Prior to smoking, during high school, I was very athletic. I ran varsity track and cross county. I was a member of a second, community running team. I played softball, took gymnastics, roller skated, and took every possible phys. ed. or weight training class available.
Then I smoked... as mentioned, for 20 years. A pack a day or so through the week and probably a pack and a half a day on weekends. What a nasty habit.
So... May of 07, I quit smoking. You can imagine my mood. I needed to replace the smokers high with something... might as well be the runners high! So, in June of 07 I put on an old pair of cross trainers and went for a jog. I think my jog lasted all of about 20 yards.... so I walked. Every day, little by little, walked, jogged, walked, jogged. By september I purchased a real pair of running shoes and ran my first 5k with a time of 24:54. Not bad for a first race.
Since then, I have overcome two injuries, gone through physical therapy and run 4 more races (all 5ks). I have placed 1st in my age group twice, 2nd in my age group once, and in my most recent race... first overall female, with a new PR of 23:17. I'm pretty proud of myself. There is still room for improvement, but this is not a bad record for a 39 year old ex-smoker, who's been running again, for less than a year.
I feel great. My lungs feel great. My body feels great. I think I'm in better shape now than I was at 16!
While I do favor the 5k races, in October 2008, I will run my first marathon. Wish me luck!
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