Dudes, Mellencamp (Cougar Mellencamp?) was right. Except, I’m not talking about love or whatever he was talking about in that song. I’m talking about my muscles. Today I started running. I had a horrible migraine and was exhausted yesterday, so I started today. I did day one of week one of the Couch-To-5K, which basically consists of eight alternating intervals of 60-seconds of jogging and 90-seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes. Yesterday I downloaded a podcast that my friend, Lydia, has used for this program which gives you cues when to switch from jogging to walking and lets you put your music along with it. It’s a huge help and there’s a podcast for each week. Awesome!
As I mentioned yesterday, my fear of the gym looms large. So since it’s completely unseasonably gorgeous outside lately (45° and sunny in January. In Minnesota), I headed down to what has always been my favorite outdoor walking spot (the Mississippi River trail) and g0t down to business. Quick side note, please note that I was decked out in a ball cap and sunglasses in a lame attempt to make myself feel less conspicuous. Yep, sure that worked.
You guys, I was never a runner, not even when I was growing-up and active and heavily involved (and good at!) sports. I think I’ve intentionally run a complete mile maybe twice in my life. So naturally, the first jogging interval sucked. The second, third, and fourth, once my muscles had warmed up a bit, actually felt pretty easy and–dare I say–good! Then I hit the wall. Intervals five, six, and especially seven made me want to die. Or throw up. Or just stop. But I soldiered one, figuring that giving up on day one was not the best idea. But then my podcast computer-generated voice (Gary, as I’ve taken to calling him), told me I only had 20 seconds left and then I was done. And dammit if I didn’t dance-jog (at least mentally) those last twenty seconds away as Ashlee Simpson serenaded me about Lindsay Lohan stealing her boyfriend (remember that 2005 drams??). Day one, done!
As I ran that two-mile loop, and watched car after car and runner after runner and dog after dog pass me, all I could think was, “how did it come to this?” How did I reach this weight? How did I get this out of shape? How did I let myself waste so much of my life as this? Before it got too Bell Jar-depressing, I reminded myself that at least I’m out here right now doing this. And I don’t plan on stopping. And I don’t plan on ever getting back to this place again, because it sucks. It sucks having to struggle so much just to run for 60 measly seconds. That train of thought really seemed to help me stop caring what I look like, who’s looking, etc. and just get through it. Because it will get easier.