Remember how I used to talk about my journey into self loathing? It involved house organizing and baking. Mostly baking. Well, running is pretty much the same. It's a journey into doing things I hate but still doing them because part of me might actually enjoy them. The verdict is still out.
So I've been running lately. It all started thanks to my sister in law motivating to do it and recommending the Get Running app. I love that app, without it I would be nothing. At least nothing resembling a running person. I would be more like a sitting person.
One thing you need to know about me is that I have zero athletic ability. Absolutely none. I have never in my life participated in organized sports. Ever. No track, no volleyball (kill me now), nothing. In grade eight gym class I got 50%. I'm pretty sure that's because you can't fail someone who actually shows up. But a layup? THEY MAKE NO SENSE. Anyway. Running.
I'm about half a week to a week behind where I initially thought I would be in the program. Not bad, eh? Last week I was starting to fear the steady increases in time that I knew were coming my way, and allowed myself a couple days off when I wasn't feeling top notch.
I gave myself the option of Wednesday or Thursday this week to do my biggest increase run so far. I jumped from five minute intervals to eight. I have never in my life run longer than eight minutes. Last night was the day.
I got home from work yesterday and was practically shivering. My desk is like an ice cube tray at the back of the freezer, and my car was cold, too. Go figure. I had to decide between sitting in the shower to warm up or running around the neighbourhood. Since I must hate myself or something I naturally put on less clothing than I wanted and went for my run.
It was amazing.
Without boring you to death, just know that our house is in the middle of a hill. There is very little flat space around us so I'm either running downhill or I'm running up. When I first started five or six weeks ago, I was making sure my agonizingly long minute runs were on the downhill and my minute and a half walks were on the uphill if needed. Running uphill was not an option.
My warm up walk is straight uphill and takes just about the full five minutes. There's a reservoir I can run around if it's light out (which only happens on my weekend runs) which is relatively flat, but last night I just turned around and ran partway back down my hill. Then, about two minutes in, I ran up a hill for a minute.
I'm insane. Who runs up a hill in the first bit of the longest run ever? Crazy people, obviously. I was also running a bit faster than normal, but it felt good. Then I went down a little, then up another, steeper, but shorter, hill. Then down a bit, ran on a little flat, then got to walk for five minutes.
You know what? I could have kept going. That five minutes of walking also felt much longer than necessary to recover. Who am I becoming?
My second run was more downhill and flat, but whereas the flat usually kills me there since I'm so tired already, I didn't even care. I just kept going. I was still going faster than usual. Now, that's not to say I was going fast, it just means that people out walking their dogs weren't likely to pass me as they walked by. Boom.
I even finished my second eight minute run with a minute on a less than enjoyable uphill. Who have I become?
I got home and felt great. Tomorrow morning is my 20 minute run. Since the beginning of the program I have been dreading tomorrow but now I think I've got it under control. Seriously. I must hate myself in all kinds of ways.
One thing is for sure, though: I love that running app. Please don't hate on me when I say this because my reasons are quasi legit, but I'm not crazy about British people. They irritate me. The lady that encourages me throughout my runs is British. And I might even love her. She motivates me to do my best and persevere. It's awesome.
The other key to my running success (?) is what I listen to. I've been listening to This American Life and it is the perfect running soundtrack. If it was music, the beat would distract me and I would constantly be gauging my time by song length. With the podcast, I just listen, smile, and enjoy myself. Sometimes I even laugh like a crazy person. Because only crazy people laugh while they run. There is nothing fun about running. At least... that's what I used to think.
Seriously, who the heck am I?
PS Don't forget about my giveaway. Because I like you and want to shower you in presents. What's not to like?