I hate running. It has NOT all been peaches and coconut cream. Hate is normally a strong word, but in this case it may not be strong enough. Maybe it’s because I don’t fit the traditional definition of a “runner.” Maybe it’s because I hate being hot and sweaty. I’ll have you know I have very real fears about being trapped in my sports bra because I’m too sweaty to get it off.
So why am I subjecting myself to this torture in the heat and humidity of the summer? My main motivator is to be able to keep up with my teammates when we compete in the LoziLu Mud Run. I have nightmares where I’m running with them and then suddenly I’m behind them and I’m grasping for air so much that they can’t hear my say “hey guys!” while I’m crawling on the ground. It’s really very pathetic. Whatever gets you off the couch right?
Here’s just how far I’ve gotten off the couch as of this morning!
I’m 5’2 (an average person’s stride is two of mine), I’m about 60 pounds overweight, I’m 36, and I have asthma. Oh yeah… and I’m very out of shape. I know it’s not as far and as fast as someone else can do, but I this represents HUGE progress from where I started. Five short weeks ago I couldn’t run more than 100 feet without doubling over out of breath grasping for my inhaler. Now I’m running about a third of a mile at a time and don’t need my inhaler at all.
With that being said, I’ve learned a few things:
- Good running music is a necessity. No seriously… like life or death need. There’s nothing worse than running at a decent pace and Adele comes on. While she’s a gifted musician, gimme me some Pitbull, Blackeyed Peas, or Lil Jon. Ahhh Lil Jon… how underappreciated you are. Turn down for what!
- Running with your phone in your hand makes you look ridiculous. I caved and bought an armband for my iPhone. I still feel silly strapping my phone to my arm, but the alternative is looking like someone late for a meeting… if that meeting was in the woods and acceptable attire was a sports bra.
- I am not going to look glamorous. Not while I’m running with my bangs plastered to my sweaty forehead and my face all red. The heavy breathing isn’t phone sex operator sexy either… it’s 70 year old woman whose smoked for 50 years sexy. In fact yesterday I realized there was a woman sitting off in the trees who watched me come up the trail for a good 200 yards. I was horrified she had seen me in such a state. But you know what? It’s okay because I’m running and she’s not.
- The pain goes away. The first week I did the C25k program was HORRiBLE. I could not sit down, stand up or even walk without pain. Come to think of it pretty much just standing still was painful. I followed the program and wouldn’t you know that pain went away! What made the biggest difference for me was stretching after I finished my run. I found if I just take a few minutes to stretch out my quadriceps and calves, it makes all the difference in the world.
- I’m a glider. Did you know that when it comes to running you are either a gazelle or a glider? Apparently a lot of women and people of smaller stature (read: short) are natural gliders. Once I started embracing how to glide and stopped forcing myself to be a gazelle, it all got a lot easier. The good news is some of the fastest women marathon runners in the world are also gilders. Go us!
- I actually kind of like it. Shhh… if you tell anyone I will DENY it… but five weeks into this and I actually look forward to the days I run. I know! Crazy huh? Especially after how much I was against doing this whole mud run to start with.
Then I had this vision… see the company that makes the Couch to 5k app I’m using on my phone, Active, also makes a *gasp* 5k to 10k app. I’m sorry, what?!?! I can’t believe I’m even considering the idea of downloading that app, much less using it and even being able to run a 10k. That snowball effect is what our journey is all about right? Making little changes that lead to bigger changes:
- Doing a Whole30 and resetting your body’s relationship with food.
- When it’s over, not totally reverting back to pre-Whole30 eating.
- Incorporating Paleo principles into your everyday life.
- Attaining and maintaining a happier, healthier you.
I didn’t think I’d be able to do this but I was stronger than I thought. I’m willing to bet you are too. Grab some running shoes, comfortable clothing, headphones, and find a safe place to find out. The possibilities are endless.