I love exercising. I love to run. I feel full of energy and one million times happier when I exert myself. I am not lazy.
These are the lies I am telling myself to get my butt in gear so that I can live past the age of forty. Otherwise, it was looking pretty poor. I had done almost nothing the last three years to be physically fit and I was really starting to feel it. I decided I needed to take action. Right away.
For almost three months now I’ve been jogging in the early morning (that’s 6:30AM, baby!) with my good friend, Gina. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (give or take a few days) I’ve been hitting the pavement before the kids wake, before breakfast, and before the sun is completely risen.
When I started this routine, the going was difficult. Not to mention how much I detest rising early, my body showed in no uncertain terms how out of shape I was after so many slothful years. I would half trot, half walk to the nearby high school to meet her where the most I could do was walk briskly around the track for half an hour, and push myself to finish with a 2-lap sprint. Panting heavily, I had to walk back home and literally crawl through the front door.
But I’ve already come a long way. Both of us have. Now, I run the half-mile to the high school without stopping, run around the track at least 6 laps (Gina’s doing 8), and then run all the way back home. The other day I ran a mile in 9 minutes 58 seconds. I feel like I could keep going but the morning schedule doesn’t allow for it.
I know that may not seem like a big whoopydoo to you amazing runners out there, but I needed to start somewhere. This has never been my sport. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever completed a mile running before. Even for the P.E. test in Junior High, I’m sure that I walked most of the way, am I right Kelley? Being that my previous life’s motto was “I only run when someone is chasing me,” I feel that this experience has been a positive move forward. I’m making progress.
But I knew the lies were only going to get me so far. I knew I needed something else to motivate me to get my rear out of bed and get out the door every morning. I needed to make myself accountable. I also needed some serious external motivation.
So, I’ve decided to enter a short race, The Thanksgiving 4 miler held on Turkey Day. Again, I realize this is small beans, but it’s something. My only goal is to jog/run the whole way. No walking. I think I can do that now. I think.
And maybe the lies are actually becoming truth– to a certain extent. I don’t feel completely energized after exercising, nor have I experienced that “runner’s high,” but I do feel really satisfied. Mostly because I set a goal and I’m meeting it. And it’s getting easier to do. Even if it’s raining, I still get out to the garage and use the elliptical machine that used to sit collecting dust. I don’t love running, but I don’t hate it anymore. I get into a groove where I can zone out. I move at a pace that doesn’t make my side ache or shorten my breath to the point where I want to puke. I look around at the gorgeous misty mountains, take in the first hint of sunshine, inhale the smell of rubber on the fancy high school track, feel the steady thump of my feet hitting the ground. It’s time I’m taking just for me and it feels pretty good.
Local friends, what are you doing Thanksgiving morning? Who’s with me?
I’d love to hear your running experiences and any advice you may have.