Week Four – Just Say No
Now, if I’m being honest here…the thing that caught my interest the most about joining the River Run Ambassador team, was the free pair of shoes from Orthopaedic Associates. I mean, who can pass that up, am I right?! Especially when they’re pink and blue, like the pair I got *insert heart eye emoji. Truthfully speaking though, I’ve never felt more support in a pair of shoes than I do in these. And I have some good friends over at Swift Athletics on Main Street to thank for that! From minute I stepped into the store to the second I stepped out the doors, they gave me their full attention, asking me questions about my running history (or lack thereof), and running goals. I was given some different pairs to try, and they watched me jog around the store to see which ones worked best with my running patterns. I could already tell a difference in just the few steps I took in the store and know that these new shoes are going to maximize my training’s and help me reach my goals.
Fast forward to my first training with my new running shoes: For those of you who don’t know me well, things are about to get real personal. As a small prelude, I’m going to give you some advice to take with you throughout your life journey. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT eat wings the night before you plan to go running. Don’t do it. Just say no. Because it’s going to lead to quite a…crappy experience (pun intended).
I KNEW it was a bad idea, but I did it anyway. And let me tell you, I paid for it. I learned my lesson. The minute I stepped out into the very cold, 34 degree, I-just-shaved-my-legs-and-the-hairs-are-growing-back-already weather, my stomach started doing somersaults. We took off running, and less than 5 minutes in…that’s when I knew. “Why? Why do I do these things?” I continue to scream at myself over and over (in my head, of course). I told myself to suck it up and hold it in. A very long, excruciating, 2 miles later…I was really struggling. By this point, I needed to go to the bathroom, and I needed to go pronto. But I was right in the middle of literally nothing but neighborhoods, and no public restrooms. I looked around—houses everywhere. I would have to go almost another mile before reaching Donut Bank—and we ALL know, there’s no way I’m going in there! Donuts are my absolute weakness, and I wasn’t about to put myself through that torture.
So I make it past Donut Bank, and that’s when it hits me—I think I might actually go in my pants. On the side of the road. “No! Who are you?! Katie, GET IT TOGETHER.” This time, I literally screamed at myself—not in my head. I no longer cared who heard me, I needed a pep talk, and I needed it NOW. The bitter cold air has caused my limbs to go numb, so honestly, I felt like I had no control over myself. “No no no no no, this can’t real life,” I moan to myself…tears rolling down my face, not to mention snow flakes flying into my eyes—I was absolutely miserable. I came so close to walking up to a random house and knocking on their door, but let’s get real; most people sleep in on Saturday’s. Most people don’t get up and go for a run when it’s 34 degrees outside. Most people know that it’s a bad idea to eat wings the night before a morning run.
I swear, ya’ll, this continued for the next MILE. A whole mile! But you know what? I made it. AND I still maintained an 18-minute mile average, bum cheeks clenched and all—the first of many goals my new shoes have helped me reach in my journey.
Week Three – Boom, Clap, The Sound of My Thighs
Over the last week, we had the opportunity to meet with ProgressiveHealth and partake in PhysiMax Assessments. We were given a brief explanation of what we would be doing during this assessment; things like jumping off a small box, bending, and squatting, while they evaluated our movements. “Oh that sounds super simple,” I tell myself.
Have you ever tried to do one legged squats? Let me tell you, IT AIN’T EASY. I was wobbling all over the place, not to mention the burn in my butt was unreal. I hate squats (which is why my booty is not poppin’). I’m not going to lie, I really struggled. But boom, clap, the sound of my thighs cheered me on and kept me going. I was surprised at how much of this assessment had to do with our balance—it makes sense, that our core strength is a huge contributor to our over all balance and endurance, I just didn’t expect to feel like a gymnast; trying to hop and stick my landing. If only my younger years of gymnastics would have prepared me better. However, as a 6 year old, I think I was more excited about the sparkly leotards than actual gymnastics practice; I spent way too much time twirling in front of the mirror than practicing my bunny hops on the balance beam. I’ve always been a diva—I even got a spray tan the night before our Physimax Assessments because I knew I’d be wearing shorts. But according to Queen Bey, “A diva is the female version of a hustla’” so… there’s no shame in my game.
I swear, technology completely blows my mind these days. The ProgressiveHealth team showed us our movement readings on their computer, and the system pulled up individual exercises for each of us to work on to strengthen our weak areas. All from just hopping up and down! Isn’t that cray?! It was very cool to watch them replay our movements in slow motion, analyzing what we should be doing instead of how we were doing it. I’m super excited to start working on my new exercises—especially to strengthen my core. I know that as I become stronger, I’ll be able to run farther, and grow my muscles in the correct way, to decrease soreness and fatigue. I’m also very prone to injury, and the last thing I need right now is to twist or sprain my ankle because I’m not training properly. One time, I fell down the steps at the river front on the 4th of July, sprained my ankle, and was escorted out by an ambulance—but that’s a story for another time.
Week 2 – Dairy Queen Dreams
Saturday morning, 6:00am, my alarm goes off. I hop out of bed and start getting ready for my first training; I grab my freshly washed yogas from the dryer and lace up my shoes. I grab my headphones, stuff a water bottle into my fanny pack and head out the door. “I am READY, this is going to be a great run,” I think to myself.
Fast forward to 7:00am, as all the runners take off. I see everyone ahead of me keeping a good pace, and I decided to start out with a brisk walk. I slowly start drifting to the back of the crowd…so I pick up my pace and begin to run. I feel the burn in my lungs and my heart feels as though it is pounding out of my chest. I see a Dairy Queen up ahead and decide to make that my goal; “Just get to the Dairy Queen, you can do it” I tell myself. Once I arrive, I check to see how far I’ve made it—a whole TWO BLOCKS. My family likes to tell me that I’m overdramatic, but I am not kidding when I say that I at this point, I am huffing and puffing and ready to fall over. I’m ashamed to say that the thought of an Oreo Blizzard may have inspired me to run a little faster to my goal, but hey, at least I made it, right?
It’s safe to say that I power-walked the rest of the training course.
I made it to the end (again, passing that dang Dairy Queen, dreaming of Oreo Blizzards) and I actually felt pretty good. That feeling, however, did not last long. As the hours passed, my legs began to grow increasingly sore. It still feels as though my body is screaming at me for putting it through such agony. I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from my very short, 1.5-mile training (I may have had a beer or two to help ease the pain).
I’m not going to lie, I definitely underestimated how far I have to go to prepare for the River Run. But I’m not ready to throw in the towel! I will not be giving up, and I will not be giving in to any Oreo Blizzards. I plan to hit the gym hard this week—preparing for my next training, which will be double the length of this one. I also plan to spend many of my evenings watching inspirational YouTube videos and soaking my sore muscles in plenty of bubble baths.
Front Desk, Orthopaedic Associates
Growing up, I was the butt of the jokes in my school years. I still remember the things people said about me, and to me, regarding my weight and full figure shape. “You’re just like an apple; big, round, and fat” (a joke not only making fun of my weight, but as well as my last name: Applegate). “You bring the meaning to ‘obese.’” “Boys don’t hug you because they can’t fit their arms around you.” The words still have a bit of a sting as I type them out. Although I know that kids will be kids, and bullying is a part of adolescent years, this does not excuse these harsh words, and in no way justifies this behavior. I spent most of my childhood hating myself, and I’ve spent most of my young adult life learning how to love myself. I am so blessed to have found a caring and passionate man who I can now call my fiancé, and I cannot wait to say “I do” and become his wife. Each day is a fight to love myself as much as he loves me.
I have done every crash diet you can think of; I’ve been “dieting” since I was nine years old. One issue with my choice of weight loss programs is that I’ve done them on my own. I have never had an accountability partner, or group of people to help push me to my goals, and I believe that joining The River Run ambassador team is the best decision I can make towards my goals of becoming a healthier me, and also to my goals of growing stronger both physically, and emotionally. This is definitely not an easy decision, I know training will be hard, and I will shed plenty of sweat and tears, but I am ready to challenge myself. I am ready to become the best version of myself, and I am ready to work hard so I can look super fly on my wedding day.
Orthopaedic Associates is a proud title sponsor of the 2017 River Run, and we’re even prouder of our three River Run Ambassadors. These three ladies have committed to training and crossing the finish line together in May. Each ambassador will share their weekly story and provide insight to training as they build mileage and inspire each other. Check in each week to learn more about Katie, Ruth and Lori and cheer them along to the finish line.