done it. We hugged. I wasn't prepared for the strong emotions that I would feel. It was a special moment for Kathy and I to share.

After we were done, they provided the participants with fruit, bread and water. We walked around and found Rick and Connor waiting for us. It was great to see them! We then went over to the wall where they had posted the times and I found mine....4th place! In my age group I came in 4th at 39 minutes! Needless to say I now have something to brag about. We did it!
I did it!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What am I thinking!

In January 2007 I decided that I actually needed to DO something to become more healthy. After enjoying a somewhat 'fast' metabolism for many years I realized that what I was doing was not working anymore 'for someone my age':( Sooo, I enlisted the help of my 'video' good friend and mentor Denise Austin to help me accomplish my goals and came up with a healthy eating and exercise plan.

My first goal was to loose 30 pounds. Howdy Doody! That would mean completely changing my activity levels and totally revamping my eating habits. Could I do it? I came up with my own diet of about 1000-1200 calories a day. Low sugar, low fat, higher protein, more water and more fiber. Healthy foods. I had to make each calorie count. A lot of the time I just ate smaller portions of my favorite foods so I didn't feel deprived. I simplified my calorie/activity outlook to 'take in less, output more'.

My next goal was to exercise. I decided that in my 'golden years' I wanted to be the one actually moving around on my own without the help of walking aides. I wanted to be able to climb stairs without pain. I did not want to be diabetic. I wanted my pre-arthritic joints to be able to move freely as long as possible. I want to be cancer free. I started moving. Denise and I started out slowly, about 10-15 minutes per day in the morning, trying to do it everyday. She and I would warm up, do aerobics/cardio, spot training and then cool down. I gradually built up my time adding 1-2 minutes a day and increasing levels as I felt up to it. I tried to just move more during the day. I later wanted to add more cardio time so I started running after our aerobics. Starting out at about 6-7 minutes, I tried to increase my running time 1 minute per day.

Next I wanted to exercise my brain. While I ran I would memorize things. I'm not very good at it so it would take a long time. As a member of the LDS faith I memorized 'The Living Christ' and the 'Proclamation on the Family' and the Relief Society Theme. Now lest you think that this was easy, it took me 6 months to learn 'The Living Christ' and 8 months for the 'Proclamation'.

I reached my goal of losing 30 pounds and then some in June of 2007. My cholestorol went down 50 points! I went from a size 16 to 8. My shoulders, knees, elbows and hips didn't hurt anymore. I could move more easily. I felt fantastic! I still do.

Now, on to the next step 'A RACE?' My daughter Kathy ran in a 5K race in her city last Spring. And she raved about how much fun it was and insisted that I run one too. Oh, I'm not so sure. She's 21 years younger that I am. Well, after a summer of 'let's do it' everyday I succumbed. We signed up for the Hess Cancer Foundation Legacy Run on September 13th. Yikes! I've been training, but still don't want to make a complete fool of myself. I want to make a respectable showing. I want to finish!

I want to run in honor of those who can't. For my two sisters who have ovarian cancer, one scheduled to start her 3rd round of chemo and the other in the middle of her 2nd round. For my niece in her 30's who just had a double mastecomy and is in the middle of chemo.

Life is precious and I want to be around mentally and physically to enjoy it. So, I may be crazy for attempting the 5K but here goes.....I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 8, 2008

PC to PC?!

I for one am the most surprised of all that I have actually entered the world of the 'blog'! I'm still not even sure I know what it means. What does it mean? In my day the word 'communicate' comes to mind. We used to actually talk face to face! Then we quickly moved to ear to ear. Now PC to PC?!

I really only have done this to get in the grove with my two daughters, both of whom have blogs. Their blogs give me the opportunity to know what's going on in their lives, so I'll join the 'club', although I may bore everyone to tears.