Monday, July 1, 2013
I am not a runner. I'm not just saying that. You know how you read those articles or have those friends that say they couldn't even run to the end of the street and now they are run junkies? Well, I am that person that could not run to the end of the street. No joke. And though I would not begin to call myself a run junkie (RJ), I am kinda starting to like it...did I say that out loud?
This was me after a grueling 30 minute Couch to 5K run/walk at the beginning of my second week. And for those of you who are unfamiliar with C25K, you start out by running 60 seconds, then walking for 90 seconds...on and on until you've reached 30 minutes. Each week you build up to longer running stretches. So it's not like I was even running more than 90 seconds at a stretch when that picture was taken. Let me start by admitting that it always annoyed me when people would post their exercise stats on fb or whatever...like we need to know how awesome you are and how jiggly the rest of us are becoming because we're plowing through our second bowl of Moose Tracks, sitting on our keisters, checking facebook. I just thought it was kinda stuck up that folks would want to let everyone know how great they're doing. I still kinda feel that way except for the fact that I now have to majorly resist this urge to cybershare every time I finish one of these run/walking sessions.
Thankfully I did post this picture on instagram a few weeks ago and got some feedback from my RJ friend Heather Bland. She told me I was running too fast. This made me crack up because I was not running fast. Running fast is FloJo. Running fast is Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom. Running fast has never been used in the same sentence with my name. What I found, though, is that she was right. And another problem...I was listening to 90's rap hits (Tupac, Biggie, Warren G...Regulators...Mount Up) because I thought it would pump me up and distract me so I could get to the end of the 30 minutes. This turned out to be a major mistake because have you ever listened to the words to these songs for reals? Seriously, I would be running down the street and wonder, "Why am I listening to this craziness?". Songs about booties, gats, ice, five-o, the Eastside Motel...I wanted to skip to the next song in hopes of something better but then I couldn't see the screen of my phone because of the fogged up arm band I was wearing. So the solution to my run hatred turned out to be running slower and switching my tunes. Don't get me wrong...Warren G has his place in history and there are times when nothing else will do, but when I run I need to chill. Now I listen to what might be classified as soft rock or coffee house music. I know, it's cray. But it actually helps me chill and breathe and, dare I say, enjoy my run (what the what!!??).
And there's one other major change I had to make...a mental shift from running to lose 20 lbs and be like my RJ friends to running just because it's good for me to get out of my house and get my heart beating a bit faster. I think when I turned 40 last year a traumatically beautiful truth appeared: I'm never going to be the best at these things so I can now try whatever I want and have fun. I'm not going pro at anything but being me. And that's so corny and so refreshing. I remember when I was a kid and I hated playing sports because I wasn't the BEST the first time I tried it, so I just quit. I remember thinking, "What's the point? There's no reason I should keep trying and looking like an idiot at this because I will never be the best. Is this going to make me money in the future? Is this going to make me famous? Then thanks but no thanks."
We can all see how productive this line of thinking is for a person. Let's couple this with the fact that I grew up to work full time for Young Life, only to leave and be a stay at home mom. If those two things don't scream money and prestige, then I don't know what does.
I will write more about my journey to the 5K in the days to come. But for now, let's just say that it's really been so great for my mind. My body still looks the same, but here's hoping my heart has changed...just a little with every sweaty step.