“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” ~Dean Karnazes
I went for my first run in almost a month yesterday (27 days to be exact). I was worried that the slow time I was bound to have was going to cause me to become depressed and give up, but in fact, quite the opposite was true. Yes, I was slow. My mile time was no where near where I was when I became injured, but it was also no where near where it was when I started running a few months ago. I was happy to see that I wasn’t starting over completely and that I was going to be able to do this after all.
It was almost humbling to see that I could still run a mile without stopping. I remember when I first started the couch to 5K program the first interval is run for 1 minute then walk for 1.5 minutes. Even during that first week, just running for 1 minute was hard. I wanted to give up, I wanted to cry, I wanted to die from humiliation. I hated running. I hated that, for once, I wasn’t going to be able to accomplish something that I wanted to. Back then, I feel like I really wanted to “run” for the eliteness of it. To say I was a runner was not only “cool” but it was also going to prove that I was in shape and could do something that so many other people really couldn’t (running is HARD!). But, now, that’s not the case.
The best part of my very short, very slow run was the feeling, oh the glorious feeling I had. I usually feel great (as in happy) when I finish my run, but miserable during. Yesterday, though, I felt wonderful the whole time. It was hard, don’t get me wrong, and my feet hurt, and my knee hurt, and even my lungs hurt, but I was just so happy to be out and running again that I didn’t care about any of these pains. It made me realize just how important running had become to me in such a short period of time. It helps me think, reduces stress, dissipates any anger or aggression I may have accrued during the day. Honestly, the health and weight loss benefits are simply an added bonus. I’m not doing this for them. That’s what the gym is for. I’m doing this for me.
And now that I’ve realized just how important this is to me, I also realize that I need to do it right this time. Last time, not only did I do too much too fast, but I also had no consistency with my runs. I went when I felt like it and made excuses when I didn’t. I didn’t do any stretching to help out my muscles or range of motion (beyond what I thought I was supposed to do…turns out I was wrong). And, and did nothing to prevent injuries that I might encounter. As it turns out, my knee “injury” that I babied the last month was simply due to too much strain on my knee because my hip and quad muscles were not strong enough to accommodate my body when running
But, now I’m ready to do this thing, for real. I mapped out my workouts for the month, used my dicks gift card to buy running socks, hand weights, and a foam roller, and moved the boys into the same room (it’s a really big room, and they love it) in order to create an office/workout space for myself.
Most importantly I finally bit the bullet and went to Charm City Run (a local running store) to figure out what shoes I REALLY need to deal with all of my foot, leg, knee problems. I was so concerned with not wanting people to look at my gross feet and watch me run on a treadmill. Had I not been willing to run I would have wound up with a shoe that felt fine walking, but was terrible when I started running. I actually settled on a pair of shoes from a brand I thought I would hate because of a previous shoe I tried from them. It was really exciting to find “the shoe” that was going to work for me.
Running is something I hope I get to stick with for a long time. It has done so much for me in just a few short months, I can’t believe I was ready to give it up so easily.
So, for now, I’ll take it slow, but I’m ready to run.