The Difference A Year Makes

Just about this time last year I was recovering from sinus surgery, a surgery I was long overdue to have and that allowed me to breathe better than I ever had.

As a result, I was able to run faster and work out harder. For the first time in my adult life I my actual performance was improving. Though I originally began regularly working out as a means to an end, basically my the reduction of my rear end, it had never occurred to me that I’d ever be in a position to watch myself become relatively athletic.

It was life-changing, and then, of course, two weeks later, I ended up with a stress fracture and my foot in a boot until the end of February. It was awful, it really was, and I spent three months doing nothing but feeling sorry for myself. Two weeks after getting the boot off, I ended up in the ER needing immediate gallbladder surgery.

All of this was humbling, of course, and forced in me an appreciation that, perhaps, the tortoise really has a point.

Since the spring I’ve trained and tracked and stretched and steeled and found some patience in the pockets of myself where typically there was none. I went through three weeks of deliberate self-examination and rest so that once I began training for a half marathon again I would have hopefully have been in a place of better health and learned some things along the way.

And it all leads me to this image right here.

I don’t know if that link makes sense without context, of course, so basically it’s the race results of a 5K I did yesterday.

Out of 200 people (walkers and runners both, to be fair), I came in 44th. It took me 30:53 to run 3.1 miles. My average pace was 9:58.

9:58 minutes per mile.

I try hard not to make my blog all about health and working out, so there are plenty of details I’ve left out here (though capture somewhat at DailyMile) that brought me to a place that never in a million years would I have believed. Seriously. I’m just not a fast runner, and I guess in some circles that’s still not fast, but screw those people. I felt like the wind out there yesterday. And it was rainy, and chilly, and Abigail woke up that morning at 4:30 a.m. and so I didn’t get nearly as much sleep as I’d wanted and yet?

For the first time, I ran an official 5K race like it was a race. Like I had the right to be there and to even suggest that I race, not just finish. And whaddya know?

 I kicked ass.

It was a great day.