I did speed work twice this week, but I didn't think I'd be able to run even 10 minute miles for five miles. (This was the first time I'd ever run that distance- yes, EVER) Friday, our first cold front rolled in, and our running group was not running in our usual neighborhood. We ran in one of the our only Louisiana "hilly" neighborhoods AND it was 50 degrees outside AND the wind was whipping. Great. It's effing cold, AND I have to run uphill.
"The stars are stacked against you girl get back in bed"
Friday, I went to bed thinking I had set myself up for failure. I was mentally preparing myself for what I felt was the inevitable reality. I would not be able to run the 5 mile run under 50 minutes. I was preparing myself for how I would cope with my failure. I was prepping myself to not fall apart after my fail. Reminding myself that I can pick myself up and try again. That if I fail, it's going to be OK.
Saturday morning, I woke up bright an early. I crammed a Think Thin bar in my yap, drank some water, and headed out to meet up with my running group, Personally Fit's sole sistas.
During the warm up, I was mentally freaking myself out. I felt extremely anxious, why had I set myself up to fail? I was mad at myself for setting myself for failure. I could not stop the negative thought process. Lucky for me, the ladies I run with are super fun, positive, and uplifting, so I didn't have time for the negative to completely take over. Right before I pressed "start run" on my phone, I thought to myself , "Just enjoy the run, you've already come so very far, just be proud of yourself!".
"I feel lucky"
I was able to compartmentalize the 30 Day Challenge Goal and the negative self doubt and anxiety.
One of the trainers, who I absolutely adore, ran with me for three miles. She usually runs a mile with me, then she doubles back to run with the rest of the group. Saturday, for whatever unknown reason she decided, I'm running a whole three miles with you. YES! I knew I would push myself if I ran with her. I told her my goal, and her reaction was "Sheesh girl that's fast! But you got that"
Really?? You think I can? Why don't I think I can?
Five minutes in I'd run .7 miles. Shit balls. I was so excited. I started to believe what everyone else was telling me. I think I can, I think I can. 10 minutes in- 1.2 miles. I felt like a rock star. She and I talked the entire way, we did slow down at one point, and she lit a fire under my ass around mile 2.5, "Let's push this half mile out so you have plenty of time to get under 50 for the last two miles" We hammered out that half mile, and at mile three, she left me to head back to the group. I had two miles left to run on my own. Yet I was still doubting myself. Surely I was only running so fast because she was pushing me, there's no way I can do this on my own. I kept pounding. 40 minutes in my ap said to me, " 40 minutes, Pace 9:40 (OH EM GEE), 4.1 miles run.
I finally started to really believe what everyone else had been telling me. I CAN achieve this goal. I WILL achieve this goal. At the risk of sounding utterly cheesy, I felt the negative chains fell off, Matisyahu's Miracle came pounding through my ear buds, as if designed by The Biggest Loser's Executive Producer or some crazy shit, and big fat tears started rolling down my face. At the 40 minute mark, I knew I had the goal in the bag. I wasn't exhausted, I felt I could have pounded out four more miles, and I was going to achieve my goal. I don't think I've ever felt such an intense pride in myself.
I thought about the first time I tried to run a mile on the treadmill, the way it felt when my fat was fighting me back. Like I was the punching bag and the fat Muhammad Ali. How I thought I would NEVER be a runner. How I thought I'd NEVER achieve my goals. How frequently I was reduced to tears because of the shame I felt for letting myself go, for gaining 61 pounds.
The tears kept coming.
I began coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer that girl. I'm no longer over weight and hiding in shame and self doubt. I am a runner. I am fit. I CAN do anything, ANYTHING, I set my mind to. I KNOW I can.
My last mile felt like flying, it was easy for me. Like I had done it a million times before. I know the other women in our group look at me and think, "She's a runner, why is she training with us for this little run" I know this because they say this too me, that and "She's not even sweating!" (I DO sweat, A LOT), "You're already so skinny". I worry they think I'm showing off, but they don't know my story.
They don't know about my struggle. They don't know about my fight to reclaim my body. My fight to shed 52 pounds. They don't know what I've been though on this journey to take back my life.
That last mile, I let it all out, the tears kept coming, I felt all the self doubt, all the worry, all the anxiety fall off on to the pavement. I let it all go during that last mile. I'm finally free from fat Leigh Ann.
I fucking did it.
Next Challenge- Run the 10K under an hour. I KNOW I can.
"When I need a healing, I just look up the the ceiling. I see the sun coming down I know its all better now"
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