Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Half Ton of Fat

Twenty-eight years ago, I had a 5 month baby, a 3 year old, and to my chagrin, lots of baby fat. Previous to having Josh, I swam long distances and played racquetball 3 times a week ( Queen of the company B league..Woo-Hoo!) but with 2 kids, it was hard to fit that in and work full-time. Right before Labor Day in 1982, instead of eating lunch, I ran down the hill for about a mile. I planned to keep doing that until I wasn't fat anymore. My labmates said that anyone could run DOWN a hill. Why don't I run up it? By the end of the week, I did. After 6 weeks or so, I ran my first 10K..very slowly but I never stopped (although probably at the same speed I'm running now). By X-mas, the excess fat was gone and I was running faster and faster. By the next year, I was collecting trophies. By 2 years, I ran my first marathon breaking 4 hours. After a while, I branched into doing triathlons and doing week long bicycle rides. I was in very good shape and although I was never bone thin, I had very little excess flab. I kept track of all the miles I ran. Giving myself  100 cal/mile credit, I've run 35,000 miles as of today burning 350,000 calories or 1000 pounds of fat.
But am I 1000 lbs underweight? NO! I'm still overweight! But all is not in vain. I have a low resting pulse, good skin tone, no varicose veins, no lumps of fat. If I stretch my leg next to Naomi's, it would be hard to tell them apart (now our bellies..that's another story..despite Maya's recent birth, Naomi has a very thin waist and no belly whatsoever).
There have been a few periods that I couldn't run. When I started my third trimester with Naomi, the last time I ran, it took a while for the contractions to stop when I stopped running so I went back to swimming. I started running again when she was 1 week old (and that was very, very hard). I developed Grave's Disease not long after she was born: good for weight loss but very hard on the body. When she was 30 months old, I developed 'thyroid storm'. I had almost collapsed doing a 10 mile race. I eventually went to the ER as my heart was pounding out of my chest at rest. I thought I had some strange heart disease but a physician noticed how much I was sweating in a very cold (to everyone else) room. I was too weak to run for about a month until I got the thyroid levels under control After a while, they destroyed my thyroid by radiation and I haven't been the same since. I was still able to run but depending on my thyroid levels, it was hard to run very fast. I had to take another break from running when I broke my arm 3 years ago for 3.5 months. Then the next year I had cancer. I tried to run while doing chemo but it was very, very hard. With each cycle it became harder. I'd end up running a minute and then walking for 10. Today I ran more than 80 minutes without stopping and I felt good. But I am so slow.

So we have Sunny now while her parents spend the weekend up in Charlevoix. Josh and I walked her yesterday. She of course, loves to run in the woods off leash but this made me nervous as the woods around here have so much poison ivy. I guess I'll find out soon if she brushed up against it. She didn't go on a hunger strike as usual. I guess she is used to us now but she has so much energy. She'd spend the whole day fetching balls if it were up to her. Last night she paced alot of the night. Very annoying.

A cold front came through along with strong winds that have knocked down some of my flowers but it is so much easier to run in the cool,dry air.

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