Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Running Start

May 16, 2013.  I ran for the first time. 

I've never been athletic, and have never run. 

I'd sorta jogged but mostly walked in school during gym class mile day but I was always one of the last to finish and hated this day almost as much as rope climbing day... And being not only terrified of heights but also possessing little to no upper body strength, you can imagine how stressful rope climbing day was. Add a bunch of your peers watching- terror. And mile day was worse. 

So, me and running: not friends. 

 I have several friends who run, making me feel lazy with their athleticism, and I have a growing need for fitness (I'm old now, or near my mid thirties, and carrying around some extra pounds) so I decided to try it. I downloaded the couch to 5k app. And then waited a YEAR to try it. 

May 2013: finally worked myself up to start. Workout 1 of couch to 5k: 20 minutes total. 5 min walk to warm up and another 5 min walk to cool down. 1 minute of jogging for every 1.5 of walking. I jogged a total of 4 minutes. And it was the hardest workout of my life. 

I could barely make it the one minute! Near the end of a one minute jog I was barely lifting my legs. But with the app coaching me to keep going, I finished. And though the feat was a small accomplishment, I felt amazing! I was sweaty and red-faced and exhausted, but happy. 

I had just RUN! I finished the workout! Inspired by my completion, I did the next one two days later, and the ones after that. On Nov. 5, I ran an entire 5k without walking. It was such an amazing feeling. I did something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do! And that runners high thing-- totally real. 

That 5k gave me so much confidence. That, paired with my friend Jessica that has become my running partner, has made long-distance running a goal I felt I could achieve. I signed up for a half marathon this coming April. 

I read blogs and magazine articles about people overcoming pain and injury, cancer patients running marathons, people of all ages and sizes accomplishing running goals they never imagined, and I felt supremely motivated to push myself. What a test of will and commitment! 

I stretch a lot and started to cross train to prep my body and prevent injury. Then yesterday I twisted my foot in my own house in my pjs and slippers and worried I'd ruined my April half marathon dream. 

It hurt so much I cried for two hours and was certain something was broken. My family took care of me, and my husband took me to the doctor this morning. I was sent for X-rays with the warning that I may have to see a surgeon if something was broken (aka no running for a while). 

I mourned the possible loss of my goal. I lamented all the times I took my perfectly working parts for granted. 

This afternoon the doctors office called to tell me nothing was broken. I'll resume running once my strained and injured muscles are healed. And I'll be so thankful for the functional body I'm blessed with right now, because who knows when that can go? 

Running is, for me, 
Giving thanks for my body
An opportunity to be outdoors and appreciate nature
A chance to spend time with friends
A goal to achieve 
A reason to buy music on iTunes
The perspective gained when challenging yourself to stick to commitments and to push yourself past perceived limits 

I can't WAIT to write a post about the incredible experience of completing 13.1 miles.