Staff Fest Run/Walk

Law school staff fest run/walk group photoEveryone from Emory’s law school & law library who participated in the staff fest run/walk.

On Friday I took place in my workplace’s yearly staff fest run/walk, which was 2 miles long. I obviously walked, and came in last with another employee from Emory that worked in some other location. You know you’re at the end of the group when someone is driving around in a pickup truck and picking up directional signs placed for the walk as you walk by.

The walk was I’d say 95% in the sun, which did not help. Note to self: next year I’m wearing one of my more lightweight cooler t-shirts so help me keep cool. There was an occasional breeze, but not enough to help me cool off. The first water station was at the one-mile mark. The last one was at the finish. I didn’t know where the water stations were when I began the walk, so I was conservative with my water until I saw the first water station. Not something you want to be doing when the sun is beating down on you. My pace during my first mile was just over 19 minutes a mile. The next mile was much hillier, as I expected, and between that and the heat, my pace began to slow down. Sometime during the last uphill, my left calf began to hurt. I ended up injuring my calf muscle and thus acting up my plantar fasciitis. Both of my heels hurt, but my left foot and heel got the brunt of it. When I got home I ended up spending the rest of that day and most of the weekend putting my foot on ice, taking painkillers, and sleeping a lot.

Still, I ended up finishing just after 42 minutes. So an average of just over 21 minutes a mile. And that is a major victory for me. When I began walking my pace was 25 minutes a mile. I beat that while dealing with heat and hills.

At the end of the race there was an award ceremony for the top 3 race times per age group and gender. I couldn’t help to feel inspired despite my pain. I want to keep pressing myself to get better, to improve, to somehow find a way to train better so I can do even better next year. I have a very long way to getting into shape, but that day was one of the few in my life that I really wanted myself to get more fit.

Most of my overweight life has been spent being told: “you’re fat” or “you’re having this pain/health issue because of your weight” or talked to in a condescending manner and treated like I eat cake at every meal. Even when I dropped a lot of weight in my past, all doctors see is that I gained it back and then some. (Because I went about my weight loss the wrong way and doomed myself to failure when I got off my ‘diet’ that I was using at the time.) It’s like they see someone who doesn’t care, makes no effort, and nothing can be further from the truth. And these attitudes just serve to hurt my already low self-esteem and hurt my drive to continue on my journey. But as I said, I feel inspired now to continue to work on my exercising. The real work is pushing all those messages and painful memories aside so that they don’t slow me down.

So, in the end, I’m really glad I took the initiative to take part in this event. My husband Giuliano said he couldn’t do what I did, that he wouldn’t sign up for that walk. But I did. I saw it through and I did better than I hoped. And I didn’t even care that I ended up at the end of the group. What mattered was doing the walk and finishing it.

I’m really looking forward to the kidney walk on the 30th. It’s another 2-mile walk, but this time on flat ground. So I shouldn’t have any more calf issues due to hills. (Though I’ll be stretching that calf like crazy between now and then.) I’m hoping to match that first mile’s 19 minutes per mile walking rate, maybe even beating it. But even getting under 20 minutes a mile would be a huge step for me.

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