Back in the before time I ran. I was not a particularly fast runner nor a happy one. While I appreciated the health benefits, I complained about my tired legs, my sore feet, and just about everything else. I managed a marathon and couple of half marathons, but most I ran to avoid being fat.
Fast forward almost 8 years. Yup, almost 8 years of not running. The first four years after the boys were born, well, there was just no way. And then, over the next few years I tried to muster up an effort once or twice, but as hard as running was for me in my thirties, now I am pushing my mid-forties and wearing a 40 lb fat suit. It ain’t pretty.
Inspired by my boys, I finally have my head in the right place. I am doing my best to banish negative thoughts, because they do bring me down. I have managed short runs on a fairly regular schedule, but no long runs. Not until today that is.
I am not even up to measuring distance, I am just trying to work up to a 60 minute weekend run. Today, the plan was 45 minutes, but 10 minutes into it I was just a bundle of negativity. I was tired, running later in the afternoon instead of my usual 5 am time. I had also dragged the boys around Safeway earlier in the day for the weeks worth of groceries, a marathon in itself I tell you. I wanted to quit so badly that my hand was hovering over the STOP button on the treadmill. But then I remembered something I read in Runner’s World magazine many years ago – that one could run a marathon by alternative running a mile with walking a mile. Sadly, I was feeling pain by the first mile (I’m telling you, 40 extra pounds of insulation is evil in so many ways), so I slowed to a walk, for 2.5 minutes and then finished the run alternating with running and walking in 2.5 minute intervals.
It was a breeze, not a fast breeze, but I felt good.
No, I didn’t have the run I had planned, but in case you haven’t noticed I don’t have a lot of things I planned on having.
I thought about my boys. Frequently the tasks I give them are too hard, but if they don’t try they won’t learn new skills and motor planning, so I push them. I know that getting to the end of a task, no matter how inelegant the result, is the most important part. One because it helps your muscles build memory and two, because it builds confidence.
So, I am looking forward to my short runs this week, but strangely I am looking forward even more to my long run next weekend. I want to see what I can do. I have a lot more perseverance these days, it’s a little something I picked up from my kids.