Learning to Run

For quite awhile I had known that I NEEDED to get more serious about exercise.  When I got my health plan with an order for 30 min. of daily exercise and the mission announced a 5K about the same time, I had an incentive and a goal.

It took me a month before I admitted to anyone besides Steve that I was going to run a 5K because ha-ha-ha the thought of me running a little over three miles was just, well, laughable.

It was winter, then, and Steve and Christy do not run in the cold.  And when I say cold I mean 30’s and 40’s.  (Now you know how tough we are.  To our credit: we complain about heat hardly ever) Lucky for us, the mission has a weight room which ended up being a perfect way to get started.  We hit the treadmills every other day, and the boys had space to play in the room with us or the adjacent gym. Often there were even basketball or soccer games to watch.

At first I just tried to get my one mile finished a little faster.  Then I inched my way to two miles and then finally to three.  The day I finally ran longer than I walked was a huge milestone.  Since then I have kept shaving a few seconds off my time, but wow this has been hard work!!!

At first I kept almost blacking out when I ran for a couple of minutes.  I would be holding  the treadmill to keep from falling!  It was so confusing because I often heard people say that you need to push yourself harder and you need to keep going even when you feel like you can’t; yet when I pushed myself I got to a place where I couldn’t keep going.  I finally learned that I needed to accept the limitations of my body now, slow down, and take baby steps.

You know what is really tough?  Not being the best.  Well, not only not being the best, but not being good at something. And even though I feel so good about how far I’ve come, that is still the battle I’m fighting now.  Because I have worked so hard, and I am still slower than slow.

I told someone that I’ve hit a wall and I’m afraid I can’t do it.  She said, “Well, you know you can always slow down and walk for a while.”  Right….but see that’s still part of my routine.  I can’t even get close to running the whole time. :(  I’ve had a couple of really good days, but I often still get light headed (not so badly that I nearly fall over, so don’t freak out.  Just enough that I have to stop running and really hold it together.)

Tonight I ran (Okay, ran/walked do you have to ask?) the route and had a rough night.  I’d had a smoothie and hour earlier, and now I know not to do that before the race.  Woah, that did not sit well. At all.  I’m feeling kind of bummed because it ended up taking longer than 40 minutes since I got light headed more often again and had to walk for longer than normal–not to mention nearly vomiting a couple of times.

But…now that I’m writing this, and think that my mom (or my doctor, or some other friends) will probably suggest I walk more so that I don’t get light headed, I realize I really want to run.  And that feels great. It is awesome to sometimes look forward to running.

And it’s pretty great to have accomplished this much in a few months.  To go from living listlessly to running most of three miles is pretty great. Did I just use great in each of the last three sentences?  Yes, I think I did.  But all of this is pretty great, don’t you think?

So the run is this Saturday and I’m partially typing out all of this to help myself snap out of my discouragement.  I need to be reminded that finishing is good, that I don’t need to be an awesomely fast runner, and that it’s okay to be competing with the walkers instead of the fastest runners.

If you’re feeling up to a 5K this weekend, you can still register for the Refuge Run here.  If you would like to lope along beside me, that would be especially awesome.

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13 thoughts on “Learning to Run”

  1. Way to go Christy!! I’m cheering you on from PA! And wishing I could be there with you! Let us know how it turns out. You are a winner just for doing it! I ran in a mile race yesterday at our schools track and field day and had to fight some feelings of foolishness for being toward the end of the pack and for being the only mom there that attempted it. But on a positive note. I could NOT have done it last year and maybe next year I can be faster.

  2. I feel like I could have wrote your post about running. Still not great here, and certainly NOT feeling like I’m ready for this weekend. I know I’ll prly have to walk some and that just feels humiliating:-) Everyone says the adrenaline kicks in and you can do more then you ever did before. We’ll see. I have yet to run 3 miles. I’m trying to decide if this is something I’ll do more of after this weekend or if I’ll find excuses. I kinda would like to be good at it, but it is SO stinkin’ hard. And yes, I don’t enjoy not being good at something, and usually don’t have to work quite this hard to only get to medicre!

  3. Christy, I so wish I could come and do it with you! I’ve been working my way to a healthy place, too, and can’t believe what a difference it has made in the way I feel about life–not to mention ditching certain meds and losing quite a bit of weight. I’ll be cheering you on from a distance!

  4. I am SO PROUD of you for doing this. A 5K for you may be what half a marathon looks like to someone who started out healthy. Last night when I was getting ready for bed I had this random I-wish-I-could-surprise-Chris-and-show-up-to-run-the-race-with-her thought. Wouldn’t that be a blast? And since I haven’t trained at all, you wouldn’t have to be the worst then. ;)

  5. I admire you SO much. I can relate with what you said – if you can’t be good at something, it’s easy to not even try. I kinda fall into that category with running too. WANTING to run, because it feel so good!! But but but I can’t run like other people can, and I get tuckered out so fast, and it seems that I don’t even make progress!! You inspire me so much. That it’s not about comparison, even with other runners.

    And I soooo wish I could come run with you this weekend!!

  6. Good for you! I have never been able to run for any length of time. You can be proud of the fact that you signed up for a 5K, never mind being with the best! My hat’s off to you for your courage and determination!

  7. Go for it, christy! I remember the feeling of crossing the finish line the first race i ran. It felt SO good. I didnt tell anyone i was running it because i was scared i wouldnt make it to the end! Adrenaline helps alot :).

  8. Cheering for you !!! I would love to come down and run with ya’ll ! I am finally back to running :-)after injuring my leg ……….Have fun !!

  9. I’m cheering for your run on Saturday! I admire anyone who can run a 5K…that looks impossible to me in this lifetime. :) I hope it goes well for you.

  10. =) You’re funny. I’m with your friend, though. Don’t back out because I’m pretty sure that within a few weeks you’ll be glad you kept running. I hope it goes great for you. Keep me posted.

    1. and now i see that i failed to wish you the best in your 5k this weekend. hope you feel well, get extra motivated, and impress yourself!

  11. I recently talked my friend into trying to do a 5k this summer. (we don’t know which one yet) There is one very local in a couple weeks, and i thought maybe… i don’t want to win, but i had to make sure i wouldn’t come in last! i did a trial 3.1 the other day to see how long it took me. it was my first time running (okay, more walking than running!) in a very long time, and let’s just say that i don’t want to do a 5k until I can shave a LOT of minutes off my initial time.

    I actually want to give up entirely, but my friend says that i am not allowed to back out now. Bossy, isn’t she? So I guess it’s gonna be breaking out the training program and try to get ready for a 5k we are interested in running in about 8 weeks! We’ll see if i survive. (i think she’s just smug because her trial 5k run was faster than mine ;) )

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