Friday, September 14, 2012

Pursue: Running

When I chose "Pursue" as my one word this year, I knew that health and exercise would be part of what I was going after. But I never dreamed it would lead to RUNNING. I am not a runner. I never wanted to be a runner. I think people who love running are insane or at the very least lying. But as I participated in more healthy living groups and read more about exercise I couldn't continue to ignore running. So many people talked about how much they enjoyed it, what a difference it made in their stress levels, the boost it gave their weight loss and their sense of accomplishment at completing their first races. So, back in January I bought these shoes - and my BEST FRIENDS LAUGHED at me. (What are friends for?) I couldn't blame them laughing at the idea of me running much less running in ridiculous shoes. I started walking but there were a lot of starts and stops - mostly stops. The brutal summer heat this year didn't help. But as the weather cooled and I felt frustrated at the lack of progress I was making in some of my healthy living goals I decided I had to give running another try. 

Day 1

After strapping on my new shoes and downloading two different Couch-2-5K apps, I set out on my first "run" today. After a 5 minutes warm up the Double Run app lady announced, "begin running now".

And I laughed out loud at the confusion between my brain and my body.

First my brain was like "huh? Did someone just tell me to run? Um, okay then...". 

It tried to tell my legs to run and they were were like *crickets*. 

Then my brain was like, "No seriously, come on, toddlers can do this. You know how to run, we used to do it all the time!" 

And my legs took on a slightly faster pace and my feet lifted up off the ground a little higher but they were still pretty much like "Mission abort! Danger Will Robinson!". 

I'm sure I looked as crazy and confused as I felt.

I honestly can't remember the last time I ran intentionally. I've occasionally sprinted after a run away dog or a impulsive child over the last 10 years. But I'm sure it was sometime in high school before running was something I attempted. And even then I was cursing at the gym teacher and walking when I figured he wasn't looking. But today I ran for a total of about 8 minutes total. The C25K program starts with 8 sets of 90 seconds of walking alternated with 60 seconds of running. By the last interval my body was a bit more like, "I vaguely remember these motions". I was tired but not exhausted and I was pretty darn proud that I did it. Let's see if I make it to Day Two!

Day 2

I cursed the skies all day today as it rained pretty much non-stop. Not just because I don't really care for rain unless I can lay in my bed all day. But because I was supposed to go running this afternoon! Its not that I was actually looking forward to it but I didn't want the weather to be the reason I give up on this program. I know myself - if I didn't run today, I'd give up. At least until next week. (Why do we think we can only change habits if we start on a Monday?) 

But the cleared enough that I got to run. It was much easier this time. My legs remembered what "run" meant and I could focus more on breathing and finding a rhythm and pace. I am sticking to my original path - which pretty much consists of going down the sidewalk in front of my house crossing at the end of the street and then running back on the sidewalk across the street. Unadventurous I know, but to be completely honest I didn't want to have to hobble far if I hurt myself. If you know me, you know this is a completely founded fear. But no injuries yet! I took a epsom salt bath after my run today to attempt to ward off the minor soreness I felt yesterday. I'm still a little amazed that I've stuck to this for even two days. We will see if Saturday trips me up - hopefully neither figuratively or literally!

Day 3

It was ROUGH today. Not only was I tired from not really getting enough sleep plus PMS is making cranky. But at 7pm I dragged myself off the couch, much to the dismay of the pups, and put on my running shoes. The first time the C25K lady told me to run I almost refused out of sheer obstinance. 

But I ran. 

For the first time I actually feel like I am running - or at least jogging. The first couple days were more like a really fast walk where I feared falling every time I lifted my foot off the pavement. I tried to push myself today and I was amazed at what I could actually do when I tried. I revved myself up on the last interval and finished huffing and puffing but still feeling really good about myself.

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This was started a few weeks ago, I'm now in week 4 of the program. I've also signed up for my first 5K - the RocStar 5K - which supports Ovarian Cancer. I'm not sure I'll actually be able to run the entire race by then (I won't be completely through the C25K program by that time) but I am excited! My friend Lisa is running with me and has promised not to leave me behind! I am definitely no where near fast yet. But I do feel so very accomplished every time I finish a run. Its amazing to me that 10 months ago I was diagnosed with cancer and 8 months ago I could barely stand after two major surgeries. I never could have imagined back then that I would be at this point today.

I still hate running. 

But I love that I can run.

4 comments:

  1. My excact thoughts on the c25k program and running have been put to paper(well screen) i dont like running but love knowing how to run, having said that I havent run for å year. Might have to take it up again today, on a very rainy Friday!

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  2. Woooohooooo!! Way to go, Rachel! So proud of you! Now...what's the app name? I need to have this. I've been thinking I need to see if I can start running too, and fall seems like the perfect time to pick that habit up! (You have me on FB - just message me there with the name...or tweet at me!)

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  3. Stick with it! The thing I do like about running is that you really can see/feel improvement almost immediately if you run consistently. I just walked/jogged a 5k and it felt pretty great. You can do it! :)

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  4. I LOVE THIS POST! I can agree with all of your thoughts on runners but also on your thoughts as to why you should run. I haven't tried it...yet. Good for you! Keep going, you can do it!

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