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Back in January I shared part 1 of my journey to running. I ended the post with saying “and then November of 2003 hit…” In November of 2003 I got a cold that turned into a sinus infection, which, in February of 2004 turned into postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. My journey to running post is followed by this post about how my pots journey began. Of course, POTS changed my exercise pattern, and I suddenly had to become fairly inactive. I ended that post with “POTS won out for many years… that is, until 2010…”. And that’s where we find ourselves as I start this post.

In September of 2010 I started walking with my friend, and slowly built up exercise tolerance through adding miles that way. In October of that year I joined twitter, and through that I found all sorts of blogs online. At that point I had no intention of running, but I read recap after recap of training runs and races. I guess that the idea of running stuck in my head, because one night in December of 2010 I had a dream that I was running. I was at the old track by my house growing up, and I was sprinting down the track. It felt good and I felt free. When I woke up I knew that I needed to run. I wanted to feel the way that I did in my dream.

And so, on a cool morning in December, I tied my 4 year old tennis shoes, put on bulky sweatpants and a fleece jacket, and set out for my first run in years. It felt great the first .3 miles, but then it started to get a bit tough. By about .6 of a mile I was really struggling to breathe, and by .75 of a mile I started to lose my vision and knew I was about to pass out. So, I collapsed in someone’s front yard. I was nauseated, had lost my vision, and my hearing was going too. Not my finest moment, at all.

first run pass out placeThis picture was just taken a few days ago- obviously not in December!

So, I sat here, leaning against this tree for about 15 minutes until I gathered enough strength to walk home. First run Fail. I talked to my brother on the phone and complained about my failure. He reminded me that I had POTS and needed to work up very slowly, but that I could still have that feeling if I wanted to. He has been an encouragement since day one, and has also given me the entry into the Indy Mini both this year and last year.

Well, obviously this run was not my last run; I heeded the advice of my brother. But that’s a different post for a different day. On every run I do I run past that spot. No matter how much of a struggle my run is, I see that spot and it marks my progress. A few days ago I stood to take the picture above, and being just a little more than a week out from my 3rd half marathon, I’m glad I didn’t give up after that first .75 of a mile. Getting to a place where I could run was a long process…

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s something you wanted to give up on but kept at it and found out you enjoyed it? Do you have a place or a thing you see that marks the progress you’ve made?