Sunday, March 25, 2012

Seven Days to the Finish Line - Springtime in Kentucky

If the world was created in seven days, surely I can release a book and run a race. Surely!  I have to admit though, it will be challenging.

Kentucky is having an early spring, which means earlier than usual allergies. Not a good time to be hit with a fuzzy head and watery eyes.  How can such beauty, green grass and budding trees, make a person so miserable? Doesn’t seem fair, does it? But as the cliché goes, nothing is fair in love and war (and spring allergies).  

Yesterday I went to the store and loaded up on allergy medicine, popped a pill, then headed out for my last long run before the race—a 7-miler. One, two, three, four miles, and I had yet to stop for a short walk break. What was going on? I even ran all the way up several tough hills I’d never been able to crest before without walking.  I felt great and by the end of the run, I knew I was ready for the race.  

I’m a little clueless sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. Even though I could have run longer, I stuck to my training schedule. (Whoever wrote it knows more than me about prepping for a race.) After cooling off and drinking a recovery drink, I sat down at my computer and spotted the bottle of Zyrtec. Bingo! A light bulb moment.  

Don’t you love it when that happens?  

I suddenly knew why I'd had such an awesome run. I could breathe! The allergy medicine had opened my nasal passages. After a discussion with my Sweetie, a doctor, he suggested I might have some asthma going on. Asthma? You’ve got to be kidding. I’m healthy.  But it made perfect sense.  

I had been puzzled as to how I could be in such good physical condition (or as good as a 62-year-old with limited exercise experience), yet struggle to breathe the way I needed to while running. I was even convinced, thanks to a family history of heart disease, that I had a clogged artery or two. I’ll take asthma. After allergy season is over, I’ll get checked out.  

If I can breathe better, I’ll be able to increase my pace. If I increase my pace, I might be able to give my daughters a competitive run at the Fort Thomas Firecracker 5K on July 4. How awesome would it be to race my daughters to the finish line! 

I'm only racing against myself to the Run the Bluegrass finish line. It’s not about speed or time. It’s about accomplishing a goal.  My daughter gave me a note the other day, along with a pink headband with a 13.1 in the center. The note made me cry. 

Mom, words cannot describe how unbelievably proud we are of you. You have worked so hard on your book and training for the mini. Now all of that hard work is about to pay off. It makes us so happy to see you happy. We are sorry we will not be there in person to cheer you on, but we will be there in spirit.    

You couldn’t ask for more than to have your children proud of you.  

Happy writing and running and go CATS! Kathy

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