On Running

runningI don’t break vows easily, but this year I had to do it! Back in elementary school after running (more or less) the 800 yard dash for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test for the last time, I swore up, down, and sideways,  I would never voluntarily run again. I hated running with the passion of a thousand supernovas. I hated the sick, twisted feeling in my guts after the first fifty yards, I hated the dry gasping breaths soon to follow. I hated trying to get my body to stop shaking afterward. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. Luckily, my junior high and high schools were small enough that we didn’t have a gym class, so it never became an issue again. The one, mercifully brief gym requirement in college was fulfilled by a pathetic attempt to hit a tennis ball over a net. Not much running involved.

This year, after double checking the scale, I decided enough was enough. Even though I go to the gym 3 times a week and walk 5.5 miles on the weekends,, I had to do something to lose the weight that has stubbornly increased over the past few years. After I mentioned my dilemma to a friend of mine, she challenged me to join her in training for a 10K next year.

I hate backing down from a challenge, so, I downloaded one of those free running apps on my phone..

The first weeks were a revelation!. I had never been taught to run in intervals. Running always involved the gym teacher screaming from the sidelines to keep going even if I wanted to puke. Intervals work for me. I managed the first three weeks just fine until I picked up a case of hotel head that knocked me down. Since that was followed by a trip home, I decided when I got back to reboot.

Second time around,  the intervals are still working pretty well. I’ve made to the fourth week without too much difficulty. I’ve even run on the beach, which I enjoyed more than I should have. Definitely going to do that again. The 3 minute intervals are still a challenge, but I can feel my stamina increasing. Since the weather has been iffy, I’ve used the treadmill at the gym more than running outside, but I increase the incline to make up for it.

I haven’t suddenly fallen in love with running, but I’m hating it less than I used to. It’s also no longer about my weight. I haven’t stepped on a scale since I started. Lose the weight or not, I’m on a track that’s working for me. I might even make it to the 10K mark next year.

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