It’s a Thin Line

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be talking so much about running.

Obviously running is one of the top things on my mind lately with my first marathon only fifteen days away, but I also feel like I’m walking a thin line. Let me explain…

I write this blog a lot for myself. I know that in a way that sounds selfish, but over the past few months I’ve realized that blogging has made me a happier person! I have also found that by writing honestly about my feelings and reading other bloggers do the same that I have really overcome this body image issue.

However, I know that other people read what I write, and I don’t ever want to send the wrong idea. I want the people who read my blog to feel empowered, feel inspired, forget about negativity, whether it’s negative body image or guilt or disappointment…I just want them to feel happy!

Whenever I have given recovery speeches in the past, I haven’t mentioned the fact that I have new (positive) goals of running half marathons, full marathons, and maybe someday a triathlon (can someone teach me to swim and bike please?) I feel like that might send across the wrong message…the wrong message that in order to be recovered and feel okay about my body I need to dive into training plans and long runs. That is definitely not the case, but I could see how it might appear to someone who doesn’t know me.

I don’t want people to think that running five, ten, even twenty miles is normal. It isn’t! It’s part of a plan for something bigger. But I can tell you that the plan wouldn’t be possible if I weren’t in a good place, a healthy mentality.

It’s a thin line that I walk…or run. It’s a little bit of a balancing act. If the scale tips to one side and I find myself not running with healthy goals in mind, and instead running as an unattainable quest for self acceptance with my body and weight, then I would stop. I don’t run to burn calories or because I think I need to lose weight. I would definitely hate (like, really, really, really hate) running if those were my intentions. I run because it’s “me” time. I run to challenge myself. I run to have a healthy heart.

I run because I enjoy it.

ang

More Than Just A Race Recap

Thank you for all the support and prayers regarding the tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, and now also in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas. It looks like today is going to be another difficult day…as I am writing there are warnings all around Kansas City…even closer to home.

But as I had mentioned, something really great happened to for me this past Saturday, and I’d like to share it now…

A few weeks ago I was searching the internet for races. I found a 5K race that was in my town, and I thought it’d be a great race to sign up for since I’ve recently become a new resident here.

I decided to register for it.

Also a few weeks ago I got my weekly e-mail from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Kansas City with a list of all the local children who needed Wish Granters. I typically never even open these e-mails because I am too afraid that I won’t be able to devote enough time to do everything I could to make a child’s wish come true. I was trained in wish granting and volunteering almost two years ago, and although I have volunteered at some events for Make-A-Wish, I had yet to sign up to actually grant a wish.

Something told me to go ahead and open this e-mail.

I first skimmed down the column that said where the children were from. Then I noticed that there was a someone from my new town. Then I skimmed over and saw her name and condition.

Gabrielle S., 9 years old, Osteosarcoma.

I had this meant-to-be feeling about her, so I decided to sign up to be one of her Wish Granters.

Little did I know that these two decision I made would relate to one another! A few days later I realized that my 5K race was created to benefit little Miss Gabi!

The Race T-shirt

I was able to meet Gabi on Friday to talk to her about her wish. She is seriously an amazing little girl…and she is beyond precious. Since I now knew I was running for her, I made sure I got her autograph on the t-shirt that I was going to where for the race!Saturday morning my hubby drove me to the race. This is the first race that he has been to, and since the race was pretty small and had no timing chips, I had him time me because of our bet. I didn’t think I’d run the 5K in 24 minutes or less, but I wanted him to witness it, just in case I actually did.

We got to the race a little bit early, so I drank some water and stretched a little bit in the hub’s rusty ol’ truck. There were a few people warming up for the race, and one looked to be a seventy-year old man. The hubby looked over at me and said, “You better not let that guy beat you!”

Gabi’s oldest sister was going to sing the National Anthem before the race, and I didn’t want to miss it, so the hubby and I left the truck and headed over to the crowd. We got to the start area with perfect timing as Gabi’s dad gave a speech thanking everyone for their support and saying that today was a good day because Gabi was full of smiles. A good day indeed. Then their priest said a prayer. We prayed for Gabi and her journey ahead, for Gabi’s family, and we even prayed for the rain to hold of until the race was over! Then we all said the Lord’s Prayer together. This was very touching moment. Then Gabi’s sister sang beautifully, and it was time for the runners to head to the start line. As I made my way to the start line, I stopped by Gabi’s wheelchair and stole a hug from her! :)

Before I knew it, I was off and running! I ran fast, passing and passing and passing people until I fell into my pace. Pretty soon I was huffing and puffing, but I tried not to slow down. This was my first 5K in a long time (almost a year) so I wasn’t used to running the shorter distance. I told myself it was okay that I was breathing so hard because the race would be over before I knew it. I was keeping up with some men, so I just told myself to stay with them. A little ways in I came to the realization that I was following a bunch of men…not women. I didn’t see any girls up ahead of me.

After about two miles I ended up passing one of the men I was keeping up with. I rounded a corner and just went on by him and it felt great (sorry guy). But soon after, I was passed by another woman.

Nnnnnooooooooo!

I told myself, it’s okay Angela…you are doing your best. Just don’t let her get too far ahead!

Then I was passed again…by a man…by that old man who was warming up in the parking lot! That seventy-year old man!

Nnnnnoooooooooo!

But I just kept going and running the fastest that I could. Once I knew I was at the home stretch I felt a little inspiration. I picked it up a little bit, and guess what? I passed that woman back up! I didn’t know if there were more girls ahead of me, maybe just beyond where I could see, but when I came to the home stretch, one of the volunteers informed me that I was the girl in the lead! I was so excited that I ran a little bit faster!

I was the first female to finish, and with a time of 25:09. It wasn’t under 24, but I was still ecstatic to have won!And even though the bet was initially that I had to run a sub-24 minute 5K for my hubby to run a race with me, I must’ve sparked a little somethin’ something’ in him, because afterwards he said, “What do I get if I run a 5K under 24 minutes?” After a bit of talking (and some playful trash talking), our conversation turned into, “You can’t be sad when I beat you at the next 5K!” So, he’s going to sign up for a race anyway, and we have a small wager on who’s going to win! :)

Since my hubby was only spectating (and timing), he told me that Gabi had been pushed in her wheelchair with the start of the walker’s for awhile, and when the winning male runner rounded the corner for the final stretch to the finish line (after only about 14 minutes!) Gabi was pushed back through the finish alongside him, and that he slowed down so that she could win! What a special moment for her!

All in all, this was an amazing day, an amazing race, an amazing run, for an amazing cause. Beyond my happiness for having a great run and winning, it was more amazing to see the support for this precious jewel of a little girl. I am positively sure that her autograph and hug were good luck for me and probably the reason I won. :)

ang

Grossness

I stepped in dog poo this morning…gross.

{Don’t try to act innocent, Tia, I know it belonged to you.}

…so far, it’s just been one of those days.

Today was the first day back to school since spring break and since receiving my devastating news.  I definitely did not want to go to class.  The thought of sitting through class sounded awful to me.  Yuck.  More grossness.  I had no motivation to go…but I went anyway.  It seemed like there were quite a few people feeling as distraught as I was…especially the “older” students like myself.  I’m sorry, but I just don’t think it’s fair to be selected, or not selected, for a nursing program based on what college you took your classes at.  That is not what I’d call “competitive.”

I’m not the type of person to stir up any commotion, even when I feel I’ve been wronged in some way, but I felt the need to speak up about this.  It hasn’t only affected me…I know that there were at least a couple other students in the same boat I was.  Last week I scheduled a meeting with the head of the nursing department to discuss this issue…the outcome?

“Sometimes things in life just aren’t fair, but we are being as “fair” as fair can be.”

Yuck, yuck, yuck.  Double grossness.

I was advised to write a letter to the committee that decides admission requirements…and I plan to do so, along with scheduling a meeting with the dean of the university.  I have accepted my outcome, I am just hoping something will change for other students in the future.  Meanwhile I am exploring other doors that may open for me.  This is not the end.

On to something else more positive!  Last night I was watching a movie on television with my husband.  I have a pet peeve against starting a movie in the middle…especially a movie that I have never seen before…but he was insisting.  I wasn’t really paying much attention to it, but there was a scene where these little boats were driving through a swamp trying to catch a bad guy.  The swamp was a weird shade of green and pretty icky looking…

source

…gross.

However…the swamp reminded me of a green monster and I started to crave one!  WOW…I can’t believe that I’d ever crave anything that contained SPINACH!  So, I made one and ate it for lunch after my wonderful meeting.

It was delicious!  Now I have to go finish getting ready to go shopping and meet up with my beautiful little sis for her birthday.  I’m set for a better second half of the day.

{end of grossness}.

ang