Jan 29, 2012

What I Have Learned About Life While Running

Abigail and Dolley readers I am not a natural runner, I am a natural cookie baker and couch snuggler.  I have a love/hate relationship with exercise... I never WANT to do it but usually makes me feel good afterward and I am vain enough to realize that if I want to stay in a reasonable dress size, I have to do it.  I try to motivate myself with cute running clothes, new iPod music, and a heart rate monitor that measures my performance.

I decided last May that I was going to learn to run and believe me, I use the term run very loosely.  When I run, I look like a defensive lineman that suddenly finds himself holding the ball and needs to run down the field for a touchdown, it is not pretty.  I have done the research (of course I have) and intellectually know all about Good Form Running, Chi Running, and 180 footfalls per minute running.  I know how to do it, I just suck at it.

Some days I go out and it is like I am running through jello.  I can't breathe, my heart rate goes through the roof, and my body feels like I weigh 300 pounds.  Other days, I am stronger and every once in a while I can catch a rhythm.  All in all, I am really slow and it is embarrassing how long it takes me to pass a walker.  Inevitably, I have to speed up so much, to not look like a dork, that once I pass the walker, I can no longer breathe and end up walking a few steps just so I don't pass out....

I went out today, to my favorite spot.  I run 4 miles or shall I say I jog, walk, run 4 miles.  It was a beautiful day and I hit the trail.  I am always quite optimistic when I start, the first mile will usually determine if its going to be a good one or a jello one.  It was a decent one.  As I was finishing the last half mile, I knew I wasn't going to beat my record but I had a shot at a respectable time and I started thinking about all I had learned about myself and about life through running.  In no particular order, these are some:

  1. You can not cry and run at the same time.  I learned that the day my Grandma died.
  2. You can intellectually know how to do something but still not do it well.
  3. Progress is slow.
  4. Some days everything is going for you and your performance sucks.
  5. Other days, you head out hurting and in a rotten mood and beat your best time.
  6. You can go farther and work harder than you think you can.
  7. You can take way more pain than you ever thought possible.
  8. Cute running outfits don't improve performance but new shoes do.
  9. Always go to the bathroom before you get out on the trail.
  10. It is easier running in cool weather but the trail is prettier when it is hot and muggy.
  11. It doesn't matter how hard you are breathing, everybody has in headphones.
  12. If one part of the trail is flooded, there is a good chance that so are others - turn around!
  13. God hangs out on the jogging trail, he'll run beside you if you let Him.
So I keep at it and I hope one day to actually be good at it but I am not holding my breath.