Run run running

November 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been trying to become a runner in the past month or two, and it turns out I’m actually surprising myself. For the first time in my life I’m actually enjoying running.

My dad has always been a runner, and pretty much all through middle school and beginning of high school I got dragged out to duke forest on the weekends for trail runs, got dragged to all the races in Carrboro. Got dragged out to Winston Salem a couple of times, have run in two marathon relays, and probably some other things I’m forgetting. This might look to the casual observer like I have a great running history! And I must love it! But the truth is, as soon as I was able to be like, “No way, I’m sleeping in this morning,” my parents kind of left me alone about it. Because I wasn’t a very good runner. Weekend runners don’t really get better at running, I discovered, and slow times combined with my persistent chubbiness resulted in me being very disenchanted with running.

Oh p.s. High school through college self, if you’re upset about not running fast and being chubby, a great strategy is not to quit running entirely.

So, it was like, March or so, of this year, when I finally was able to exhale, find time in my schedule between work, and kid, and freaking out about work and kid, to start working out again. I bought a gym membership thinking that if I was paying 60 bucks a month I would feel somewhat obligated to work out, because clearly I’m lacking in the self-motivation department. And it worked! I started running on the elliptical machines, while watching Oprah, or depressing local news, or the World Cup. I started swimming! (Okay, I went once.) I started, you know, looking at the weight machines. But the best thing I started doing, was attending this group exercise class. Dude, this class is awesome. It’s taught by this energetic pixie of a woman, and we do a ton of weights, and squats, and crunches, and all of these things that actually build muscle. Because here’s the thing I came really late into the game discovering: casual running really does nothing. It’s weights, it’s sprinting, it’s intense muscle work outs for short repeats that really do the muscle building. Sure, running constantly for 30 minutes is a work out, it’s working my heart, it’s getting me moving, but it’s not really helping me get stronger. (Plus, when I run slow, I really run slow. Like, walkers pass me.)

So I started doing this cardio fitness class, and all of the sudden I noticed a difference in my running. I ran my first race in a very long time on the Fourth of July, and I ran the whole way. Four miles. I cannot even remember the last time I ran four miles, all running, and then not wanting to kill myself or anyone else after it. It was amazing! I was like, getting in shape! Rinse and repeat for the Carrboro 10K in October. My time was embarrassing, but I ran the whole way!

Running is finally getting fun. I ran this morning with my dad and Lena to Meadowmont. Almost 5 miles! And I ran the whole way, except for when Lena wanted to get out of the stroller and put her foot down a drain. And then I sort of ran backwards and waited for her. But I ran the whole way!

Here’s what our route looked like:

Long story short. I found my keys to running. 1) Wow working out at the gym really helps me run. 2) Running with people is awesome.

My favorite quote, which I thought about while running today, really slowly up a hill, was from Aspen. (we went running together last weekend.)

She said, “You know, it’s actually easier if you run faster.”

To which I sort of wanted to reply, “I mean, if you really think about it…”

:)

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