I’ve been openly kvetching about how I should go running lately. But I lack the [insert a million gazillion excuses here].
One random day in early spring 2009, I decided that I wanted to run a 5K. I had not lost any baby weight and had seen pictures of myself from the earlier fall that were .. disturbing. Also, my then two year old was starting to notice things we did around him, and I wanted him to see exercise and healthy choices and that be ingrained in him.
I took the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone and hit our local YMCA. And that year, I ran close to 10 5K races.
So hearing that fairy tale, I was getting very frustrated that I couldn’t muster the will to do the same thing again. I did it once, I’d scold myself. It should be EASIER now. But it wasn’t. I just hated it. I hated every stupid step on a treadmill. Sure, I could get in 3.1 miles on a treadmill, and I felt like AWESOME SAUCE afterward, but getting to the treadmill? Took an act of Congress.
I sat down one day and reread my old posts from 2009, and I saw a running theme. (Ha! PUN ALERT.) I was sticking to the plan because I was overcoming a fear. I’d spent all of my childhood told that I shouldn’t run and I couldn’t deal with the stress on my body. (I have a unique circulation and would pass out or turn green and pass out or turn purple and pass out at really any given opportunity.)(Except onstage, oddly enough. I could dance for two hours straight on stage – while singing – and be fine.) And my training myself to run was 1) giving me something for Me and 2) overcoming something I was essentially afraid of.
Hm. Then I had a purpose. I needed to find something I was afraid of and overcome it.
You know what I hate? Like, seriously hate more than anything? Running with other people. I am S-L-O-W, and I’m inconsistent, and I feel like any time I would run with someone else, I’d be holding them back. I’d be ruining their time, making them hate me and hate the sport and hate life. THAT’S A LOT OF PRESSURE. And then suddenly, my next goal became crystal clear.
I needed to join a running group.
So I signed up for the No Boundaries 5K Training Program. Yes, I’ve already participated in a few 5Ks. Yes, I did so in better time than I ever thought I would. But that was YEARS ago, and I didn’t learn the right way to run. I never learned how to pace myself, how to learn my own footfall or my own gait, and I never did it with anyone else. So it was entirely too easy for me to walk away from it when I got bored. I needed accountability.
Monday night was our first run. And of course, it was SLEETING.
(Another fear of mine? The elements. Seriously. Unless it’s absolutely perfect outside, I will run indoors.)
I got home before any of the other boys – Bryan was on pick-up duty – and stood there, dressed but anticipating a cancellation email at any time. IT WAS SLEETING, Y’ALL. At fifteen till our start time, I finally got in the car and reluctantly drove over.
Of course, the minute I got there, I was in it to win it. (I think getting there is the biggest challenge.) I saw lots of folks I knew, and I found a group that was running at a comfortable pace. We got a good length in. RUNNING IN THE SLEET. And it was fun! We talked, we cheered, we made sure everyone crossed the finish line.
I wasn’t winded or exhausted afterwards. I could comfortably walk the next day. I .. I had a good time. I’m looking forward to an ADDITIONAL GROUP RUN later this week. These are all things I would never, ever thought I’d say about running.
In retrospect, it was perfect that our first run turned out the way it did. After you’ve run uphill .. both ways .. IN THE SLEET? Everything else will be cake.