Monthly Archives: March 2011

first run

i pulled up to the park where i had only been once before. i saw different dogs mingling in the paw patch and ducks waddling from the lake. the trail map proved futile for planning my mileage. i would have to rely on my pedometer instead.

i felt the soreness in my thighs and gluts as soon as i began walking the warm up. maybe i shouldn’t have done all those lunges last night. i hadn’t considered the repercussions of a fat-to-firm fitness ball workout before my first run.

after 5 minutes i started the arm swings. i felt really stupid as i moved them up and over, back and forth. and not in an “ i hope no one sees me” sense, i just felt dumb doing it. i know i need to get over this self-consciousness, but it’s difficult when you’re relatively awkward and uncoordinated.

as i transitioned into the walking/running intervals, i experienced this swell of emotion and almost felt like i was going to cry. it was the same feeling i got in my first zumba class. i’ve always been overweight, and even though i’ve lost 80 pounds, i’m still amazed that i can almost move like a “normal” person now.

the emotional swell quickly crested as soon as i realized that i was out of breath. those intervals seemed interminable. i began to doubt my abilities. i worried about what i’d gotten myself into. i felt ashamed of the shape i was in. i was so disappointed, i had secretly hoped that i would be able to run for the full half mile.

i used steps to calculate my distance. there are approximately 2000 steps in a mile, so 0.6 miles (or 1 kilometer) is about 1200. i started timing my walk. i kept checking my stopwatch as i got further and further away from the starting point. after only a few minutes i couldn’t believe i was already going to have to run that far!

i finally got to my destination, turned around and started timing my run. almost immediately i was having trouble breathing. i felt like i couldn’t get enough air in my lungs. i tried regulating my breath, inhaling and exhaling rhythmically. i told myself, if i can just get to that bush, if i can just make it to that tree, then i’ll stop and catch my breath.

but i jogged on. i was a quarter of the way, then half the way, then three quarters of the way! i could see the starting point! my breath was shallow and ragged. i tried to breathe deeper, to force the air into my lungs. i was almost there. gasping, i was determined to make it all the way!

and then i was there. my lungs may have felt like they were going to burst, but i made it. i couldn’t believe i ran the entire half mile without stopping! the emotions start to swell. however, even though i was proud of myself for achieving the secret goal, i still thought “i don’t ever want to do this again.”

but i will.

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motivated to move

i want to be able to run. with the shape i’m in now, there’s no way i would survive a zombie apocalypse. and it’s important to be able to outrun the undead. it’s also important to be able to outrun the living, but they’re less likely to eat your brains.

so i’m training for a 5k. i enrolled in up and running, an innovative e-course for women that endeavors to transform both body and mind. it’s warm up week. our first task is to make a list of our motivations. according to our world-renowned running coach, julia jones, the most critical component to finishing this course is understanding why we want to do it.

i’m motivated to make it part of the plan.
scrolling through the forums, i saw that a lot of up and runners were motivated to get fit and healthy. i’ve never really been fit or healthy. i don’t even know what that would feel like. it takes more than just exercise to achieve fitness and health, but i believe that this program can play a significant role in the process, even if it can’t get me there on it’s own.

i’m motivated to maintain.
while it would be wonderful to lose more weight, i’m hoping that running helps me keep off the 80 pounds i’ve already lost.

i’m motivated to complete the challenge.
i do well with structure. i’m much more likely to accomplish a goal if i know the steps i need to take. in this case, i’ll be learning the literal steps i need to take!

i’m motivated to do something that seems impossible.
i can barely run a couple of blocks. i can’t imagine running a single mile, let alone three.

our second task is to create personal, tangible goals.

i aim to do every workout.
that’s three times a week for eight weeks, twenty-four workouts in all.

i aim to participate in a 5k upon completion.
as long as i can run for the majority of the race, i don’t even mind having to walk part of the way. i’m considering taking on the san francisco progressive marathon. what’s worrisome is that it’s held at the end of july and i’m afraid of collapsing from heat exhaustion.

i aim to improve.
i don’t have a base time because i’ve never run a mile before, but when i do get that number, i’m going to decrease it by the end of the course.

so there they are, my personal goals and the motivations behind them. now all i need is a brain-craving zombie to get me moving!