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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Keep on Running

Running is something I did when I was a kid. I loved to run against my classmates when I was in the 2nd grade because I was one of the fastest. Then in 4th grade, I had gotten slow. And running wasn't as important as running with a ball, or running and throwing a ball, or chasing after a ball. For years all my running had to do with some ball.
When I was in high school, a basketball game against Central-Elkader changed my life. And my running. I had surgery on my 17th birthday in hopes of playing basketball my senior year. The surgeon took out a large piece of my right minuscus . I was able to play basketball and I did earn an all conference honorable mention. But after high school, I didn't have any team sports to participate in. To keep in shape, I started jogging. It didn't hurt my knee and I could go for 30-40 minutes at a time. Enough to keep me in shape and still enjoy dessert and beer. When I was 29 and pregnant with Danika, I had to give up running. At six-months pregnant the knee was no longer able to fully support the running lifestyle. So I improvised and walked. Walking became my exercise for the next 17 plus years.
In May 2009, after working at the University of Iowa, I was able to make an appointment with the legendary U of I sports team orthopedic team. Two hours waiting in the reception area was quite an experience. There are so many types of people over at the UIHC. But I was glad to get my repairs underway. An MRI in August 09 revealed not only further menicius deteriorations, but a torn ACL. Scheduling an appointment with another doctor, I was advised. So after my surgery in Oct. 2009 and 4 plus months of physical therapy, I started running again. Not far at first. In fact, the first time I did it I really wasn't expecting to be able to do it. But as I started jogging around the yard with Maggie, it did not hurt. And I would go on the gravel road and run up and down the road. I would go farther every time.
When 2011 spring started, I made up my mind to enter some 5k races. Just for fun, to see if I could do it. My first race was in Quasky, close to home. I ran it in Angie record time. I usually had timed myself at 34 -40 minutes running 3 miles but I made it in 29:06. Now, it was fun. So I entered another race, this time in Winthrop, again close to home. I did better in this race making it in 28:42. No ribbons or medals but an improvement. And Tim and I were making friends with local people. I only had one more 5k to run and it was in Jesup, but Tim found one in Oelwein on the 4th of July weekend. Ran in that and darned if I didn't win a medal. 27:38. Wow. What an improvement. I ran in the Jesup 5k in 27:25. My last race is at the end of the month, in Walker. Again, close to home. I am looking forward to it because I can run. Hopefully, I can continue cutting my times down. But if not, at least I am running. It just feels good to do it.