Thursday, March 24, 2011

Redemption on the Track

I thought about this run all day long. I had the feeling that I was becoming obsessed. In my mind, I had something to prove to myself. In reality I’m sure I had nothing to prove but the gnawing feeling would not go away. I worked all day thinking, “I’ve got to do better than yesterday.” To my surprise I received a performance award at work which came with a pretty substantial cash component. Unfortunately, my perceived inability to run outside for a period of time overshadowed the joy of that moment.

When 4:30 finally arrived I got in my car and headed home. Once I arrived I went upstairs and traded my four-inch heels for my running shoes. It was warm outside so I grabbed a pair of shorts and a breathable t-shirt and I began to stretch. My daughter was watching “She’s Out of Your League” on HBO and I decided to join her while I waited for 6:00. The distraction was welcomed. I asked my daughter to come with me to cheer me on. She says, “Mom, I can’t run!” I respond, “You don’t have to run. I’m going to the track so you can just sit in the bleachers.” No response. Bummer.

Once the movie was over and I was done stretching I took a deep breath and headed to the school. The walk over would serve as my warm-up. Once I arrived I noticed a few people but nothing to hinder me. I put my headphones in and began to listen to Jennifer Hudson, said a quick prayer and started my run. Slow and easy. One time around and all is well. Second time around and I’m feeling pretty good. I start the third lap and I feel a cramp in my right side. I tried to run through it but my body was screaming for me to slow down. So I walked as I held my side. Praying the entire time. Telling myself, “You can get through this, you can get through this.” Third lap is complete and at the beginning of the fourth I began to run again. The pain from the cramp is gone and I’m slightly picking up my pace and I notice a familiar figure sitting in the bleachers. It’s my daughter. As I ran by her I smiled and said, “You are my favorite daughter.” She just rolled her eyes. As I begin my fifth lap I’m realizing that the longer I’m out there the easier it seems. I thought that cramp was going to take me out. Fifth lap complete and I walk at the beginning of the sixth lap but half way around I realize that I felt good enough to run, so I did. At the end of the sixth lap I felt like I could have continued but the sun was setting and my daughter looked like she was getting chilly and I didn’t want to overdo it.

I accomplished what I set out to accomplish. I did better than yesterday.


Single Ma said...

Congrats! I knew you could do it! :-)

That cramp was probably a side stitch. Slow down a little and try to control your breathing. While running, think about the breaths you're taking - inhale for four steps and exhale when your foot strikes on the opposite side of the stitch. Overtime, your diaphragm will get stronger and you won't have them as often.

Anonymous said...

Right on Chele! Great for you. And the bigger message hasn't been lost on me. We must resolve to push through the pain when it feels like it's going to get the best of us because "It" does get easier the longer we do it. :)

TJ said...

Yay for your progress!!!

EmptyNester said...

Oh, now I remember another reason I hated running in college--those darn side cramps!

Good for you! I just knew you could do it!

Yvonne Hall said...

Good job, Chele. Keep up the good work. I know you can do it if for no other reason than the fact that you said you'd do it.