Friday, February 19, 2010

A Benefit of Experience...




Yep, that's me a couple of weeks ago... running with three layers on the bottom and five on top. Brrrrr... I am so ready for the warm... and, I will so appreciate warmth after this cold.

I always "say" I started running when I was twenty. Truth is, I started running as a child. It was play then... I imagined that I was a horse galloping along free and strong... No matter the "start date," running has had a part in most of my life.


I read Running for Health and Beauty during the first year of Amanda's life. I can't remember the author's name, but she convinced me that running 1.5 miles three times a week would change my life. It did. Of course, it took me a whole year to run the entire 1.5 miles. I was so excited to make that milestone!


Looking back to those days, I was a new mother in a marriage that was not the fairy tale I had signed up for... overwhelmed, fearful, and filled with a love that scared me in its intensity... for this tiny creature who was totally dependent on me. I was young. I was stupid. I was terrified. And, I needed to feel the successes of making it from one telephone pole to the next. Running gave me an area that I could push myself to keep going... and succeed. It made me feel stronger. It made me feel like I could cope; like I could make it; like I could raise this child to be a survivor, too.


Fast forward three years. I still celebrated every successful mile and a half. I still fed off the beauty of nature; the gift of a body that could run; and the gratitude I would feel while making my run. I met a new friend, a little older... a little wiser than me. She ran, too. Her runs were three miles long. My one point five mile adventure didn't sound so good anymore. My balloon felt a bit deflated. I told her I didn't think I could ever run that far. She said sure I could. I joined her on several three milers over time. I learned the secret of pacing myself. I learned that my limitations were only in my mind.


It didn't take long after that barrier was broken for me to extend my runs to include 10ks (6.2 miles). My regular runs would be three to five miles. More years pass. Making a long story short, I celebrated my fortieth birthday by running my first marathon (26.2 mi.) and would enjoy four more marathons over the next few years. Those were my peak running days.


More years passed. I lost my desire to do marathons... yet, it became harder and harder to be satisfied with running "normal" amounts... if I wasn't doing long runs on the weekend, did it really count? Adjustment to decreased mileage was difficult.


Then, I hit the menopause button along with some other life changes. I sat on my butt. I thought running was over for me. I didn't really care. Until, a few months ago I realized that life just wasn't as good and I wanted that to change! At 53, I started running again... the biggest difference between 53 y/o Tanna and 20 y/o Tanna is that I knew I could run. I started back running two miles at a time and quickly progressed to three. I started back running two miles. I smile to realize how long it took me at twenty to make it to a mile and a half. There are a few things to be said for age and experience.


It's all in the knowing. The voice I coach myself along with now knows... it is encouraging... it does not doubt. My pace was very slow to start... slow, but sure. I so often wonder how very much we keep ourselves from doing, accomplishing, enjoying, being... just because we doubt ourselves.


I'm so grateful for my friend, who because she knew she could run three miles, taught me that I could too. Thank you, Milha. =)

22 comments:

Christine said...

What a great lesson for ALL of us and you share it beautifully.
I am inspired by your story.
Way to go!!

Stacey at Living by Faith said...

A great read! I am leaving with knowing that it isn't just in the distance I can run, but there is so much more to being out in God's beauty, seeing what this body can do, and feeling gratitude. Thanks for sharing.

nanny said...

I just love reading your insights into life and your positive attitude....go girl...run that marathon(of life)...you can do it!

Jeanette said...

What a great lesson. I started walking yesterday. Slow at first. But I went again today. I know I will go again tomorrow.

I take my 2 buddies, (my dogs) so they will keep me on target and be my inspiration. I will keep checking in with you!

Amanda said...

This could be my all-time favorite post. (Well, maybe it ties for first with my birthday post last year.) An insightful, beautiful message that's written so beautifully, too. Fear of failure cripples, doesn't it? It has a way of sucking risk right out of your life. Maybe my Mission: THRIVE needs to include taking on something I've been afraid to do for fear of failing and rejection. Let me think on this. You've inspired me today...like so many times before. =) I love you. You make me proud to be your daughter.

Deb said...

good for you Tanna....I've never been able to run....I'm more of a walker...

Solar Powered said...

Oh, I love this post. Makes me want to read it over and over and makes me want to run that 10k after all...

kim said...

Love your running story. I walk, but don't run. I didn't even like to run when I was a child. I would always get that sharp pain in my side. Now I have to make myself walk. I know what you mean about the menopause thing. I hope it is over for me this year?!

Terri Smith said...

Loved this story! Thanks for sharing! And thanks for dropping over to my place earlier this week. Your energy, thoughtfulness, and kindness are things I can actually feel through your written word.

Blessings, joy and sunshine, Terri

Dana said...

That was great. I do think getting older has it's perks. You definitely realize how much you can do if you put your mind and heart into it!

Carol............. said...

Great post.......You've inspired me!

In Washington State during the summer "on the ranch" I get my share of workouts but during the winter in Arizona I must confess I'm not as active as I should be..........but thanks to your post I'll get some routine going!

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, dear friend. mks

Becca said...

I just started to run- always hated it but I have found that the more I do it- the more I look forward to it. Visiting from Texas Bloggin Gals- love your post. Visit me sometime- I have a great giveaway going on right now!

~Becca

Darlene said...

How fabulous that you can and do run! I have never been able to keep my breath to run and when I was younger I had asthma and couldn't. I REALLY need to get back to walking though. I am very out of shape right now. Great inspiration! I LOVE the emergence of a bunny belly in your last post. If I ever make it there with my hubby....while we meet and have some coffee....I want to learn how to knit. Will you teach me just some basics?

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I must say, I AM impressed!!! I had lunch after church yesterday with my friend Pat who is going to run her first (and only she says now) 26 mi marathon in a couple of weeks. Pat is an amazing woman, a cancer survivor, domestic abuse survivor and one of the smartest women I know at age 56! You both inspire me--I have gotten so lazy and out of shape! It's time to do something about it!

Bunny Jeans Decor... and More! said...

You go girl!

Also... I'm just letting all my followers (and you are one) know about my giveaway... nothing to do to enter.

You are already entered!

Just my way to say thanks!

Talk to you soon ;)
Bunny Jean

California Girl said...

You know what Tanna? I do not have anything to add to this. It's heartfelt, wise and true. I enjoy hearing about your life.

linda said...

I loved reading this post, thank you. You are an inspiration. I was working up to running when I broke my ankle in Nov. Now, I've started walking again, with the hopes of running soon. I'll start off with that "one point five" miles first!

I wish we lived close to each other. I'd love a running partner!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Run, girl, run! I'm glad to hear that you keep on tryin'; I'm 53 and it sounds like an awesome thing to do.

~ Regan said...

This is such a touching and ispiring post. Thank you!

I would love to run like this, but I always give up. And then I sit, punishing myself for giving up. Its frustrating! I have told myself, as soon as the warm weather arrives, (our roads are very poorly plowed- and I live in a town that thinks sidewalks are a waste of taxpayers money) I want to push myself to bike and run more. I hope I can just make it to the 1.5 mile marker!!

addhumorandfaith said...

What a wonderful story of the way running has threaded through your life! Congratulations -- you look great, and I'm sure feel that way to to be back at it. :)

Keelie said...

Ah! Thanks so much for sharing this! This year I began running. I began with the goal of being able to run 1 mile in 12 weeks. I did it in 2. Then I set the 12 week goal to 2 miles. By the 4th week I had run 3! I am learning about myself simply what you stated--my limitations are only in my mind.

Great post!

Keelie

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