i have to be honest, i’m not really relishing running. for me, these workouts still feel like work! i don’t think i’ll ever be one of those people who genuinely enjoys exercise. i just do it because i know it has to be done.
i finished my fourth run, and although it’s been tough, i’ve managed to jog the entire kilomter each time. i thought it would get a little easier, but for some reason, this round felt much more difficult. i’m not sure if it was because we ran 30 second intervals instead of ten or that there wasn’t the 1k walking time to recover between bouts. it might be because the weather was was a bit warm and i jogged in the mid-day sun.
whatever it was, i struggled with not stopping and walking when i wanted to. we’re supposed to take advantage of the free form and listen to our bodies, but how do i know when my body actually needs to stop versus when it just wants to? i worry that i won’t push myself to do what i’m capable of. i mean, if i did it before, i should be able to do it again, right? or is it possible that our bodies are less capable on different days?
it was a sunny sunday. the mile loop around the park was littered with dogs walking their owners, parents towing their children and tweenagers holding hands. there were a couple of other runners. a super fit guy trotted around the track, huffing and puffing as hard as i do. i was glad to know i wasn’t the only one who sounded like they were losing a lung.
i reviewed my 1 km markers during the warm-up. i vowed to run every inch of that 0.6 miles to make up for the second workout shortfall.
while timing my walk, i saw a severely obese woman struggling just to put one foot in front of the other. her legs were swollen and discolored but she continued to trudge on. i noticed people on the path staring at her, some of them in disbelief, others in disgust. i didn’t feel either of those things as i looked her. what i felt was pride. we weren’t so different. we were both out of our comfort zones, physically challenging ourselves, determined to meet our goals. i was proud of us for being there and taking the necessary “steps” for our health. as we passed one another i smiled, not one of those trying-to-be-polite half-hearted awkward smiles , but a genuine one, full of appreciation and acknowledgement. she glanced up from the ground for the first time, and smiled back.
i’m thankful for my body. it may not look the way i want it to, or be able to do all the things i wish it could, but i’m grateful for it. i’ve starved it, scarred it, poisoned it and pushed it to the limit. yet it’s still here, working hard for me.
these were my thoughts as i picked up my pace, approaching the rock that marked the end of my run. i had done it again! it wasn’t beginners luck! as i slowed down, out of breath, attempting to recover, i wondered how the hell i was going to be able to run 5 times that distance. i wasn’t sure, but i would train and try, knowing that my body would do it’s best.
so i finally figured out how to use mapmyrun (i’m a bit of a technotard). i plotted the path from my first run and was excited to see that my calculations had been relatively correct, 1200 steps was between 0.5 and 0.55 miles. i felt justified for being proud about running the whole way.
unfortunately, when i mapped my second run, i came up short. super short. only 0.45 miles short.
i knew something was wrong as soon as i saw my walking time. it was 3 minutes less. i felt like i had improved, but not that much! i wasn’t sure what to do. either the pedometer or my math was off because it said that i had completed 1200 steps. should i keep walking for another 3 minutes? i would have no idea how far i’d gone. i decided to just run the same distance back. i was disappointed to discover that i hadn’t gone nearly far enough. sigh.
going into my second run i had this fear that i wouldn’t be able to do half a mile again, that i had some sort of beginner’ luck the first time. and actually, because i misjudged my distance, i wasn’t able to run the half mile. in fact, i ended up running 2 minutes less.
i can’t change the past, but i can plan for the future. i used mapmyrun to figure out exactly how far 0.6 miles was from 2 different starting points in the park. now that i know where to go, i’m challenging myself to get there. i need to realize it wasn’t luck that got me there before, it was determination… and i’m determined to get there again!