I am running again. It’s an activity I did from 7th to 11th grade, opting out of Track my senior year in lieu of a play. Was it the right decision? I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. But I am running now – following the popular Couch 2 5K program and it is going very well. It’s been an on/off battle over the past twelve years to keep running. Something always seemed to come up – or I just wouldn’t do it.
The problem was that I never had to “get” into shape in school. I did sports all the time and was fairly active, so there was no need to get into shape. But after college and the sedentary lifestyle I developed, running was a challenge. I didn’t really know how to get started. I never bothered to memorize workouts from high school – I just did what the coach told me. Running was scary, to a small degree. Why do it?
There were many starts, but they didn’t last very long. There were times I would be ready to run and change my mind, and do something else. The concept of running didn’t seem appealing – but it was all part of the bigger picture. Being healthy.
I’m healthier now that I’m several weeks into the program. At the end of May I run my first 5k in probably eight years – and I barely “ran” the last one I was in. Running no longer fills me with dread or worry I won’t be able to do it. Music helps, but so does the program which has let me move up at my own pace. Part of me likes to skip – but I try to stay on it.
Now – I still dread running a little. There are days I would rather not, but I think about how I can now jog (and I don’t jog very quickly) at a decent pace for 28 minutes. When I started, three minutes was a hardship. I don’t want to go back. This is my third time on the program, and what is really nice is knowing that if I fail I can start again and try again and that’s pretty nice.
But mostly, when I tie those shoes I feel ready. I bought new shoes at the start, my old running shoes finally toast after too many stop/starts, and they feel good. Running feels good. I still have a long way to go before I’m doing amazing at it. My gait is still very uneven, and my jogging is very jog like and labored. But as I run, my weight drops, which makes it all the easier. As I run, the days I don’t I feel full of more energy to play with Zachary – and that’s really who I’m running for.
Zachary is two and he has more energy than a nuclear reactor. When I think about how much play time I could miss out on by not being in shape? It makes me sad. He needs his dad to be there for him, so I’m making sure I will be. In shape. So we can have adventures.