First, Dottie, that one was for you.
So, as I oh so casually mentioned in the title of this post I have BIG NEWS. Now, I know in the world in which I blog, people are always making “race plans” and “race announcements,” so maybe this is just another one of those for most of you. For me, however, this is a momentous occasion because, as some of you may know, I have not been able to run in over two years due to Postural Orthostatic Tachcardia Syndrome (or the less scary POTS- fitting for a food blog if you’re going to have a weird disease or syndrome, yes?), which meant that for the past two years I have not been able to run for more than two minutes without fainting dead away because the system that controls my blood pressure, heart rate and so much more can no longer be relied on to do so properly.
I mean, I suppose that if things are a little slow at a soiree, this could be a quite nifty party trick(if I was willing to zoom in circles around the house, of course), but for someone who used to run daily and was in training for a 1/2 marathon before she passed out on her doorstep, it was devastating. My heart would pound wildly out of control and the world would start to turn black unless I dropped immediately where I happened to be standing and put my head between my knees, waiting for it to pass. I mean, that gorgeous guy did stop once to ask if I needed assistance, but regardless, every single run became frustrating and terrifying. Before long, I knew that it was getting too dangerous for me to continue until I was able to get the POTS under control(Hmmm…that’s a funny sentence. I’m imagining my cooking pots marching out of my cabinet and whacking me over the head…). In the past two years, I’d try to run every so often, but I was thwarted by blackness creeping over my field of vision every.single.time.
Then my life changed. I started living my healthiest life. I started listening to my body. I do yoga. I’m losing weight. I learned to love myself- both body and mind. One day a couple of months ago, in the pouring rain and without an umbrella, I started to run. I could barely see two feet in front of me, my shoes were soaked through, my hair was matted against my face and I ran like I was being chased by zombies- Really really fast moving zombies, of cours. I finally got to the car, pulled the door open, plopped myself inside, lamenting the frizzies that were sure to follow, when it dawned on me: The world wasn’t spinning. The world wasn’t turning black. My heart wasn’t pounding out of control. I RAN.
In the past few months, I have been taking it really slow, testing my body, learning my limits and how and when to push them. I’ve learned techniques to cope, learned the signals my body emits, and gained confidence in myself that I never thought I would find again. So, it with the greatest excitement and joy that I announce that I will be training to run, walk, or even crawl if I have to, the Run to Remember half marathon in May. I am making the commitment here and now. This is for real.
I am under no delusions that this is going to be easy physically or that I won’t be frustrated or angry that I am not the runner I once was and may never be again. It will be slow going as I continue to reconcile what was with what is. I am not cured. I am not completely symptom free. What I am though is self-aware, stubborn as hell, and 100% sure that somehow I can cross that finish line. I am not running this with the hope of getting a great time. I am running this for myself- to prove to myself that I am truly whole again.
This blog won’t become a diary about my training, but I will post updates- both good and bad. This is still a blog about food, design, and now it’s also about muddling your way through trying to live a healthy life. Some people want you to think it’s easy to be the best version of you that you can possibly be, or that it’s all puppies and rainbows, but the truth is that while success can give you so much, it’s the hard work and dedication that gives you more. It’s not always easy, but it’s when you find the strength in yourself that it’s worth it.
I plan to start off very slowly with the Couch to 5k to get myself back on a schedule of sorts. However, if it is necessary for me to do week one two or three times, so be it. I have months ahead of me and I have to learn to be patient (says the most impatient girl on the Eastern seaboard).
There are so many of you out there that inspire me and awe me with your accomplishments. Any advice? Running or otherwise? Any cool sayings to put on my shirt? Help a gal out!