did i really do that?

the sky is blue and it's a comfortable 68 degrees. surfers dot the ocean, all along the boardwalk, waiting for that perfect wave.  parents with children.  sports fans on their way to the local pub.  runners.  walkers. the boardwalk is moving.  people parked at their favorite breakfast beach restaurant.  others stopped to view the spectacle, a pod of dolphins just off the shore.  an absolutely beautiful morning. i set out at 9 AM, determined to have a good run.  i had an inkling it might be tough because it was just me and my ipod.  no pacific beach babes to cheer me on.  to encourage me to keep going when the going gets tough(er).  i found a rock star parking spot and began walking.  about three minutes in, the run began.  i felt good.  really good.  i kept thinking,Â

my feet are light. Â i am strong. Â i am healthy. Â i am doing it. Â 10 minutes in, i check my pace: pace 9 minute 30 seconds, my nike ipod tells me. Â

wow. Â really? Â i am doing it. Â i just have to keep going.

i pass an obese man walking and want to cheer him on. Â i want to tell him what a great job he's doing. Â i didn't but i should have. Â maybe next time i'll have the courage to do so. Â a female runner passes me. Â

it's okay. Â someday i, too, will be that fast. Â

then i hit 30 minutes / over three miles.  i see PB pier.  but it seems so far in the distance.  it's a mile away. it's my target.  and my legs that once felt like the legs of a gazelle have now become more elephant-like.  i briefly think about stopping...but i can't.  my goal is four miles, not three.  i can do this.  and i keep going. a man smiles as i pass by and i think he's cheering me on.  he's not but shoot, i might as well think he is. anything to keep me motivated at this point.  i hit my nike ipod and i only have .25 miles to go.  i'm now at a 9 minute 39 second pace. Â

maybe i should walk the last quarter mile. Â no...keep going. Â you're so close. Â you can do this. Â you can finish it all. Â you can run four miles. Â

i'm by myself. Â no one to encourage me but myself...and i do. Â i think. Â i talk (to myself). Â i keep myself going. Â and i end feeling so great. Â so proud of myself. Â that i really did it. Â two months ago, i was completely out of shape. Â today, i ran four miles. Â i share this because if there's anyone out there, who's been like me, wanting to get back in shape but always too busy, able to always find the perfect excuse, etc.-- you can do it. and you will never feel better.

two years ago, i told steve that i wanted to get back into running. Â the kids were painting and while outside with the family, i painted 'I CAN DO IT!' on the cement. Â i never did it though..until now. Â that day, two years ago, i went out and ran 1 1/2 miles and hurt my knee. Â i didn't run again after that, until a little over a month ago. Â

the other day, i took a polaroid of what i wrote two years ago--and not only can i do it, i am doing it.Â