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.