Monday, 16 January 2012

Everything I Know About Running

Running sucks! If you hang around long enough and get to know me, I might open up and tell you how I really feel. But before you start to try and convince me otherwise, I feel a bit of background is in order.

Running is something I remember doing when you were playing War or Tag or something of the like. It was never really something I saw the need to do as an adult. Besides, the thought of my fish-belly white legs in skimpy filmy running shorts.... ugh! It's like a moving horror show. 

I was not an athlete in school, I was the brainy nerd in the band. I got out of PE in high school because some kind soul realized that band camp in the summer was no picnic. After high school I was working construction and in rock bands. I never had a fitness or weight problem but I did smoke 3 packs of Lucky Strikes a day and could hang with the best drinkers around. Even in college I was decently svelt as I worked at a factory stacking cinder blocks during the day and going to Nursing school at night.

After graduation is when I started to plump up (anyone else have a vision of Ball Park Franks at that moment?). Lots of time standing at an operating room table and the nurse's lounge always had something to snack on. I got my first introduction to running courtesy of my neighbor Vince. Vince was a pilot and was muscle on muscle. I think he flew the C-130 Hercules because he would never fit into a fighter being a wrestler and football player. Big guy. Anyway, he decides he needs me as his running partner so off we go. I'm sure I had some junk shoes, no warmup or anything and off we go. Not long into what I've fondly remembered as the Valdosta Death March I got some horrible shooting pain in my shins and was sucking wind like I was on the top of Mt. Everest. Luckily we only ran for a mile or so after that began. I couldn't walk for two days on my return and I never ran again; with him or anyone else. That would have been the mid-1990s.

Fast-forward to December 2011. After making the decision to reach my goal of passing the Air Force Fitness test I sadly realized that it indeed included running. In fact, I would need to run a mile-and-a-half right at fourteen minutes to make a good enough score. Well crap. Luckily one of my friends runs so I asked BabyPT for some advice and she turned my onto the Couch to 5K app by VitaStone.

Couch to 5K on my iPhone and I love it!
Couch to 5K is designed to get sedentary slugs like me up and moving with the goal of being able to run a 5K in nine weeks. In my case nine weeks is a little overly optimistic. With a 5-minute warm-up and cool-down period during each week the remainder is divided into jogging and walking segments. You can play the music on your device or ever select certain songs for the workout.

My first session was predictably painful. Sixty seconds of running left me breathless and with painful shins but I walked the rest of the time instead of quitting. My goal for the second session was to run two of the eight running segments. After nearly three weeks I was finally able to complete all the running segments! My form is probably pretty ugly and I'm not leaving a trail of fire behind but I now am a thing in motion (remember my post stating Newton's First Rule of Motion?). Currently I'm on week two and on my first day out I ran all the segments, the second day I even felt like I was doing an honest-to-goodness running pace. But don't tell anyone please.

So do I still think running sucks? Yep. But not as much as before, and there's every chance it will get less sucky as time goes on. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Well said... running just sucks at first. I have to admit I still don't necessarily "like" it, but it's do-able now. Amazing how it also helps me be able to climb the mountains with my sons when we go hiking. No longer the "wait for Mom" type gal... I'm smack in the middle of them!! :)