I’ve said it before. And I will continue to say it until it’s no longer true – if we ever get to that point. I suck at running.
Seriously. Put me next to an 80-year-old man with a walker and he could probably beat me to the finish line. If not, our running styles will look remarkably similar.
Last week I sprinted for all of 30 seconds in a Derby event called “Run for the Rose,” where you have to run while carrying a tray full of wine glasses and try not to spill.
Any race where you’re rewarded afterwards, especially with an adult beverage, well, you can count me in. Plus we got free T-shirts.
I’ve documented a little of my previous attempts at running…like a few years ago when my then-editor talked me into a 5K the night before and I almost died like 9 times during the race. Not to mention looked like I was only running when I saw a cop (they were strategically placed along the route so Jackie would set goals for me like “run to the third tree” or “run until the cop can’t see us anymore.”) and was lapped by Hot Scott – my crush/a local police officer.
I did two more that summer, improving my time each go-round and managing to come in just about dead last all three times. But Swarles (Rachie’s boyfriend and no that’s not his real name, don’t you know by now we use nicknames here on the blog?) ran it with me and because he is my Best Band Friend and an awesome person, he ran ahead of me, finished, and when he saw me approaching the finish line ran to me so we could cross it together.
My close friend Jennifer – you may have heard me mention her before as I know she is one of the people who reads every single post and for that I love her – used to not be able to run either. At least she says that, which is hard to believe coming from someone who just completed the mini-marathon and wants to run a full one by her birthday in October..
She told me about Couch to 5K. Which I think I’ve mentioned on here that I wanted to start but didn’t ever get around to it. Imagine that.
A few months ago I started thinking I wanted to try running again when the weather got nice and I could do it outside, because I detest running on a treadmill, especially the 58-year-old one in the clubhouse of my apartment complex. Then, ya know, it went all Book of Genesis and rained for 40 days and 40 nights and well, there was yet another reason I gave myself that I couldn’t do it.
But lo and behold the sun has come out and it’s actually pretty pleasant outside – knock on wood – so after seeing Jenn’s Facebook status today announcing her intentions to run a marathon and hearing that my sister was starting this whole running thing as well, I thought “well, shit.”
Oh, by the way – whenever we talk about running, there will be some four-letter words like that. Mainly the one I just used. ‘Cause right now, it’s rough.
So armed with my one pair of workout pants, which I put on backwards when I first changed clothes (if that doesn’t sum it all up I don’t know what does) and the Couch to 5K app on the ol’ iPhizzle, I began my first day of this nine-week training that will allegedly prepare me to run a full 5K by the time I get back from London.
The app’s pretty cool, you can set it up with your playlists and it does this cool checkmark thing when you’ve completed a day of it and you all know how I feel about marking things off a list. It tells you when to start running, when to start walking again (you alternate), when you’re halfway done, and when the workout is complete.
Mine is set on a woman’s voice, who I’ve named Christine. Like the car who kills people in that Stephen King book. Because she almost killed me. Every time she’d say “Run, now.” I’d grumble, make a face and usually say a bad word. Near the middle of the workout, when my ankles started hurting something awful and she told me to start running I actually said out loud “Bitch, can’t you at least say please?”
I wanted to quit several times. And I kept telling myself that next time Christine told me to run I’d walk for that minute because I couldn’t breathe and is it natural to feel your heartbeat in your skull? But I didn’t give up. For several reasons – none of which I’ll tell you all. Yet. But they’re good reasons, I promise you that.
And regardless of the fact that I probably looked like a weirdo to all my neighbors – I ran around my apartment complex parking lot – and need to bring my headphones home next time, I’m gonna keep up with it.
Not too sore at the moment, unless you count my shoulder, which I think is because the sports brasseire was at maximum capacity (that’s how long it’s been since I’ve done a serious workout).
I’m saving day 2 for Thursday because tomorrow it’ll be 90 and Wednesday I work late and don’t run in the dark because that’s how girls get murdered. And I’m gonna make it a regular thing.
Part of the reason I’m writing this is so people know and will hold me to it.
And so that maybe this time next year when I’m trying on bathing suits I won’t want to jump off a cliff – or go to the dentist.
‘Cause when I want to go to the dentist rather than do something, you know it’s bad.