14 months into my journey, I'm still obese. I figured I would just get that out of the way on the front end, because I don't want to dwell on it. I'm still obese, hopefully only for another month or two. I'm actually less obese than last month, because this month I am down to 225 pounds.
I'm getting so close to being overweight.
I can't wait to be overweight.
In the meantime, though, I am focused on the next week. In nine days, I'm going to do something that was pretty much incomprehensible when I started this journey, 70 pounds ago. I am going to complete a half marathon.
The Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon.
I have three and a half hours to walk 13 miles.
I'm not scared, exactly, because I know I will finish, and I want to take a moment to acknowledge what that means to me. I know that I can start at one end of a road and walk 13 miles to the other end, and that I can do it at a fairly brisk pace. I've spent a good portion of the summer doing distance training, walking an increasing number of miles each weekend, all the way up to 11. I think I was supposed to get up to 12, but my training schedule kept getting interrupted and 11 is going to have to be the longest I go before the 13. I've done 11 three times, so I know in my head that I can throw those last two miles on there. I will finish.
I've also been training on the fitness center treadmill for the past few month, working on my pacing. I set the treadmill and then walk for a couple of miles, because I want an instinctive feeling for how fast I'm moving. I want my body to have an instinctive feeling for maintaining an even pace, so I've been knocking out two to four miles of my daily steps every day on the treadmill to get my body used to how fast it needs to move.
I know I'm not going to keep that pace the entire way. I know I get slower toward the end.
I'm going to finish, though.
This will be my accomplishment. Since I started my fitness journey, I have walked in about ten 5K's. I say "about" because I have somehow lost count of how many races I have competed in, and when I dwell on that thought it is astonishing to me. I have nine bibs on my race board, but I know I did at least one race where they did not give me a bib. Possibly I did more than one, but again, I have raced so many times that I have lost track of the number of races I have participated in. I say "participated" and "I'm going to complete a half marathon" rather than "competed in" because I am not very fast. I am not competition for anyone. I may be the final finisher on this half marathon, and that's ok with me.
14 months ago I couldn't climb the stairs from my car to my office without running out of breath, and now I'm paying to go on a 13 mile hike through the woods, because my friend invited me and because I get a medal at the end.
And then I'm going to wear that medal to work.
And possibly to the grocery store.
And to bed.
Nine days from now, I'm going to lace up my shoes, take a deep breath, and walk as fast as I can for three and a half hours.
I'm not going to win, but I'm going to finish.