The past five years have been a series of stops and starts, a series of declarations about how fit I'm going to be, followed by a burst of physical activity, followed by ice cream and lathargy. I never seem to be able to get it together.
Last spring I started talking to runners I know about running. It just seems like the most bang for your buck exercise-wise. There's no gym (yuck). There's no equipment (okay, shoes). You just go out the door and run and get the best possible cardio workout and burn calories. I like that. And then there is my brother who used to be the king of the couch. He's doing 100 mile bike races and running 10 miles a day. He qualified for the Olympic Trials in Fencing for Pete's sake. If all these other people are running and getting in shape--and they aren't necessarily people who have ALWAYS done it--why can't I?
Running the 5k at the youth gathering was a good motiviator. I searched online for training schedules and found one at about.com that looked good. I started three weeks before my trip running 1 minute/walking 1 minute for 3 miles. Then it increased. I'm still only at run3/walk1, which is how I did the race in Orlando. Two days before the trip I tried run4/walk1 and for the frist time I cramped up, felt misreable and went home early. I'm about ready to try it again, maybe tomorrow.
There are two more 5ks in town before school starts. I'm running both. I just bought a $30 mp3 player that is teeny-tiny to strap on to my arm when I run, which made this morning much more fun. I loaded Run-Friendly songs onto it, so I heard Brass Monkey (Beastie Boys), Closer to Free (BoDeans), Knock, Breathe, Shine (Jacob's Trouble), Multiply (Jaimie Lidell), Let's Go (The Cars) and Alfie (Lily Allen), to name a few--nice!
I've heard horror stories from friends who shall remain nameless about some pitfalls of running--namely the need for pitstops--and having to relieve oneself on the go. Maybe that would be more of a problem if I run longer distances. But really I can't see myself pooping in someone's front yard under any circumstances, though it has made me paranoid and I go to the bathroom three times before I go out the door.
All I know is that I am enjoying running. When I'm not running I think about when I will run next. It has been worth it to me to go to bed early so that I can get up and run. During the day I think about staying hydrated so I'll be set for my next run.
When I crossed the finish line in Orlando, much to my surprise, in the big crowd, there cheering for me were Danny, Lindsay and Jon. Lindsay (who I've known to run 2 marathons) asked, "Are you a runner now?" I gave some sort of non-comittal answer like "for this, I am." But now that that race is over and I am still running...and even though this maybe just another start followed by a stop...if Lindsay asked me again I'd say "Yes."