Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Running redux

Today was Day 1 of my training for the half marathon. The fact that I am training for a half might indicate that I have been running for a long time and am just going to ramp up my mileage. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. I am basically starting from zero (unless you count actually running about once every 6 months or more frequent unfulfilled intentions). And let me tell you, starting from scratch is rough. But apparently the feeling of doing this is a little like childbirth: the pain of it eventually fades from memory and so you settle back onto the couch to turn into a slug thinking all the while that you’ll start running again soon because, after all, it wasn’t *so* bad, now was it? People, I am here to tell you that childbirth hurts and starting running again hurts even worse. But a half marathon demands training, especially one that I’ve agreed to run behind with my athletic sister. So out the door I went.

I should probably also admit that starting running again might not have hurt nearly so much if I hadn’t gained that 30 lbs. since the last time I was running comfortably. I’m now doing the equivalent of running my old 30 lb. lighter self and a large toddler all at the same time. It could only have been worse if I’d taken up smoking in the interim too, which I didn't so I’ve got that going for me. But the extra weight and the length of time since I had last run guaranteed a rather painful, jiggly-looking, very short run. It didn’t disappoint on any front.

I waited until most of the morning traffic had left the neighborhood (I can do without the public humiliation of lumbering along in front of the neighbors, shirt straining over the belly and shorts bunched up unpleasantly between wobbly thighs), snagged my iPod, and headed out. I am at least occasionally smart and I started out at a very moderate to slow pace to help me ease into the run. Sadly, this is apparently my *actual* pace now and so there was nothing easy about it. Honestly, I think if I’d gone any slower, I would have been going backwards. On reflection, I might have drifted backwards on a few of the hills. Yes, I intentionally included hills in the run, not wanting to shy away from anything. Ok, I probably only included them because they are on my old “usual” route and I was too lazy to try and find a new route that was pleasingly flat. Computer issues mean that mapmyrun.com was out and I’m not sure they have a “wuss” function where you can plug in your requirements for a run, including but not limited to a completely flat and shaded route with moving sidewalks. They should get to work on that for me. So I plugged up and down the hills following the garbage truck. I’m still not sure if the bad smell was the trash or my own morning breath blowing back into my face. I might have to time next Tuesday’s run to try and miss the truck although their frequent stopping next to me meant it was almost like running with company.

I think I only ran about a mile and a half this morning. I’m actually not sure, having left the Garmin at home, knowing full well I wouldn’t really want to know length of run or the time it took to accomplish either. This doesn’t bode well for having to run 13.1 miles in 4 months. But with luck I’ll be out there plugging away tomorrow or Thursday too. And maybe I can winnow some of that weight off before the actual race. Maybe this is not just starting running again, it’s starting to be healthier again and I can get rid of the toddler weight once and for all.


  1. You have my deepest respect for even attempting such a run! Now I'm feeling a little more inspired to push myself at the gym this afternoon... so thanks!

  2. Good for you! Although I think you're selling yourself short saying you're starting completely from scratch - you did walk a half-marathon last month! Keep it up! I'm going to go walk now. Thanks for the inspiration to get me to shut down the computer.

  3. Good for you for taking the first step!

    My sister-in-law took up running at the beginning of the year with the goal of running a half-marathon and she did that in June. She says running is now part of her life -- with three kids she goes out after they are in bed and makes the time.

    I need to take inspiration from both you and her.

  4. More power to you! I'm impressed. I've never had the guts to try running... or walking quickly for that matter.

  5. Kristen...congrats for just getting back out there (that is the hardest part I think). Great job

  6. completely flat and shaded routes with moving sidewalks - wuss? Not!


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