Thursday, May 3, 2012

I am not a runner.


I've always hated running. I don't remember much about the days when we had our mile run in elementary school, but I do remember the absolute pure anxiety and stress that I felt during those days. I made myself physically sick and would beg my mom to let me stay home from school. It wasn't like staying home from school would get me out of having to run the mile, but it would at least postpone it for a day or two. My mom was wise in not letting me stay home and told me it was better to just get it over with so that I could stop worrying about it so much. I was always one of the last girls to cross the finish line. I knew the other boys and girls snickered behind my back (and sometimes to my face). It hurt. They didn't know what it was like to hate running as much as I did. They didn't have a body that was so uncoordinated it couldn't even put one foot in front of the other at a faster than walking pace. When I ran it felt like my entire body was shutting down one body part at a time. First my lungs, then my legs and it was all down hill from there.

Even though my body shutting down on me was bad, the worst part was my flushed face after the run. I've always struggled with blushing embarrassing shades of beet and raspberry reds. It's always a dead giveaway when I am uncomfortable or flustered. But it's even more red after a run. It was just as bad in jr. high and high school. So much for winning over any boys with how cute I looked while trying to be athletic. Finally by college I didn't have to ever run again if I didn't want to. And I didn't. Why voluntarily put myself through such torture?!

So, had you told my younger self that when I was 25 I would voluntarily sign up for a 5k I probably would have laughed in your face and said, "Good one."

But it's true. I really did. Just yesterday. And I am officially crazy. It was always sort of up in the air whether I was truly insane or not. But now there is no question. The last few weeks I have been running a mile here and a mile there. Wait, what? Did I seriously just type that? Who.. am.. I...? My brother has been a big motivator getting me into running. Him and my Nike+ app that is. The other night I ran two whole miles. The farthest I have ever ran in my entire life. It felt horrible, but so good. I had no idea my body was even capable of doing that. I ran another 1.8 miles just this morning. I have a long way to go to get up to 5k material before May 19th but I'm going to try my hardest.

The 5k I signed up for is the Running with Angels 5k walk/run they do here every year to raise money for a wonderful program called Angel Watch. Angel Watch provides information, support and comfort to parents whose babies have life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. I remember hearing about it soon after we lost Michael and having a desire to do it in his honor. Unfortunately we lived too far away, I was pregnant and was completely not in physical shape to do it. I happened upon it by chance yesterday and was so excited to see that it hadn't already passed for this year. I signed myself and my husband up. We started a team and have recruited my brother and sister-in-law so far. We will all be running in honor and remembrance of baby Michael (hence the name "Team Baby Michael). I am terrified and excited all at the same time. Donate, come run with us or come watch. I'll be the one killed over with the beet red face just 1/4 of the way into the race! Wish me luck.

11 comments:

  1. First off- good luck !! I think you will do great on your race- the goal is never to win, but to finish and be proud of how you finished!

    Second- I thought your story of your neighbors sounded familiar- their cousin is in our ward here and is a Dr. He has been fighting down here for them too!! Hopefully everything will go well with their surgery!

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  2. You're not crazy Hil, you're awesome! Be proud to join the ranks of those of us who turn horribly red whenever we exercise. (I've actually been stopped by people who were concerned...embarrassing). Have a wonderful race. I'm so proud of you!

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  3. I have felt the exact same way.... and I have also run a 1/2 marathon! My husband is a runner, and when we married, we lived on a park that was 6 miles around in St Louis, where the weather is almost always warm enough to run. So I started. The key for me was having a fabulous girl friend to run with, who chattered the whole time through every run, keeping my mind absolutely distracted. The key to running, I found, is to Keep Running. If you walk, it is so, so impossible to start running again. Slow your pace to Ridiculously Almost Walking, but keep pretending you're running. Fake it 'til you Make it. And you will make it. Congrats and I hope it goes well! Reading this makes me wish SO much that I had a nearby running partner again!

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  4. oh my gosh, I think you just described me. 100% how I feel about running. My neighbors all have a running group and go like 8-9 miles in the morning. They asked me to join and I just had to laugh. I can run exactly one mile before I die. So...nope on that. Oh, and the red face? Check, check, check. It's horrendous. So awesome that you signed up for a 5k though, and in honor of Michael! What a great cause. I can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  5. Good luck!! You can do it, and just think everyone else is going to look just like you!! :) I don't know if you keep in touch with Angelie Weaver Walker (we worked with her at Melaleuca). She had 2 kids. She lost her daughter this past Monday to cancer. Her blog is www.dirtbikerfamily.blogspot.com. I don't know if you knew her or talk but I though you ought to know. It looks like you guys are doing great! Hope you are loving Utah!! I'm a bit jealous you guys are out of Idaho...at least Rexburg! I fear that we will be here forever! :)

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  6. HIlary, this post was hilarious. I HATED when it was time to test for the mile! I NEVER won the Presidential award for fitness. sad memories. Anyway. I am totally proud of your determination to run this race. I know that you have a very good reason for doing so. I am rootin' for ya! You're a good momma.

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  7. You don't know me :) but I worked in the library at church with your amazing mom, and she told me your story, so I've been following you ever since.
    I have the same problems with running as you, fire red face after just a few minutes. I finally just came to terms with it and I ran my first 5k last year, it was amazing! There's a pin on pinterest that says "If you still look pretty when you're done, you did it wrong". I just keep that in my mind.
    I really, really wanted to do the Run With Angels this year, it's my sister-in-law's mom who put it together (have you read her books, her story is so inspiring! www.runningwithangels.com), but unfortunately I will not make it this year. Hopefully next year.
    Good luck to you!

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  8. hilary! i'm so inspired by you!! i hate running (working out) in general!! glad i'm in good company. i wish i could sign up but dan is planning to do a century ride that day. darn it.. i will be thinking of you and cheering for you. i'm so happy you've formed this team in honor of your angel baby. best wishes!!

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  9. You can totally do it! Just set daily goals and it will help you build up the endurance...and good music helps, but it looks like you've already got that going.:)

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  10. I didn't realize that this race was started by Pam Hansen. I read her book soon after I finished chemo and it was so inspiring to me! What a great idea to run in honor of Michael. You'll be fine, you will have so much adrenaline from everyone around you, you will be just fine! What a great thing to do Hil.

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