It all started in May. I had my revision surgery and a good friend (that I don’t see often enough) took me out to breakfast. I still wasn’t allowed to drive, so it really was a huge treat. As we sat and ate, she told me that she started training for her first 5k in March. I don’t think that she was ever a “runner”. I mean, sure she ran before, haven’t we all taken gym class?
I know a few runners. They are skinny girls that have been running since high school. They ran and kept off baby weight. They ran many, many marathons. And overall, they are very, very skinny. But my friend didn’t fit into either of these categories. She’d never run seriously, especially not since high school. She enjoyed eating during her pregnancy and gained weight naturally, as expected. She had never run a marathon. She continues to struggle with her weight. If this woman in her early 30s could pick up running then why can’t I?
I took recommendations and got fitted for shoes, downloaded the Couch to 5k (C25K) app, found a running partner (who is in her mid-40s and has never run), bought some gear, and by early July I was running. Well, kind of. At least I was not walking.
Everyone told me that the beginning would be brutal, but as I looked through the weeks through the app I couldn’t imagine how running 90 seconds could be worse than running 20+ minutes. They were right. Those first weeks were brutal and thank goodness I was determined. I would barely make it up the steps into my house and collapse on the nearest piece of furniture for as long as possible. My legs would continue to wobble as I went through my day at work. At night I would barely make it into bed, where I would collapse. Again.
I would marvel at runners in our town, going more than mere feet with such ease. Running through town and venturing far from their homes, confident that their bodies would bring them back. Unknowingly, they kept the dream alive that someday I would be a real runner. As I dreamed, I ran. As I ran, my body became stronger. The other day I bounced up my front steps after a 2 mile run.
I still hurt. My muscles still rebel. My lungs still get angry. My body still adjusts. But early this morning, I ran around our town. I ventured a decent distance from my house and ran almost 2.5 miles. I’m getting it. I’m seeing why people do this. I’m 6 weeks into the C25K app (it’s an 8 week program) and I’m signed up for my first 5k on September 28th. I’m excited. Even though I’m not ready, I’m not there yet, I know I’m a beginner and I’m still excited.
Each day, each run makes me one step closer to being a real runner. For the beginners, it’s true. 90 seconds in the beginning is so much worse than 20+ minutes in the end. Stay with it – you got this! And if you need encouragement or motivation, leave a comment. I’ll be there for you. Ask my running partner – I actually hit her once so that she would keep going (and she did). I’ll try not to use physical violence with you, though.
Ready. Set. GO!