I managed to finish the Couch to 5k and it feels great. I've now had four runs since I officially finished it and all I keep wondering to myself is how much I might be able to accomplish if I keep taking care of myself. My stupid ankle bothered me for awhile, then it didn't, then I rolled it during a run and now it is letting me know it's there on a regular basis. But I hope to overcome this. I strengthen and stretch it regularly. I want to keep going because I need to keep going.
I don't feel like I've solved anything on my runs but there are moments when the thoughts and struggles I have have rolled around while I listen to Wicked and In The Heights (because at this point I run to musicals and need a few more in my collection). Tears have been shed during and after but they have all been therapeutic.
At other times I am running with a smile on my face. Proud of myself for doing something I didn't think I'd be able to do. Happy that at that exact moment nothing is hurting and I'm able to push myself a little harder to eventually get to the next stage of all this. I'm not sure what that stage is but maybe in the spring I can work my way up to a 10k and in a few years do a half marathon. I have no idea.
Sometimes the weather concerns me. Considering that I live in an area known for frequency of rain, over the past 12 weeks (one I had to skip due to illness) I've only ran in the rain once. Yesterday I thought would be day two in the rain. It took me awhile to get out there because I was worried about what weatherdotcom was saying about wind and rain. We're at the end of Sandy's path but I haven't heard destruction reports for our little town. (The only thing that woke me up last night was Little Man and a fever.) The rain held off except for a few sprinkles here and there until I was completely done my run. What was I so afraid of? Anxiety is one thing I need to learn to let go of.
I have a lot of work to do until I get to the place I want to be: to love myself. Maybe this running is a first step. I'm learning to be proud of this accomplishment, trying very hard to turn off the voices in my head and listen to the only one that matters, and trying to accept that where I am is good enough. I'm also letting go of negative thoughts here and there. When I worry about my ankle or my knees I listen to my body, try to change my stride so they don't hurt and then keep going. I toss the worry aside and find a way of moving on.
I look forward to each new run. Just me and the asphalt trail each morning. Sometimes I get to watch part of the sunrise which is always an added bonus. Little Man doesn't cry every time I leave and Sweet One always understands that Mum-mum needs her jog to feel better. After I'm done using her yoga mat for my pre-run stretches she asks if she can do her exercises (a kid's yoga video) and so we're both taking some time to care for ourselves. It's an important thing I need to teach her. And it is important for me to not feel guilty about taking this time for myself. I'm getting better at it.