Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Run Jeni Run"

Okay so I know the line from the movie is really "Run Forrest Run" but I think he and I have a lot in common these days. For starters we both have a thing with running...At the beginning of last summer I started really running for love of it not just to shed a few pounds. A year later I am gearing up for my first marathon! It has been quite a ride. The St. George Marathon uses a lottery system to decide who gets to run each year. This year 70% of those who entered the lottery got into the race. My brother Billy, my sister Tara, my uncle Darrell, cousin James and his wife Megan, my friends Talli, Jamie, Emily and Mandi all got in. I was part of the 30% who did not. After doing some research the VanWagenen's who also didn't get in found us a little loop hole and after a nice donation we were in the race!
After several weeks of training Tara got a stress fracture on her tibia and I lost my training partner. Since I have always been one of those "people who doesn't read the books" (click here for further explanation) I was a little off schedule from everyone else I knew who was training. I was completely on my own. I decided to bump up my miles and did a lot more running on the treadmill since I didn't want to be alone on the trails in the early morning. This was the perfect recipe for injury. Sure enough the first week of August, I was out of the running completely! Patella tendonitis, runners knee, overuse injury, whatever you want to call it, it meant NO RUNNING PERIOD.

I'm reading all of it now!

This is what put me over the edge and caused me to buy a road bike, and really start learning how to swim, the right way. Both of these things are getting easier, but have been quite humbling experiences. Regardless I was determined to do whatever I could to keep up my fitness level so I wouldn't have lost too much when I could start to run again. My doctor said I had to ease back into it slowly. We all know patience is not one my strongest virtues, but I think I've done okay at least by my own standards.
A few purchases I was surprised to make

I have been running again for the past 3 weeks. This too has been a bit humbling. I am back but not as fast as I was and a little worse for the wear. I am also not running as often as I would like to be but I am working on the patience thing. I managed to do a 17 mile run last week and I was pretty miserable afterwards. I think it was the first glimpse I really got of what I had signed up for. I also had run it all alone and the day after my longest run in 3 and a half weeks which was only 10 miles!

You name it, I've tried it!

Yesterday my run was 20 MILES! It is such a strange thing to do for the first time. It's a bit surreal. I was smart enough not to run or exercise at all the day before and I enlisted a few friends to run with me. It made all the difference! My knee was pretty sore by the middle of my run and slowed me down a bit, but otherwise I felt pretty dang good! I think I will actually be able to do this! I am really looking forward to it.

So maybe Forrest Gump is just some made up guy in a movie, but out of what seemed to be purely dumb luck, so many great things came his way. I promise not to grow a really long beard, or to attempt to run across the entire country, at least not any time soon, but I do want to do like Forrest and just keep running and running and running. Lets see if I still feel like that at the end of the day on October 3rd!


Robyn Lamoreaux said...

Love the St. George Mararthon.....I'll look for you at the finish line. Most of my ward runs in it. I am a great cheerleader:)

Karin said...

Good luck Jen!! You rock! Now that you are biking and swimming, when is the triathlon? Wish you the best.

Blasé said...

Me and Forrest like beating up Bullies!

Kristen said...

The best thing I did long distance running was pop a couple advils right before the start, and take a few more with me! You'll do awesome!

justjen said...

Karin, a triathlon is definitely in the plans, but I still really don't know what Im doing out there yet! I need some time hanging out with you so you can show me the ropes!
Robyn, I'll keep my eyes open for ya!
Kristen wish you were running this with me! I miss you terribly!

Aaron and Devon said...

Good luck to all of the family members running! You guys are crazy and thats all I have to say about that.