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.