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We take the Transplant Games pretty seriously, and also not very seriously. It’s one of the many reasons neither of us is a professional athlete. But, we also want to do well in our respective events to honor donors and their families, and in my case, to show people that living donors can live full and healthy lives after their donation. And not injure themselves in a 100 meter race.
Almost four weeks ago I started running. Scratch that, I need to be specific. I started jogging. In an effort to avoid a repeat of my very painful and very embarrassing track error of 2016, I decided to embark on an 8-week quest. The end goal is to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping. That’s it. Speed and distance do not factor into this plan. Week One consisted of me running one minute and walking two minutes for 30 minutes, four times in one week. Two days were spent taking a leisurely 30 minute walk, and one day was a rest day.
It was hard. But I did it and week two ramped up to running two minutes and walking one minute for 30 minutes. I’m now up to running for ten minutes, walking for one minute (x2) and then finishing with an eight minute run. I am slow. Everyone on the track passes me. But I have figured out how to regulate my breathing (a problem for an asthmatic and a person prone to holding their breath when struggling) and I am only miserable while I am running. Plus I am faster than my average walking pace so I am making progress.
It’s been an interesting experiment and I’ve discovered a few interesting things about my brain in the process. Before every run, I walk to the track and on the way I get very nervous that I will not be able to complete the workout and attempt to talk myself out of it all together. Derek assures me this is somewhat normal and that nearly every time he runs he wonders if this will be the time he winds up walking at some point. Every time I finish the workout as planned I am stunned I was able to do it. I am fully aware that most of my athletic hang ups are because my brain is conspiring against me, but I am still amazed when I overcome my feelings of inadequacy.
So running, check. Swimming? A little behind. I was going to the pool pretty regularly in the winter, even managing on one occasion to swim 1000 yards without stopping (after I’d warmed up with a 500yd swim!) which to me is the most miraculous thing I’ve ever done. Seriously. When I stopped and looked at my watch I was stunned. I do need to get back in the pool and pronto because I have some serious work to do on my starts and turns. But I felt like I needed to give the running part of this training plan my full attention. Triathletes of the world, I bow down to you.
Derek has been on a week long running hiatus after achieving his best ever 5k time (20:01!) and recovering from a rather pernicious kidney stone situation. His training update will be forthcoming.