Monday, June 11, 2012

Warrior Dash Week

Prerace 2011. Clean and ready to go.

In just five days I'll be running the Warrior Dash for the second year in a row. If you haven't heard of the Warrior Dash it's a 3+ mile run with 10ish obstacles including jumping over fire and crawling through a mud pit. It was some of the most fun that I've had running...pretty much ever. I loved that I did things I never thought I could climb up and over large walls. It was like boot camp, without anyone yelling at me.

Post-race...he'll have 35 fewer pounds to lift this year!

I love the experiences and people I have met through running. Races (in which I'm not actually racing, just running) give me a chance for camaraderie with like minded people. I also love seeing others sign up for a first time race then get hooked on the feeling running gives them. The feeling of knowing they accomplished something they didn't think they could do...and the Warrior Dash is definitely one of those races. I really like to run for myself. It's something that I really got interested in after college. While I am super, super slow, I also know I'm doing something most people never expected me to do. I love the feeling of an early morning Saturday run. I feel free. I feel empowered. But lately I also feel pain.

What every Warrior needs...a turkey leg

Not just normal running aches. But my knees and hip have been reminding me with each run that I have the joints of someone much older. My joints give up long before my lungs do. I so badly want to keep running, but I know I at least need it break. It may last a few weeks, it may last a lifetime. But a quick reminder of my past should help me from getting too discouraged.

When I was diagnosed with arthritis in 2009 I couldn't even go for a 10 minute walk without a lot of pain. The doctor made it sound like I'd be limited to yoga, pilates, and water exercise the rest of my life. So I did what I could. Slowly adding more until I could walk for 20 minutes. Then 30. Then 60. Then a one minute jog here and there. Over time I was able to start running. I've had to learn to accept that to keep my knees happy I have to keep a slow pace and not run much farther than 3 miles.

Last year's Warriors.

When I was diagnosed I remember thinking "I wish I could have just one more good run." So this Saturday I'll get in one super fun run, knowing it may be my last. It's part of accepting who I am and how I am made.

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