So my last few blog posts have not exactly been the happiest blog posts. Recovering from surgery and returning to running certainly has been a roller coaster ride. Some days it is frustrating to not be able to run like I used to, but I am finally starting to enjoy running again. I might not be getting my distance back quite yet, but I have certainly improved my speed quite a bit. I actually think that I can run faster now than before I had surgery. I used to run a 9:30 - 10:00 min/mi pace for most of my runs and lately I have been able to keep my pace below a 9:00 min/mi pace. I was even able to maintain a really good pace at the Returning Warrior 5 miler race this weekend.
Jay, Amy and I all signed up for this race together, but they ran the 10 mile race. I definitely was not ready for 10 miles and I am glad that I stuck to the 5 mile race. I definitely could not have run 10 miles on Sunday, but I felt pretty good running 5 miles. When I started the race, I went out at a pretty comfortable pace. Shortly into the race, I saw Jackie and we ran together for about a mile. It was nice to have someone to talk to and run with for a little bit. I was hoping to run the race in 45 minutes, but figured that I would probably finish between 47 and 50 minutes. I went out a little more quickly than I should have so I had to slow down a little bit. I did not think that I was going to meet my race goal because I felt like I had slowed down quite a bit. However, I have improved my speed so much over the last few weeks that I really wasn't running as slow as I had thought.
I ended up crossing the finish line at 44:00, which was a minute faster than I was expecting. This race was exactly what I needed to turn my running attitude around and to really start to enjoy running again. My pace for the race was 8:48 min/mi and I cannot ever remember running that fast before I had surgery. I ended up finishing the race in 69th place out of 231 runners. I was the 22nd female to finish and I was 10th in my age group. I was very happy with how well I did in this race and I am extremely happy that running is beginning to get easier again. I am just going to focus on shorter distances for awhile and not worry about increasing my distance. Sometimes I forget that it has only been 5 & 1/2 months since I had surgery and I am definitely doing very well for someone who is making her comeback.
As I have been making my running comeback, I have been thinking a lot about how thankful I am to be running again. I am extremely thankful to be so healthy after struggling with stomach issues for 11 years. It was around this time a year ago when my stomach issues began to worsen and running no longer felt good. I love that I am able to run again and I love that I feel pretty good when I am running.
Lately, I have been thinking about how much my life has changed for the better over the past year and a half and I have Jason to thank for that. It is hard to believe that a couple of years ago I was not sure if I even wanted to stay here. Now we are engaged, we own a house and we are planning our wedding. Jason is the perfect guy for me and I would definitely say that he is my better half. I think that Jason has made me a better person and I am so lucky that I get to marry such an amazing man in just a few more months.
I am extremely thankful for all that Jason and our families did for me after I had surgery, but there is one person in particular that I owe a special thank you to. I might not tell her enough how much I appreciate her, but I am extremely grateful for everything that my mom did for us. My mom stayed here for a week and a half when I had surgery and her and Jason spent every day in the hospital with me. My mom did a lot of stuff for us right after I had surgery like cooking, cleaning and laundry. When we moved a month and a half after that, I still had some restrictions so my mom came down to help us again. My mom spent another week and a half down here helping us clean our house, my apartment and move. She definitely went above and beyond and I am so grateful that my mom still does so much for me.
Even though we do not live near each other anymore, I am extremely grateful that I am so close with my family. I am thankful that I still get to see my parents often and that my mom and I talk almost every day still. I wish that I was able to see my brothers and sister-in-laws more often, but I am glad that we still talk often. My family is one of the reasons that I am looking forward to our wedding so much. I cannot wait to have my dad walk me down the aisle and try to keep up with him on the dance floor. We are rarely ever all home at the same time anymore so it will be extremely nice to all be together that weekend.
I am also very thankful for Jason's family. I love that I have gotten to know Jay's family so much better over the past few months and that we get to spend a lot of time together. I am extremely thankful that Amy was persistent in playing matchmaker for Jason and I. I am really happy that Amy and I have become such good friends and that I am close with her family too. I absolutely love her children Andrew and Maddy and I love spending time with them. I also love seeing how great Uncle Jay is with the kids and I know that he will make a great dad in a few years when we are ready to have kids. In conclusion, my life is pretty wonderful right now and I have a lot more to be thankful for than just running.