Thursday, July 10, 2014

So I'm not the next FloJo

I went for a run today. Specifically, I ran one mile without stopping.

Ok, so one mile isn't anything to write home about. Most people can do that in their sleep. Many people do much more than that in a single workout. I have a friend who is currently training to run her sixth full marathon. I, however, am not that type of person. Running has never been easy for me - my body is not naturally suited for running (I'm short and round and rock a C-cup), and though I like the idea of running, the actual practice is a huge struggle. In grade school, I dreaded the "run the mile" day so much that I eventually worked out a system with my best friend that essentially let me lie and cheat my way to a passing gym class grade.

But I'm older now, and (in theory) healthier and wiser than I was at 13. So I know that running is one of the absolute best ways to get fit and stay healthy and improve circulation and lower stress and all those good things that I'll probably really want when I'm 50, so I decided to start running - slow and steady, just one foot in front of the other. I think I originally had a vision of running one mile a day (as inspired by this blogger), but about a million obstacles stood in my way from achieving that goal (weather, allergies, schedule, migraines, tech, and did I mention the weather? just to name a few), so I then made the more realistic decision to run only when it made sense for me to do so. I've run about 30 miles in the past three months, which again is not a lot for most people, but is a lot for me.

Last week though, I thought I was done for good. The run started out just like all the others, but it quickly turned impossible. It was much more humid out than I anticipated, and I was soon sweating buckets. My knees hurt like crazy. I was suffering from a weird bout of acid reflux. I hadn't hydrated enough and was nauseous. After about half a mile, I had to stop and walk the rest of the way home, utterly disappointed in myself. The whole experience was so miserable that I assumed my running days were over. Nice knowing you, cute neon gym shoes!

But then this morning, I felt better. My knees weren't screaming at me. The previous day's visit to the chiropractor loosened up about a billion muscles in my neck and back. An early morning thunderstorm lifted the oppressive heat that had been laying over the city. So I donned my trusty Cubs baseball cap, laced up my shoes, and got back on the horse. Same route as always, same one-mile goal. And though it wasn't easy, it wasn't impossible. My heart was pumping, my breaths were smooth and even, and my legs were strong and powerful as I pushed forward - and it felt good. Maybe I can do this.

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