Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Tortoise and the Hares

This morning I ran a 5k for the third time since last fall: the cleverly-named See Spot Run in Guthrie, Oklahoma, a race to benefit the no-kill Free to Live animal sanctuary north of Edmond. It's a good cause and a good motivation to keep pushing myself while working out, so I figured, why not?

My time was also okay - a 31:33, only 2 minutes and 17 seconds faster than today's winning time for the 10k, which certainly keeps my speed in perspective. On the other hand, that's a minute faster than the two 10k times I logged last September and October, so obviously I'm improving, however slowly. And I was not the slowest guy in the 45-49 age group, either, which I believe is a first for me!

Of course, whatever time I post, I can never let myself forget that running a 5k represents a personal victory for me. It's a fitness victory, since I would never have done this when I weighed 285 pounds and had a hard enough time just hauling my body off the sofa, much less moving it faster than a slow walk for 3 miles.

Even more important, though, it's a self-esteem victory. I know I'm no longer enormous, but I'm also well-aware that I don't exactly cut an athletic figure out there, weighing as much as I still do. There was a time when I would not have wanted to expose either my out-of-shape body or my less-than-graceful running style in front of race spectators, but I'm much better with that now. They might not know how much weight I've lost and what running a 5k represents for me, but I know it, and that's enough.

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