Road to 10K as a Cardiac Patient: The Beginning

4.18 Miles ; 6.7 Kilometers
Today was my longest run EVER.

After my 6.7km run on the evening of April 12th, 2021

Officially, I signed up for another workout challenge with LivBtr that starts May 6th. It will build up to a 10k charity run at the end of June, but I wanted to start training a little earlier to build up to that slower than my co-challengers for my heart’s sake. I’ll also go to Cardiology in June and get to really see how healthy my heart is after all the work we’ve done together. Today I pushed to reach some new goals and had a lot of great little lessons.

The idea of running 10 kilometers at once is exciting and terrifying at the same time for me. I never thought that would even be a possibility for me for most of my life. I tried last year, but was not ready yet. I was able to run my first 5k and thought that would be where my progress ended. Now that I’m down another 50lbs from that run, suddenly it feels like it just might be possible and I’m going for it!

5K Run photo from 2020. I cried after I finished this run. I was there alone at our “finish line” and sobbed with joy that I actually DID IT. I think I’m going to ball like a baby at the end of my 10k

I was extremely suprised at how much it wasn’t all that bad to keep increasing distance today. I only added 1.7k on top of the 4-5k I’ve been running steadily, but in my head that felt really scary. It was still scary for about the first 10 minutes of my run. I was worried about needing walking breaks then how that would have me feeling ashamed of myself. I was also worried about if I’d get sore or hurt myself if I went too far. I still have such a distorted perspective on what I’m capable of doing from years of being so unhealthy. My brain continually tells me how hard things will be for me to do.

I hit these points in my runs where all of a sudden I’m hyper aware of how incredible it is that I can even run at ALL with how many surgeries I’ve had on my heart and how many years I struggled with my food addiction. People talk about “runner’s high” , but I get that when I run and this is not that. It’s so much more.

My walk the evening before and the beautiful scenery I get to run by.

There aren’t enough words to describe what it feels like to have a brain that’s so used to 28 years of being one way, and suddenly (within 10 months ish) being a totally different person with totally different and ever growing abilities. Every time I hit these new heights, it’s like I’m my own superhero. It’s like all the magic you stopped believing in when you started growing up becomes real again just for a few short moments. It’s this super elated mind, body, and soul pride that I made it through the darkness and keep finding brighter and brighter lights to add to my shine.

I think the most important lesson that I have learned that I think will be vital to this new goal is that all that happiness and success depends on no one but me. I did this myself (with lots of love and support, but I did it – ME.) I used to think of that concept as a negative thing; when you’re depressed it sounds lonely and intimidating. I’ve realized it’s the exact opposite. Knowing that I have endless power over what I can chose to do with my body is empowering. I used to be my own worst enemy, but now that I know what it feels like to love and believe in myself I’m slowly healing from that 28 years of pain.

My run results today

My plan is to write about how my 10k challenge goes because I’m just incredibly excited about it and because it will help keep me accountable. If anyone wants to join me in the virtual challenge/charity run that benefits first responders mental health care I encourage you to reach out ! There are 1k and 5k options too.

Remember, if all you did was get off the couch a bit today that’s amazing. If you didn’t get off the couch, that’s OK too; be kind to yourself. There is always tomorrow. And remember if your mind tells you something will be hard, that doesn’t always mean it is hard. You are capable of so many things and you can be YOUR own super hero too. After all, every new journey starts with a single step.

If you want to register for the LivBte run challenge, click here !

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