Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Inspiration

I was preparing one of those long, pompous entries about world poverty and pseudo-Christians and the importance of the public library and so forth, you know the ones, where I pretend I'm a respected NPR guest commentator instead of a semi-employed introverted head case sitting alone in my living room, but I couldn't quite get it POMPOUS enough so I'm doing this instead: An ode to two people who have inspired me.

Because, I am proud to say that as of this week, the pace on my five-mile runs has dropped by a stunning 45 seconds per mile. That's right, in just seven weeks, my pace for a five-mile run has dropped from 10:25 per mile to 9:40 per mile. Still a good minute slower than my spring chicken days way back when, but I'm pretty pleased.

You'll recall, I started training for a half-marathon as part of my program to hit 40 physically fit, mentally spunky, and ready for the second half (hopefully) of life. I've been a lifelong runner but haven't been able to keep with it consistently since an injury five years ago. Two fabulous women inspired me to change that.

The first is my lifelong friend Monica, who despite being a nurse and a generally active and healthy person, has never been an avid runner and in fact until a few years ago was a smoker. Over the past couple years she's started running seriously with amazing results. She is my half-marathon buddy and her long runs are already up to 14 miles! So she's pretty much got the thing nailed. Go Mo! Thanks for talking me into this.

The second is my friend B. (I don't think she'd object to seeing this inspiring story in print but I haven't asked, so I'll just be cautious here.) Upon her 39th birthday last year, B. decided to make a change by 40. She was still carrying around extra weight gained from having three kids, the last of whom (wonderful though she is) came with a case of gestational diabetes for Mama B., which as you may know is a big fat risk factor for ongoing diabetes. B.'s mother had died suddenly at the age of 59 of complications from diabetes and heart disease, leaving a big gaping hole in her family's life, and B. was determined not to do this to her family. So, despite having a demanding professsional life and three small children, she has embarked on a fitness campaign which includes losing weight and training for the Seattle Marathon Walk in November. As of yesterday - a mere six days before the momentous 40th birthday - she has lost 48 of her targeted 50 pounds, and is up to 18 mile walks. She looks incredibly healthy and fabulous, and I'm so proud of and inspired by her.

Thanks ladies! You totally rock.

1 comment:

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