Running? Me? What?

I did something last Thursday night that I never thought I would be able to do or want to do. I went for a run. Yes, you read that right, I went running. By choice. No one was chasing me. I just felt like running would clear my head. And it did. And guess what? I want to go running again. Gasp! Who would have ever thought? Not me, that’s for sure. But let me back up a little bit, and explain why the thought of me running is such exciting thing!

I hate running. No, I loathe running. I always get shin splints, my knees crack and parts of my body jiggle that I would really prefer not to jiggle. In high school when we had to run the mile, I would walk. Yeah, I was that kid. I thought it was better to walk and get a slow time than run and still get a slow time. So a year ago, when I began this magical journey to weight loss, I had no false hopes that I would become a runner. Did I wish that I could run? Yes. I so desperately wished that I was one of those people that found running to be therapeutic. But I was not. Running was painful and embarrassing.

I have 2 friends that go to my gym and both of them can run. I always wished I could sign all 3 of us up for a 5k race, the only problem was that I needed to start training. So in attempt to test my running ability I tried to run around the track at the gym. Awful. It was a complete disaster. At the time, my boobs were much larger than they are today, so with every stride my chest would pound down and it felt like the wind was being knocked out of me. Lovely, right? I made it one lap around the track and gave up.

Ever since that failed running attempt I have slowly been trying to run more. My Monday night Circuit class starts out with running laps around the gym, and this used to be the hardest part of the class for me. Actually, I didn’t even try going to this class for months because I dreaded having to run, even for 3 minutes. However after months of running laps in class it became a little easier each week. It may have helped that I have since dropped 3 whole cup sizes, so now it doesn’t feel like I am going to collapse from air lose. But parts of body still jiggle that I would prefer not to jiggle. Oh well, I must remember to cheer the small victories!

So when last Thursday rolled around I had no intention of going for a run. But I had a pretty bad day at work because I was working on a deadline, and was being tempted with donuts that someone had brought into the office. At the end of the day I left work in a complete funk. I was not in a good mood, I felt so out of it, and going to the gym was the last thing that I wanted to do. But I knew that I needed to do something. If I had sat at home I probably would have binged. It was just one of those kind of moods.

And all of sudden I had an aha moment and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to run. People are always talking about going for a run to clear their heads, and that was just what I wanted, clarity. So I strapped on my tennis shoes, secured pepper spray in boobs, and set out to the wealthy part of my neighborhood. I figured that the bad guys would be casing houses, not looking to mug me! And I was right, I didn’t get mugged. So they were either casing houses or I was too fast and they couldn’t catch me! HA! That’s unlikely.

I started out with a fast paced walk, which quickly turned into a jog. I was able to keep up a moderate jogging pace for about 4 blocks. Then I walked for a block. Then I started running again. Then walked. You get the drift. Even though I didn’t run the entire time, I ended up running more than I walked. And for an overweight, non runner that is pretty triumphant! As I was running through the neighborhood I passed several other people that were running, and I even got a head nod of approval from a couple that I crossed paths with. I must have fooled them into thinking that I was a legitimate runner! If I can fool other people, maybe I can also fool myself into thinking that I am a runner. One can only hope.

And to avoid those dreaded shin splints that I figured I would get, I spent the rest of the night icing my shins. It worked, I woke up the next morning with minimal pain! Hooray!