Learning to Run

So, I’ve started to learn how to run recently. It sounds funny when I say that. I mean, we learn how to walk within the first two years of our lives. From there it goes to toddling and next thing you know, you’re running around the playground screaming up a storm. It feels like I should already have the act of running down by now. Yeah, right. Little did I know…

Back in April I decided to quit my WoW addiction and try to be more productive with my life. (Um, yeah…I’ll let you know how that’s going just as soon as I figure it out.) Part of the “being more productive” plan was to get back into shape and try to lose some of the weight I’d gained while killing dragons in virtual dungeons. I enlisted the help of my sister because she’s one of the healthiest, most motivated people I know. Together we got a gym membership.

For the first couple of months, I was going to the gym about four days a week, lifting weights and doing cardio. I was feeling pretty good about it. The only unfortunate thing is that I haven’t really lost any weight, just about five pounds or so. My sister suggested that I take up running, because it’s more physically challenging and leans a body out.

Previously, my motto had always been, “I only run if someone’s chasing me.” So, you have to understand what a giant leap it was for me to even consider picking running up. However, after a couple more weeks of not losing any more weight, I decided to give it a go.

The first day of running was challenging, to say the least. I could run a few blocks, but then quickly ran out of breath. I think it took us over an hour to go three miles, and that was walking most of the way. I couldn’t believe how hard it was! My sister, Meadow, told me not to get discouraged, though. So, every other day, we would go out and run this little trail a couple of blocks away from my house. I would pick out spots that I had managed to run to last time, and then try to push myself to go just a little bit further. After a couple of weeks, while I was seeing some improvement, I started to lose my motivation to keep at it. Partly because it’s embarrassing to realize you don’t know how to run at the age of 34, but mostly because I’m lazy and it’s easy to not go one day…and slip into not going for a week.

To combat my declining attendance, Meadow suggested I sign up for a 5K race. She and my brother-in-law always run a 5K race Thanksgiving morning, which gave me about a month and a half to prepare. It seemed like a good idea to set a goal for myself, and so I dutifully looked it up and enrolled.

Turns out, signing up for this 5K has greatly improved my motivation. We’ve been running a 3.2 mile route every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning for the last month now. I still haven’t managed to run the whole distance, but I get closer and closer every time. Last Tuesday I only ended up walking about half a block, so I’m really hoping to connect all the dots during tomorrow’s run. My biggest challenge so far has been hills. It seems like even if I manage to run to the whole way up, I’m completely tapped by the time I get to the top. We’re slated to do “hill training” on Saturday. It’s sounds tortuous, but I’m hoping it will help me out.

Next week is the Thanksgiving Turkey “Trot.” My goal is to run the entire distance and not walk any of it. Needless to say I’m nervous, but excited too!

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