One foot in front of the other (Alternatively: Running is hard)

Today I started training – in preparation of the real training. I’ve never run before in my life – hell, I’ve never really exercised. But years of eating and drinking basically whatever I wanted, plus two babies, plus a relatively sedentary job, it’s all taken its toll.

I’m geared up with specialty running shoes (and comfy inserts) and a ridiculous-looking sports bra (described online as designed to “encapsulate the breast… while compression limits motion…” sexy, right?!?) I dropped the kids off at school, fulfilled my school volunteer assignment (making photocopies for Ethan’s teacher), went to the grocery story, suited up to run (getting the bra on was a workout in-and-of itself…), and stretched.

I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful (and pretty flat) neighborhood with wide sidewalks, perfect for running. The weather was beautiful, about 42 degrees, slightly overcast, no wind. I had my route measured, exactly one mile from my house to the main road. My iPod was loaded with a running app to track my time and distance. How hard could it be to run (with a little walking) one mile to the road, one mile back?

It was hard. Really fucking hard.

I was feeling okay at 0.25 miles, so I thought I’d start my run. I made it another 0.1 miles before I was breathing hard, my calves starting to tighten. I slowed back to a brisk walk. At the 0.5 mile mark, I attempted another run, and I made it another 0.1 miles before walking. Then I kind of panicked. I wasn’t sure I could even get to the mile mark, but what if I did get there and then didn’t have the energy to get back…

“Just keep walking,” I willed myself.  I thought about how I was doing this for me, for my kids. In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about my mortality. If I die, what happens to my kids? I need to get healthier. I need to set a good example for my kids. I need to live a long and healthy life FOR THEM.

I made it to 0.75 miles before turning around and starting back toward my house. I had one other brief interlude of running before going back to walking. My pace was slower than when I started. My calves were really tight and my ankles were sore.  I was breathing loudly and couldn’t silence it. I had a weird pain in my side, and I could “feel” my lungs and my heart.

I walked (with three BRIEF runs – “run-lets” I’ll call them) for a total of 1.5 miles. My time was incredibly embarrassing. But it’s a start, right?

Also, an hour (and some water and some breathing exercises) later, and I actually feel… dare I say… good. I just need to remember “one foot in front of the other.” I just need to keep going.

2 thoughts on “One foot in front of the other (Alternatively: Running is hard)

  1. Way to go, J!! It is SO hard to start a running program from the very beginning. But, you’ll improve much faster than you think. Definitely keep track of how much you’re able to run and how you feel. You’ll see huge improvements in no time!

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