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You Can't Rest on Your Former Glory

Friday, February 19, 2010

Have you ever hear the phrase "You can't rest on your former glory"?

No one cares that you once won an award. It's not relevant to the present.

That you used to be thin, doesn't matter today.

No one cares that you once won a race.

What you are doing today is what they see.

Last year I was just about to take down pictures of my husband and I running in an 8K race in 2003. I was tired of seeing myself as a runner, when it was so far from the reality I was living.

I loved to hear runners talk about their runs and hear of how their training was going. But when I would try to add to the conversation, it was based on a past feeling. I had nothing to add to the current reality. I was 80 lbs. heavier than my 'running days'. I was not credible or believable as a runner.

Who was I fooling. Runner was so removed from who I was at the time, 80 lbs. heavier, high blood pressure, couldn't even walk a mile.

But, I could ride a bike! I love riding my bike! So, I headed out every chance I got! I could go on long excursions on my bike. After a couple months and 25lbs lighter, I starting working out with my personal trainer through a fitness program at our university. In September we stepped onto the track and she said "We're just going to walk". So we walked for five minutes. Then she said "We just going to jog one lap". Do you know how hard one lap is for someone who is overweight and out of shape?

So hard!

I had been having foot and ankle issues for 9 months previous to this.

Had physical therapy and cortisone shots in my heal, gone to bed in tears from pain.

And now, Ms. Perky Trainer, says we are going to jog.

Well, I jogged and I made it all the way around. Not because it was easy. Not because I was loving it. But because I am not a quitter!

We alternated walking and jogging a couple more laps. I was gasping and felt like I was going to collapse.

The next time I met with her she had me do suicide runs on the basketball court!
HELLO! I'm 44! I'm OVERWEIGHT! But, I do it!

I am so proud of myself! I proved something to myself. I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for.

A couple days later my husband and I are out doing errands. I have already planned what happens next. I had my running clothes on, my trainers on, my music. When we are a mile and a half from the house, I ask my husband to let me out of the car so I can run. I wasn't sure I could run it, but I knew I was strong enough to finish it.

When I broke into a light jog, my legs felt heavy.

As my foot struck the pavement it jarred my whole body.

Five strides in, this little . . . no big, no HUGE voice in my head screamed "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING???? THIS HURTS"

I thought for a moment about jumping up and down and waving for my husband to come back. Part of me was afraid that he wouldn't see me and part of me was afraid he would. I'm not a quitter! I told him not to come back for me.

Walk. Walk. WALK!!! Don't quit. But walk.

So I walked the distance of two telephone poles.

Now, run. Okay, low jog. A trot will do. Shuffle if you must. But move it!

Okay. I'm jogging, oh, my, oh, my, I'm jogging. Relax. Breath. You can walk when you get to the next telephone pole. No, not yet. Get there, Get there. Almost there, then you can walk. Not yet. Almost. Okay. Walk.

The next time I run I run twice the distance and walk half the distance. I continued this interval type running/walking until I stagger to the entrance of our subdivision.

I see my husband in the car coming to check on me and offer me a ride. I want it. No, I don't. I want to complete what I started.

My husband knows me, he knows I am stubborn and determined. As soon as he sees me, he gives me the thumbs up and heads back home. He didn't even ask if I was okay. He didn't even ask if I wanted a ride. He just turned around.

He know me well.

I needed to finish on my own strength. Complete.

He waits in the driveway at home and cheers for me as I cross the finish line.

I'm a runner.

As many of you know, I started the Couch to 5K training program a few weeks after this 'run'. I have not looked back since. Before I had even been able to completely run a full mile without walking, I signed up for a half marathon. Some may think that is crazy. But I know me. I am determined. I will finish what I started. I am stubborn. I will complete.

Today I am running twenty miles a week.

My long run on Saturday will be 7 miles!

I'm a runner!

A fitness challenge started at work. Team of 6 walkers or runners sign up for this three week challenge. Of course, I pounced right on it and started thinking of people I'd like to be on my team. Funny thing is, everyone I asked hesitated . . . they were intimidated by the number of miles I run each week!!! Me! A runner!!!

My team will not win this challenge.

We are a team of one new runner who is up to running two miles three times a week.
One runner who is running four miles three times a week.
Two, I'd like to be a runners who I just started on the Couch to 5K.
Two runners (my husband and I) who are running twenty miles a week each.

Look at me! I'm a runner! And I love it!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    WoW, inspirational!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3983 days ago
    You write it all so well. Thanks for bringing us along on your run. You go girl!
    3984 days ago
    Thanks for taking the time to put this into a blog. I consider myself not a runner....I try to run during my personal training but it is a struggle. I am not sure if it is my breathing or what, but I so admire people that run. I tell myself that some bodies are not built for running, some are built for strength. But maybe I will keep trying. It seems that those on this site that run have phenominal weight loss....so maybe I will just keep jogging as long as I can and walk, and keep trying to push the distances.
    3984 days ago
    Yay....clean eating, running, determination and grit..that's the Carolyn we all know and love! Whoop da! emoticon emoticon
    3986 days ago
  • NEWME0519
    Thank you for sharing this! Even though my stomach is hurting from laughing at you "I'm 44 and over weight!" One day soon, I hope to be a runner too. Your tenacity will give me the courage to continue even when it seems impossible to COMPLETE!
    3986 days ago
    WooHoo! What a wonderful well written blog and so full of great aha moments and insight. The message I am taking away from this is that we can not rest on our laurels or former glory, but need to make each day count and do our very best to make THIS time matter.
    3986 days ago
    So AWESOME!!!!
    3986 days ago
    Love this. "No one cares that you once won an award. It's not relevant to the present."

    The past is the past and if we continue seeing life through the past - we just get stuck there. It only matters who we are right now... So I love this story for pointing that out. We must be who we want to be right now. Now is what matters. Love this story...

    Congrats gorgeous runner. I bet you are rocking it!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3986 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1834472
    What a fantastic read, I really enjoyed it. I could certainly identify with the first part, and today as I struggled through my workout, I could identify a little with the second.
    Well Done, but I must admit I am in Awe at the way you can write about it...what a gift you have. emoticon
    3986 days ago
    You are a runner... and an inspiration!! And whether is stubborness or determination...you are doing it!! Way to go!
    3986 days ago
    Carolyn, you are such a stubborn woman!!
    AND we LOVE you for it!
    I have done the same thing, signed up for my first mini tri, just 2 weeks into my c25k!
    The event is 7thMArch and I am on week 3, ie, today I ran 3 minutes without stopping AND it was EASY! I am loving running, a newbie for sure, but I am being careful with listening to my body and warm ups...

    you are such an inspiration!
    3986 days ago
    What a great blog!
    I loved how it started out with you using every bit of muster and willpower to just do any running, and got to the point where you were out-running the pack!
    I'm really proud of you, and am cheering you on!
    I have never been a runner, and can't even imagine myself being one. But I'm reading so much on various spark pages about people's thrill when they have done a great run, and when they met a personal challenge.
    I'm at the stage where it jars my body, I know I look like jello, and it burns in my lungs --- but I think I might try this running thing, and see where it leads.
    You are inspiring me to try this "running" thing and see for myself what is so great about it.
    Thanks for putting this out there.
    You're doing an amazing job, and I'm really proud of you!
    3987 days ago
    LOVE this blog. You were telling my story too. Living in the former glory with pictures from races over 9 years ago. Have started back slowly, but not consistently. Thanks for this....it helps to know I can get it back. But I have to want it. You rock!
    3987 days ago
    YES YOU ARE A RUNNER! Love this saying: Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.

    I love hearing these words because they always take me back to that mindset, "I am a Runner"....

    You truly are my inspiration!
    3989 days ago
    I think we are soul sisters. I love your story and your tenacity. I don't think you are that stubborn, courageous and not a quiter yes, but stubborn...NOPE! I think determination and a little hard and not giving up makes you sparktacular. Woohoo.

    Let me know how your 7 miler goes lady.

    Run Hard, Run Long, and Love the PAVEMENT!

    3989 days ago
  • DEBBIE1414
    Great job on not giving up. Congrats on being a runner!
    3989 days ago
    I am so proud of you!!! tears are rolling down my cheek! Great job and great story.
    3989 days ago
    Great spirit!!! So proud of you. Don't look back but forward! You are amazing.
    3989 days ago
    Good for you! You are so right about not resting on your former glory. Another thing that I believe is that we are capable of so much more than we give our selves credit for. You are proof of that. Keep it up!
    3989 days ago
    Not only are you a runner, but such an inspiration! What a great attitude you have for your team too! You are living it! Awesome!!!!
    3989 days ago
    yeah You!!! YOU'RE A RUNNERRRRRR.. that is so crazy wild... it must feel wonderful to move through life as a runner.. an athlete.. can't even imagine the perspective that you view your life from now... way cool!

    Battle On!
    3989 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4811290
    YEAH you are definitely a runner!!
    3989 days ago
    Good for you. It's important to keep going, challenging ourselves, being stubborn, and overcoming those challenges.

    I've just started doing little intervals on the treadmill, increasing the speed from my usual 3.0 to 3.6 as well as increasing the incline from my usual 1.5 to 3.5 for 2 minutes, then back down for 4 minutes, then back up. Every day I will increase the time spent on the faster intervals, and then increase the speed and incline

    I'm also doing the elliptical machine, starting out slowly - I did 5 minutes at zero incline and zero resistance the first day. I'll keep slowing increasing to challenge myself.

    3989 days ago
    3989 days ago
    Great blog! You can do anything you set your mind to. emoticon
    3989 days ago
  • B-N-ME
    It's nice to hear of someone reaching there goals. May the rest of your life changing goals come to you in the same way....
    Keep up the good work!
    3990 days ago
    So inspiring to read! Thanks for posting.
    3990 days ago
  • TREBLE02
    awesome! 20 miles a week! So inspiring! I hope to be doing that one day! I dont really refer to myself as "a runner" yet, but i will one day soon! HIGH FIVE! Thanks for the motivation, as usual!
    3990 days ago
    You always inspire me!
    3990 days ago
    this is a beautiful post, congratulations, your success is well deserved you worked hard for it :)
    3990 days ago
    Congratulations! Your enthusiasm is catching! Wishing you the best w/ your team of runners--who knows, you may win after all! Or at least everybody will "win" in the sense that they've gotten better, and probably lost some weight in the process.

    3990 days ago
    I will always remember the day last fall when I realized that I was now a runner! Thanks for your blog today; it made me remember the excitement all over again!

    emoticon emoticon
    3990 days ago
    You are a runner and you will be as long as your body allows!! I think of you everytime I run a little bit. And I was laughing about the No, not yet. Get there, Get there. Almost there, then you can walk. Not yet. Almost. Okay. Walk. That is so me!! Have a wonderful weekend!!

    3990 days ago
    Wow! I loved this. Your determination and your pride in your achievements just leap from the page. Thank you for sharing this and (of course) well done.
    3990 days ago
    How awesome! I am inspired by you. This week my daughter and I were jogging and commenting that it has gotten much much easier. Yeah for us and woo hoo for you!
    3990 days ago
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