Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting off the couch... and then getting right back on it!

So now, I've made the decision that I am going to start running. I was at least smart enough to realize that I couldn't just dart out the door and take off. I needed a plan. And I had read on a homeschool message board about a great beginning plan called, "Couch to 5K". I went to the website, looked it over, and decided to begin.

The next morning, I was anxious to get started! I dug some old tennis shoes out of the back of the closet - the ones I had worn to the gym to use the elliptical, and around the house to do exercise DVDs for the last 5 years. A friend had given them to me. (Those of you who are runners can already tell where this is headed, right?) I put on the shorts I wore to the gym and pulled my hair back and I was ready to go.

My mom and dad were still in town, so I borrowed my mom's stopwatch (I never did ask her why she carries a stopwatch around with her! LOL), and headed out the door. Week 1, Day 1 was to warm-up walk for 5 minutes, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes, then cool-down walk for 5 minutes.

I set the timer and began. I had read on the website to go very slowly, which didn't end up being a problem! I was huffing and puffing, and I looked down at the stopwatch - 30 seconds? Seriously? I've only been jogging for 30 SECONDS??? And when did my neighborhood get so HILLY?

I made it back home at the end of the workout, and my mom immediately asked me if I was OK. My littlest girl, Reece, said, "Mommy, your face is ALL PINK!!!!" with a big grin on her face. I felt like death warmed over! Now, I wasn't overweight and I wasn't really a couch potato. I had been exercising at the gym for 2 years, and before that I did exercise DVDs at home where I "walked" 2-3 miles. I couldn't really figure understand why it was so hard!

I followed the plan (I love having checklists and plans!) and took the next day off. Monday was Labor Day and my husband was off work, so I decided to do day 2. It was the exact same plan as Day 1, and it felt so much harder. By the time I got home, I was very sore. And within 2 hours, I was in so much pain on my right foot, I couldn't even walk.

Yep. The old shoes had done their worst. I had been running exactly 2 days, and I had my first injury. So for anyone who is reading this and just thinking of starting to run, learn from my mistake: get new running shoes BEFORE you attempt any sort of jogging/running program!

This was going to be the first real test for me. You see, in the history of my life, the same theme repeats itself: if something is too hard for me to do perfectly the first time, I don't ever do it again. I tried out for cheerleader once and didn't make it - never tried again. I played softball one season and never touched the ball - never tried again. Perseverence was a hard lesson for me to learn when so many things (academics especially) came so easy to me. I had only recently suceeded in sticking to something that had been very hard, and that was nursing (breastfeeding). I had tried with my older daughter and gave up when it got hard. But with my little one, it was hard and I kept going and met and surpassed my goals. It was a great feeling!

Would I be able to do it this time with something like running? I had never been athletic as a child or as an adult. Would I be able to keep my interest and determination to do this hard, new thing while battling an injury that sidelined me before I even got started?

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