Every run so far I've felt like a couch potato pretending to be a runner. My body has raged against the very act of running. First my legs would go rubbery, then my sides would ache and finally my heart would threaten to pound it's way out of my chest. My body would tell me to stop this foolishness. After all, nothing is chasing us. All that changed today.
Today's run made me feel like a runner.
As I started my warm up stretches, my mental focus began to change. In my mind, I saw my path and I saw myself making it farther than I ever have. I felt the wind on my face, and I felt my body begin to relax. The world started to fall away from me, and I was still in my house.
Once I stepped outside and hit "Start" on my C25k app, I was really ready to go. I started walking at a much faster pace–I couldn't wait to get my blood pumping and my lungs working. I made it much farther on my warm up than I ever have, and it felt great. In fact, I went so much farther that now my first run started uphill instead of downhill.
And it was fun. It didn't even feel like effort to push my body up the incline at a running pace. I was disappointed when my 90 second chime told me it was time to walk again. I pushed myself to walk quickly, and to keep my heart rate up. It was fun. I actually laughed out loud.
The cycle continued, and I made it farther than I ever have at the halfway point. As I turned around to face the dreaded uphill second half, I was excited. I kept an uphill pace that put wind in my hair, as opposed to my normal "jogging inchworm" pace. It felt great until the last 10 seconds at which point my body pushed back against me harder than it ever has. I could hear my mind screaming "STOP THIS STOP IT NOW I CAN'T I CAN NOT CANT CANT CANT." I even started to beg out loud for my guide to tell me to walk.
Then she did.
I forced myself to walk as fast as I could. My inner monolog turned sour. How can I possibly keep this up? How could I think that someone as out of shape as me could ever run a 5k? Am I stupid? Why aren't I at home right now, eating something I want to eat?
But I did not stop, and I did not slow down.
My breathing slowed again, and my heart settled again in my chest. I quickened my pace, and finished strong on my last two runs. By the time I hit the cool down walk, I knew I had hit my best times ever. I could feel it.
I was right. I averaged a 10:30 run and a 16:00 walk. Those times are truly sad for a real runner, but they are amazing for a 242 pound, sedentary nerd.
A running nerd.