Let me preface this by saying that I am doing this of my own volition. I am not being forced. I have not been kidnapped. I am trying to learn to LIKE running. (EW right?)These are a few of the thoughts that run through my head while I run through the park…
One: I hate running. Why do people do this on purpose?
Why would someone want to subject themselves to the hot sun and hill-laden terrain of southwestern PA? WHY? Who thinks this sounds fun? I’m also a pale, freckle-faced ginger. The sun has never been my friend, so now I’m out here sweating my butt off while sunscreen runs into my eyes. And there are still people in this world who love to run. I’m baffled by this phenomenon.
Two: Why does everything hurt?
I’m not a small person, nor is my chest minuscule, so let me assure you that if I don’t have the proper sports bra on, my feet aren’t the only parts of me that hurt. It is also my knees, my back, my calves, my butt, etc. Everything hurts.
Three: Where did all the oxygen go?
Seriously. My breathing is a serious problem when I run. I have been told how to time my breathing better to match my strides, so I’m not sucking down air like it’s the most precious thing on the planet; Unfortunately, I apparently can’t multitask that much while I propel my body forward that quickly. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of this.
Four: Why am I doing this?
This all started because one of my cousins wanted to run a 5K together, so now two of my aunts, two of my cousins, my cousin’s husband, my boyfriend and I are running a 5k together. In 8 weeks. And I just started attempting to run a week ago. This is going to be a serious challenge.
I’m using the C25K (couch to 5k) app to help me build my endurance. This is not fun. I’ve been running at a park near my boyfriend’s house. The park is quiet and really pretty. If we pick the right time of day, it isn’t super crowded with kids, parents, or ball players. So far my boyfriend has been the best running partner. He used to run cross-country in high school, so he’s giving me all these tips about my form.
[Post run thought]
Five: Where’s my water bottle.
Nothing special here, I’m just always really worn out after I run and need all the water.
Six: I’m glad I did that, but I hurt.
So everything still hurts. And it still wasn’t fun. But the sense of accomplishment is a pretty heady high. I’m one step closer to running the entirety of a 5k. I’ve got this. Once I can catch my breath, I always smile that self-satisfied smirk of triumph. It doesn’t matter what my pace was (at least not yet), it only matters that I got off my butt and did it.
Seven: I need to buy running shoes.
My everyday sneakers are what I started running in. They’re a great pair of bright blue and neon green Nikes that I got for Christmas two years ago. At this point, they’re pretty worn down in the support department, but they’re still my favorite shoes. I quickly discovered that the ridiculous shin splints I was experiencing could be fixed with a better pair of shoes. Off to the outlets I went. Now running is a lot less painful, at least where my shins are concerned. Bonus: My new shoes are MORE obnoxious and bright than the old ones. SCORE!