Wednesday, November 21, 2007

running to stand still

So a few years ago, I was on a "Get in Shape Girl"* kick. My goal: run a mile. Every other morning or so, I'd put on my tennis shoes, a sports bra (and other clothes too, don't worry) and run. I figured it would take me a few weeks to work up to a mile, but by the end of the summer, I thought I'd for sure be jogging happily around our neighborhood.
That didn't so much happen.
What happened was I spent the whole summer trying to work up to that mile. I'd jog at my (nearly walking) pace, and after about three minutes, I'd have to slow to a walk. I'd try to push myself, and I'd feel like I was trying to run through water. Then I'd go home and sleep the rest of the day. What astounded me was that it didn't get much better the longer I trained.
I could run most of a mile, but it was disheartening that I didn't achieve my (seemingly small) goal.
What made me decide to give up the running was when I went out jogging one morning with Dyami after I had been "training" most of the summer. My husband doesn't run now, and he was exercising a lot less than me that summer. He used to play soccer in high school. And after about half a block, he asked very politely if I would mind if he ran ahead, because I was running too slow. And he proceeded to run my whole jogging course easily, in half the time it took me.


After that, I decided I was just not a runner. Walking, Pilates, dancing, all fine. I was in fine shape, my body just didn't like to run. No biggie.
Except then, the other day, I ran, and it worked! See, I'd set out for a walk with Lucy in the stroller, and my planned route fell through, because there was no sidewalk along a particularly busy stretch of road. And she was already fussy, and I had to retrace my steps back probably about a mile before I could take her out of the stroller.
I decided to run, expecting that after half a block, I'd get the sideache, and the shortness of breath, and the underwater lungs, and the blurred vision and the leg cramps.
Instead, I ran uphill, easily. My breathing...easy. My legs...strong.
I ran back around the corner, past the kids playing stickball, down the hill, and back to my destination.
No problem. I could have kept going.
Sure, the next day I felt very sore (running requires different muscles than walking! Who knew?) but I also felt triumphant.
Turns out that all that walking around I do to friends' houses in the neighborhood with a twenty-pound baby strapped to me are actually good for something.
Maybe I should challenge Dyami to a rematch.

*Did any of you have those fitness toy things? I had the rhythm ribbon. It was blue. It amused our cat, and got shredded, eventually. Is anyone else now bothered by the message those toys were sending to young girls?

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Go Heather!

(My ribbon was pink, I think, though I remember being annoyed at not having more of the workout stuff. What else was there, a yoga mat? I don't even remember. Though, yeah, lovely message.)