I was not what you would call “a runner”.
It’s not that I hadn’t tried. At various points in my life (usually after a spell of too much lasagne/baked-brie-with-cranberries/caramel macchiatos…), I tried running. But it was always like banging my head against a brick wall–it only felt good when it stopped.
I would always give up after a few weeks. My knees ached. And…it was just so damn boring.
So I resigned myself to being a non-runner.
I only run if I’m being chased, I would say.
However, I’ve long known that running is a great form of exercise, and most importantly, an efficient way to exercise. And that’s valuable to me. Life is pretty full right now, with working at two different clinics, being a wife and mom of two young boys, blogging/writing/speaking…
And then there’s that aging thing. My metabolism, to my supreme irritation, is not what it was. I like to walk and LOVE yoga, but I began to realize that I needed some more serious cardio exercise–because I want a healthy heart, because I want to feel young & strong for a long time, and because I’d like to keep my shape.
So…I decided to try again.
This time, my sister suggested I look into Couch to 5K-type programs. So, I did.
The idea, here, is a program that takes you from a total couch potato to someone who can run a 5K. I checked out a few and then downloaded 5K 101 by Running Mate, from iTunes (for free, I might add). Right off the bat, I liked the philosphy: supaah slow and gradual, they ease you into a running routine. Interval training to start (beginning with only 1 minute of running at a time–I mean, how easy is that?). And then they gradually increase the lengths of the intervals. Also? I don’t have to think about a thing–just listen to my iPod as I run, do whatever my new friend Todd tells me to do (1 minute left of your warmup…2 minutes to go and then you get a break…) and enjoy the scenery as I go. No excessive focus on how tired I’m getting…can I make it to that next lamppost?…that sort of thing.
Now, several weeks into the program, I think I’m starting to consider myself a runner. Bit by bit, my endurance has improved. And the other day–I definitely noticed some muscle tone in my legs that had NOT been there before. And if that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is.
I think I even experienced “runner’s high” the other day (which I had previously chalked up to total bogus-ness).
In previous running attempts, my knees often started to twang after a couple of weeks…but not so far, not this time around. I attribute that to the gradual nature of this program.
Squeezing exercise into a busy life is a challenge (especially for moms), that’s for sure. Running is one of the best ways–it’s cheap, quick, and works around your schedule.
So far…looks like this non-runner is becoming a bit of a runner.
However, I want to be clear: under no circumstances will you ever see me in horrid running shorts. Never. Ever. Issue closed.