What a Difference a Year Makes!

Published June 8, 2014 by Susan Woodward

One year ago (yesterday) I completed my first-ever 5K… I was dying!  I nearly collapsed when I came across the finish line, I was dehydrated because I had not learned about how to hydrate correctly, and I had make the horrible mistake of thinking that dried prunes were a good before-the-race energy snack.

This was me one year ago…happy to be alive after 5K of power-walking.  It was huge for me at the time because I was just starting on the road to getting into better shape and being healthier.

I remember crashing once I got home, my legs shaking and muscles screaming.  But I was SO proud of myself!!

That was my first 5K race… I did three more this past year:

Run For Your Life (chased by zombies)- August

Push Yourself – October

It’s a Wonderful Run (in a snowstorm)- December

It seems I have a particular pose I like to strike to show off my “strength”…

In any case, June 2013 was the beginning of training for power-walk racing for me…no running.  I like my knees the way they are…even without the ACL in one of them!

After the holidays, I began getting ready to up my game… and I did the Spring Forward 15K in Mendon Ponds Park.  I was in PAIN for days after climbing those HILLS for 9.3 miles!  I had not hydrated correctly (again…didn’t learn…), and I ended up on the couch for several days not being able to move around much.  It took nearly three weeks to recover!  Once I managed to get over the soreness, I decided to try the next level… a half-marathon.  Heck, I was walking, right?  Not like I had to RUN for 13.1 miles!

So I joined up in a few walks with the Genesee Vally Hiking Club and took myself to the mall during the cold weather to walk the halls.  Another 15K with the hiking club nearly did me in… I completed the 10 mile hike, but even though I drank lots of water, I STILL was a hurting puppy from dehydration.  I decided to do some research about how to prepare myself…

And it turns out that the best thing I could use to help myself was Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!  🙂

The week before the half-marathon in Niagara Falls, I put chia seeds in everything.  I also drank an entire case of coconut water (which I now love and crave every day…).  I got some of those energy gel pouches to carry with me during the race, as well as some of those rehyrdrating gummies…and they worked!

NFWHM-FINAL-FLAT I managed to complete the 21.1K!!  That’s more than FOUR 5Ks at one time!!  For me, that was like doing the YMCA race, Run For Your Life, Push Yourself, and It’s a Wonderful Run BACK TO BACK!!

And I DID it!!! 

In 18 months, I went from couch (and a pack a day) to silks to 5K to 15K to a half-marathon!!  And I am STILL smoke free!!

And I got to meet a wonderfully inspiring woman, Kathrine Switzer, who was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (in spite of the judge trying to force her out of the “male” race by trying to rip off her bib).  She signed her book Marathon Woman for me, and I shall be reading that as soon as school is out…it shall inspire me to keep going, even when I am tired, sore, dehydrated, frustrated, or just plain lazy.

 

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What a difference a year makes!!!

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2 comments on “What a Difference a Year Makes!

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