Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Running? Me?

Never have I ever ever ever had the desire to take part in rigorous excercise of any sort. Never. Ever. I remember as a child my parents having to practically throw me outdoors to get my nose out of books, prying pens and markers out of my hands, just do something active. Then during my silly-girl teen years, I dreaded the idea of sweating. I wanted to *glisten* but not sweat...Gross. Marching band was about as far as I got in regard to any kind of real activity, and that unfortunately lasted just two short seasons. As we grew through high school and college, I admired my best friend in her efforts to run, and for her overall diligence in making time for exercise in her busy schedule. For me, though, my tagline has always been, "Yeah, I do better just walking, you know, the lighter aerobic kinds of activity." Don't get me wrong - I do love walking. I love walking outdoors with no time limit, taking in the sights around me, soaking up the sun, listening to the otherwise missed sounds of creation around me. But in all honesty, the easy fallback of claiming to do better with lighter activity has been a total excuse. I have rarely been inclined to push myself beyond my comfort level, and often give up before I really even get going. The lack of discipline has been an issue as well, thinking up reasons as to why I just don't have time and can't fit one more thing into my week.

So why now? Why did I decide just a couple of weeks ago that I would start running? Not purchase a new workout DVD, not go to the fitness center and hop on the elliptical - no, the decision was to run. (For a day or two there I thought I was having a brief mental break, but the feeling soon passed.) After days and weeks and months of feeling completely blah after long workdays, only to come home and sit my tail on the couch in my pj's as soon as humanly possible, I was done. I was tired of being tired, tired of feeling awful, and wanted to do something that made me feel better physically (and emotionally and mentally). My husband was also a significant encouragement; after watching me become increasingly more lethargic and generally feeling more down, he encouraged me to get out and start running with one of the dogs. He knew I would feel better, and knew I could do it as long as I applied myself. And was he ever right!


The first evening I went out to our neighborhood was merely a test. I wanted to get out and just see how my body would respond to higher impact, how long I could run before needing to walk again, and just learn how I responded to high activity level. I didn't get very far - at all - but I wasn't discouraged and had a good idea of how far I could push myself and then hopefully increase over time. My dad was in town last weekend and, being the avid runner he is, he went with me to a running store to buy the bee-a-utiful kicks pictured above. Those shoes have made such a difference in how my feet and legs feel when I run, and I'm all the more motivated to keep up this new challenge!

The commitment to running has helped me enjoy life more. As I noted above, I have a bad habit of coming straight home from work, complaining that I'm tired, and using that as my justification for doing absolutely nothing for the rest of the evening. Similar to walking, it gets me outdoors to enjoy the world around me. The neighborhood is often quiet when I go, but my best friend also suggested that I try listening to music. I never understood why some claim that running is like a spiritual discipline to them, but even in my brief introductory attempts I'm beginning to understand. There is something simultaneously freeing and challenging about getting out there, feeling my heart beat strong in my chest, feeling the wind against my face as I press on, feeling the very breath the Lord has given course through my system. It's an intriguing experience. I'm contemplating keeping a journal for this journey - nothing fancy, but at least a log of my progress, as well as notes on what setbacks I experience and personal growth along the way. I'm eager for this experience, and in no rush to run a 5k in three days~




10 comments:

Kim said...

Yay on your running shoes...you will love it...it may seem hard at first but just take it slow and add more distance as you can (10% more a week). In no time your body will get used to it and it will get easier and more enjoyable! The first step is getting out the door and doing it...run some and then walk some...keep doing that until you can gradually start running more than walking. You will feel great just knowing how good this is for you!

You Little O Wife said...

I am so proud of you! New running shoes are one of my favorite things. And about the music- there are also websites that give you songs with a beat to go along with the pace you would like to run.

AJ said...

http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

This site helped me learn how to start slow, because I am just like you. It was invigorating to feel myself actually adapt to the run and see myself actually be able to run. After I have my baby I plan on taking it back up. I didn't get serious enough with it for me to be able to run while pregnant.

Funderstorm said...

Way to go! You challenge me!

Not saying I'll start running any time soon...just that I'll consider it. LOL.

Graeme said...

Hi! I am just after stumbling across your blog and noticing that you want to run. I started a blog the other day which is aimed at inspiring people to run and to achieve their running goals. Please drop by if you need some inspiration or motivation. I try to avoid using technical running jargon in order to make runners of all levels feel welcome :-) http://graeme-can-run.blogspot.com/ Bye! Graeme

Tatenda Mudariki said...

Hey,

I randomly came across your blog and thought I'd share this with you about my running journey....

Continue to Soar and enjoy the running, it really is great being out there with the wind against your back as you marvel on creation!

http://missmudariki.blogspot.com/2011/07/building-muscle.html

Regards,
tatenda

Foxychica94 said...

Good luck! It's always hard starting out;)

Funderstorm said...

Where did you RUN to? LOL. Pun intended. Been missing you on here.

Lorewise said...

Like others I too have stumbled across your blog. (How wonderful it is too) On the running ... well done you've taken the most difficult step and STARTED (now for the next most difficult step CONTINUING!) In this world of many distravtions it's all too easy to hand in an excuse, but you are right, running is relaxing (although not at the time!) and very spiritual. I wish you every success.
Best wishes and may the wind always be at your back!

Aniet67 said...

I've read your start to run story and I totally recognize it. Good for you, you've started! This story encourages me to start again. Good luck for you ;-)