So many of you may not be aware of this, but once upon a long time ago, I was a runner. In middle school and junior high I ran on the track tream. I was a distance runner, so I competed in the mile and two mile events. I was never very good at the two mile distance, but the mile was my forte. I was never proud of it at the time, but I always placed in the top four at track meets in that event. I never really cared about it honestly. I just went out and ran and came in. It never seemed important to me. And it really never seemed difficult for me. In retrospect I realize I was running about 5-6 miles a day between early morning training and practices, but it never seemed that bad. It was just something I did. I ran.
When I became a gym junkie, the last thing I wanted to do was run. Although I never remembered it being difficult for me, I just thought it was boring, so I stuck with other forms of exercise. Three years ago (And I remember that it was three years ago because it was World Cup Soccer time) I decided that I would start running again, just to add something to my work outs. I had thought at one time of even entering a competitive 5K or 10K race but never did because as long as I was staying in shape, what did I have to prove by entering a race?
Last year during the 10 days that Gideon's birth mom had him I was running between 2 & 5 miles everyday, in addition to my other "workout" activities. It was the only way I could find to burn off enough stress that I would sleep at all at night.
But to be honest, I haven't really run since the day we brought him home.
You've all read my recent post about the struggle to stay in shape, so I won't recap. The exercise classes at the church are definitely helpful, but after a few weeks now, I feel like I need more of a challenge.
So last week I asked my sister Shiloh, to come up with a training program for me, so that I can perhaps start running again. (Shiloh, who is an avid runner just competed in her first 8K mud run. See her blog for pictures)
It's not really that I enjoy running all that much, (although I do love the endorphine high afterward) it's just that I need to do something more. So this time I'm going to train and do something competitive. Every year they do a lot of running events during the summer, but in order to give myself a real goal, I signed up for the Liberty 5K in Rexburg on July 4th. I don't think I have any shot of winning. But if I can finish in under 30 minutes, I won't be too embarrassed.
Right now I'm just desperately hoping I can run 5K's by then.
See this morning I started training. And boy I didn't realize how bad it really was. Last year I could run three miles without dying. This morning, by a quarter mile I felt like I was going to puke, and by a half mile I almost passed out. So I let myself slow down to a walk for 90 seconds. Then I ran some more. I'm not even sure I made it a quarter mile this time before I had to slow again.
At the end of 19 minutes I had gone roughly a mile and a quarter. And that was all for today. My legs felt pretty strong, but my lungs, heart, back and head were all threatening to explode if I didn't stop.
All I could think as I stretched was "How did I let myself get here? Running a mile, used to be an afterthought. And now I can't even make it."
But I keep telling myself that today's run was the hardest. That tomorrow will be easier, because I've taken that first step and tackled that first mile all over again. And even as I sit here and type this, I'm enjoying the endorphines, and taking deep breaths. So maybe tomorrow really will be better.
If nothing else, at least I'll get a free t-shirt for participating in the thing, right?