Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Meeting Goals - This one is for you Skip!

Nice Run In The Rain

I did it! I finally ran a 10 K!
After I came home from surgery late September I set 3 goals for myself to work toward. Harley encouraged me to write them down to make them real and to remind me what I set for myself to accomplish. When goals are written down you become more committed and are more apt to follow through with pursuing them.

My 3 goals were to:

1) learn to write again (my hand and wrist was very weakened from the surgery and I could barely sign my name)

2) climb the Columbia Tower again (the tallest skyscaper in Seattle and the west coast)

3) run a 10 K by July (which I have never done in my life)

As soon as I was approved, I hit the gym and started doing weight lifting again and worked on my arm, wrist, shoulder, and hand muscles. After about 3-4 months the muscles which control handwriting were finally strong again and I was back to enjoying writing lists ans signing my name.

While in the hospital going up or down stairs was very terrifying as I had double vision and my balance was weakened. At the same time that I resumed weight lifting, I also did various exercises to train to climb the Columbia Tower and I used the stair simulating machine at the gym.

I worked up to running two 5 K events in June but was not ready for a 10 K. It was taking all I had just to run a 5 K. When I decided to pursue this 31.5 mile hike, I changed my training and quit running after my 2nd 5K event on June 8th. I was having a hip problem and decided to stop running to see if it improved.

I pretty much decided to forgo the 10 K all together but a couple weeks ago it began nagging at me. It felt like my summer and my goals would be imcomplete.

There are no guarantees with each surgery or even of how my life will progress with NF2. I am not in a position to say "Oh. I will do that next year.....or...the year after, or the year after that." This could be it! It could be my only chance!

I had regretted not taking the time to do a 5 K before my last surgery. I really wanted to know if I could do it and how well I could do. When I had ran in the May 2006 Relay for Life, I collapsed after 3 miles. A year later I was stronger and wanted to know how I would do. Fortunately, I was still able to pursue this after my surgery and pleasingly found my answer this summer.

So the 10 K beckoned me. It was too late to enter any local 1o K races. The last one was on Saturday which was a hard hilly course in downtown Seattle. I had not awakened early enough to make it in time for registration so I did not go.

Tonight was perfect for running and I had it in mind to attempt a long run. It was a nice cool 61 degrees for the dogs and a very ideal climate for me as I do not take well to running in the heat. Further, it was sprinkling that later turned to a shower which kept my eye moist and the dogs and I refreshed. The damp rain bought out the exhilirating smells of the earth pleasing our senses.

At first I really did not have it in mind to run a 10 K but as I was running and enjoying the trail and surroundings, it dawned on me that July is almost over. It is July 29th to be exact with only 2 more days left......my original goal almost faded. With conditions perfect there was no time like the present. If not now, when? I had to grab the opportunity before it slipped out of my fingers. Thus I put my whole heart into the run and determined that I was going to try with all my power to complete a 10 K.

A few weeks ago my dear friend Skip told me very confidentally that he believed it would not be a problem for me. I doubted myself and told him that I had a hard time running just a 5 K. Still, his belief in me did not falter and I began to believe in myself and revisited the original goal I had set.

It was not by any means easy but I tried to put myself in a mindset to complete what I set out to accomplish and to not give up. I thought of how proud my friend Skip would be and I thought of the many others whom I admire working hard to run marathons to raise money for NF and other causes. Fellow patients who would probably love to run at all further came to mind. I also thought about all the people sponsoring me on this hike and how they believe in me too. It is my responsibility to follow through.

During the run I set little distance goals to make it from one point to the next. Since I can't read my watch or pedometer to run, I had no idea the exact distance I was going. I just knew that the particular route I ran last week was almost 6 miles. Therefore, I ran further to ensure that the distance was long enough.

If you had been a runner behind me, you would have wondered if I was drunk, severely exhausted, or something was seriously wrong with me as I did not run a straight path. I was zigzagging all over the place and several times I nearly lost my footing and tripped. Barely being able to see as darkness approached I just kept on going. Not only was I setting out to complete a certain distance, but I was also racing against the clock to get out of the tree covered areas while there was still a little light. Once the night has settled, my chariot turns back into a pumpkin. Thus I kept running until I could break out into the field where the faintest bit of daylight remained. It was a good extra motivation...the little push that I needed to reach my goal.


Kathy said...

You absolutely amaze me!!! Way to go on reaching your goal Beck!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Rebecca, you just did a 10K run Tuesday evening, it sounds like. You are the cat's meow...or I should say, the dog's bark! How are you doing now? I stand ready to go wherever you want to go Saturday - Little Si or? I talked to Monica yesterday, the program mgr. for Teac Survivor. She is hoping next year there can be 2 hiking groups: one for the "slower" and one for "faster." She is seeing if the Mountaineers would have anyone interested in leading the "slower." See you Saturday.