Running Might Not Totally Suck
Have y’all ever seen that movie, Run Lola Run? It’s a great movie, German, I think. Has that girl in it from The Bourne Identity. I’ll always list it as one of my favorites because A) it is, it’s a really cool movie and B) it’s foreign and with subtitles and therefore it makes me seem smart.
Anyway, there’s a lot of running in the movie, which is kind of like my life. (Great segue, no?) This weekend, I completed my first ever 5K. This is major. Six months ago, I would have told you that I HATE running, always have and always will. I would have told you that weight-loss be damned. I was perfectly happy with my Zumba and BodyJam routines, thankyouverymuch.
And then one of my friends suggested that a few of us sign up for “a really fun-looking race!” And she apparently had Roofied us, because we were all like “YES! Running a race sounds like so much fun right now!” Which is weird because almost none of us have EVER been runners before, but now we were all about it.
So I started the Couch to 5K program through an app by Active.com. Guys, I can’t say enough about this program. It’s GREAT. It advances so gradually that you actually believe you won’t die, but it still pushes you. If you have ANY interest in running, look into it. TRUST ME.
While the program worked great, I still had some setbacks. First off, I started the program on the treadmill because I don’t love nature. I really don’t love nature in the summer, which was when we had to start the training in order to finish it by the race (it’s a 9-week program). So that was all fine and good, until my hip started bothering me. Yes, my hip, since I am 99 years old. I was Googling words like “bursitis” and “inflamed joints.” I was this close to buying housecoats and getting my hair set weekly.
Then I decided that I should probably attempt running outside since the race would not provide me with a portable treadmill to run on. Wouldn’t that have been the BEST though? I could have been pulled through the streets of Knoxville like a Rose Parade float. Maybe next time.
When the temperature got below 1000, I hit the running trail at the park by my house. I was already about 6 weeks into the program, and was able to run 20+ minutes straight at the gym. I figured I’d struggle some and I gave myself permission to walk “if needed,” but I was confident that I could handle it.
And then I almost died and hated everything and wanted to cut my legs off as punishment for failing me so miserably.
It HURT. HURT HURT HURT. And every second that I ran that day (which equated about 100 seconds, I believe) felt like an eternity. I couldn’t get my pace down. I was constantly afraid someone was coming up behind me or I’d step in dog poo. I hated it.
I knew I had to get over it, though, so I set out to fix the one thing I could control, and that was the hip pain. I got fitted at a true running store for some new running shoes, which was mega intimidating and ridiculously expensive. If you’ve never done this, this is what happens:
Overweight, out of shape person walks in. Sees in-shape healthy looking people discussing marathons. Wants to leave but has been spotted. Immediately over-share every detail of your running history and ask 100 questions about fitness and running and body parts. Worker asks you to run around the store barefoot. Look at the worker incredulously. Become convinced that this isn’t, in fact, a joke, and run around the store. Try on 5 pairs of shoes, continue running around the store. Start to feel like a total dumbass. Pay $100+ for shoes, just so you can leave.
But, I have to say, the Nikes I bought seem to be really great shoes, and going up a full shoe size helped immensely. Yea, I’m barely 5’5″ and wear a size 10 shoe.
For the next couple of weeks, I tried and tried to get used to running outside, but seriously, I HATE it. Most runners seem to disagree, but I don’t care. I don’t need the freedom of the open road or fresh air or beautiful scenery. I need to be in an air-conditioned room with no fear of stray dogs or rapists. So the gym it is.
The week of the race came, and I was pretty bummed. I knew that with my lack of experience with outside running that there would be no way I’d run the entire 5K without stopping, which was my goal. I started to feel like a failure in a way. Which is stupid because look how far I’ve come, blah blah. But I had set a goal and it wasn’t attainable, so that sucks.
But the night before the race, I came to total peace with my progress. I set out this process basically to see if my running hatred was warranted. If I was SO resistant to something, I needed to truly evaluate why. My plan was to stick to the program, run the race and then say “SEE! I TOLD YOU! I still hate running! And now all of you runners can STFU about how awesome it is!” (Because, can we agree that while runner are mega supportive of other runners, y’all can be a little obsessed. Just sayin.) But as I arrived at the end, I didn’t hate it. I can’t say that I love it, but I don’t hate it. And that’s a huge plus.
The race was awesome, though. Everybody told me that races are the best because of the energy and the adrenaline and all that, and they weren’t kidding. I was PUMPED. And totally want to do it again. Especially a race as fun as the Color Me Rad. And no, I didn’t run the whole way, probably only half, actually. But I am totally ok with that. I’ve been running for 9 weeks and I can run 2 miles, which is 2 miles more than I could run for the past 34 years. So I call that a win.