It’s been three months since I started working out regularly with the Black Girls Run Philadelphia group. I still struggle between wanting to snuggle in my bed or get up when the alarm goes off at “way too early” o’clock. I still can’t control my breathing, feeling like I am gulping underwater as I charge up a hill. In spite of physical therapy, my heel is still sore and has me trying to cajole massages from The Librarian and there are muscles I have never known making their acquaintance with me.
Running sometimes sucks but I would not give this up is for anything.
Today’s run was one of my longest since I’ve started running again. As we made our way through the route, I was the slowest in my group but I managed to keep up. There were times when I felt like I just couldn’t coordinate breathing and moving, a few times I walked or slowed my run pace to where walking seemed faster but the ladies in the group were so supportive and waited for me, chatted to distract me from my thoughts and pushed me to a new goal.
Progress is slow, physically and mentally, and it’s the mental progress that struggle the most with. I know I am getting stronger, making a better version of myself, ONLY competing with myself but I have to struggle to stay focused on these thoughts. When I am running slower than the pack I need to remind myself that three months ago the mere thought of lacing up my sneakers and getting up to run was non-existent and celebrate *that* win.
Today was a day when it felt like I could not get my breathing coordinated with my steps, the negative thoughts kept trying to creep in yet instead of giving up I pushed through my negative thoughts and worked on breathing and thinking of the wonderful physical wins. Such as I friggin’ ran almost four miles! There was a lot of starting and stopping but I did it! My blood pressure is not so high. I still have to take my meds (bah!) but my pressure is lower and stabilized. I am sleeping well. Most nights, I actually fall asleep and STAY asleep and when I get up in the morning, I feel rested and ready for the day.
But y’all…the best part of this not sounding like Darth Vader when I go up and down steps. Storytime does not find me breathing hard after my warm-up or sweating like I ran through a jungle.
I am still taking workouts a day at a time, thinking about the week ahead since I participate in the Nike Run Club and have a weekly goal of 15K, but being ok with running a day at a time. Some days I sleep in, some days I run at night. I just know that getting off of the couch and getting out with the group is a win and what I need for me right now.
I did allow myself to consider what I would be doing for the rest of the month. Going out with the group, running alone, walks with my family. Whatever I do, it’s a win when I am creating a better Rachee.