Hoofing It

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 8:21 PM


I did something hard today.

Actually, it didn't turn out to be that hard, because I got some good advice from a friend. But I thought it was going to be hard. It was really hard last time I tried it.

I was scared. I was discouraged. I was really afraid to try again.

But I did it anyway.

For those of you who don't know, I have recently decided to step up my now-addictive fitness routine by Becoming a Runner. Or at least, I hope to no longer be afraid of running.

(I don't like feeling intimidated by things. I don't need to become the best in the world at everything, but if there is something that I bump up against on anything approaching a regular basis, I like to have a baseline level of comfort and competence. Example: I do not have to be able to make my own wedding dress, but I do want to be able to thread my sewing machine without reading the manual. See?)

Anyway, I have been avoiding running farther than "across the parking lot" since I was a tween (and that was before there was such a thing as a "tween", by the way). Every year in PE we had to run the mile, and I have no more vivid memory of junior high than dragging myself to the finish line, sweating and gasping, with a knot in my chest and my complexion the pale, mottled pinkish-gray that only an overheated ginger can attain. I was slow, I was miserable, I hated the feeling of my feet pounding on the ground, shins aching, mouth dry.

(I was in good shape, by the way. I was a pretty serious ballerina until I was 14, and I could dance en pointe with no lambswool over my toes and do the splits, triple pirouettes, backbends, and any number of other impressive feats. I just HATED RUNNING.)

So as soon as it was no longer required for matriculation from year to year, I stopped.

That was 15 years ago.

3 weeks ago, I started again.

Here's what appeals to me about running:

- you can do it anywhere

- it's cheap

- it's simple, no "equipment" required

- it burns a lot of calories relative to the time required

- I've always wished I had more shapely legs, and since I can't change my bone structure (Dent/Dixon girls, I am so jealous of your beautiful dainty ankles!) I can make my calves curvier. Hopefully it will have the same effect

- it's a challenge

So, I started this program, which claims to take you from watching Real Housewives of New Jersey to happily running a 5K in just over 2 months. I was skeptical, but so far it actually seems to be working. I'm on week 4 (day 2 done today!), and although I had a minor breakdown last time I ran, today I was over the hump (for the first time of many, I'm sure) and back on track.

(By the way - the good advice? From a fellow girl-who-used-to-hate-running: don't run so fast. Pretty simple, right? I hit the wall because I was trying to run faster than I could go just yet. Today I slowed down, just a little bit, and suddenly I could do the thing I was afraid of! Remember this scripture?)

So, I don't know what I'm saying quite yet except that I'm feeling like a queen today because I conquered my fear. I'm looking forward to my next challenge. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling happy.

And apparently, I'm learning to run longer distances just in the nick of time, because gas is fixin' to hit $4 a gallon.

Better get my running shoes on.

Comments (9)

Yay! Seriously, awesome progress! Pretty soon, that 2 months will be up and you'll be an avid runner!

ok you are so amazing! I HATED running the mile too! I was always the fat one in the back and have never been into running. I started walking with some of my friends a couple summers ago and loved it, especially when we get to talk, BUT never been a runner, you have given me some encouragement, so maybe just maybe i might start being a ....really brisk walker! :)

GOOD for you! That is fantastic! I have always hated running too, but that's because I was always the fat girl, and we all know fat girls don't run. BUT, when I was training for my triathalons, I actually got to a point that I somewhat enjoyed it. Or at least I felt really cool when I could FINALLY run a whole mile without stopping. Now, I'd have to start completely over and I'm back to the dread stage. But you SHOULD feel like a queen, 'cause you are. Nothing better than conquering a fear, and besting it.

Go Rachel!

I think I have the same twitch: to do things that scare me and push myself. If there's something I don't do and want to, I will start at the bottom (and I mean BOTTOM) to get there. I think it's so much better than talking about doing something for years. I "play" the piano now, bake bread, sew and crochet because of this twitch. But boy I hate running. And yet there's a part of me that wants to do a marathon. WHAT?!? It's one of those things on my to-be-conquered list, I guess. That and learning Spanish.

You Rock! Go get 'em tiger!

I too hated running...I hated sweating for that matter...and now I love to run. I love the "runners-high" after and I love to let my mind clear...Running is the best!

I totally slowed down too! It made a HUGE difference to go from a sprint to a good solid jog. I felt like I had more energy to make it. Then I realized that on the directions for the day it says "jog". Who woulda thought!

Awesome Rach. I hate running too. Unless it's around the bases. I get so tense in the shoulders and neck. My legs can keep going, just not my shoulders. Weird. I started running last Fall with some friends and after I got through the misery of the first half mile, then I could get in the groove and go and go. But then my toe started hurting and winter hit and I became terribly unfit. Maybe I'll try again one day. I'm glad you are enjoying it. I'm dreading having to start all over again. I think that's why I'll just wait a couple more years. :)

YES! I LOVE Couch to 5K!! I tried it out a few years ago, (I had an identical relationship with running) and it truly made me LOVE running! - I am looking forward to starting that relationship up again when we move to cooler climates *next month!!!* I'll have to tell you all my exciting plans :)

Congratulations! You are on a fun road, and smack on the dot with the gas-prices... though I was thinking more horse-and-buggy... ;)

Yay I got a shout out! ha.