January 31, 2007
Confession: I actually kind of totally hate running.
Several years ago I “dealt” with that and ran consistently for about 18 months. Finally, after a couple of really unpleasant foot injuries, I called it quits.
My problems with running are numerous. First, even when consciously thinking about it, I have an elemental problem with pace. I find that without constant attention, I run as fast as I can at any given moment. That means, in the past, I have always been out of breath or near it all the time. Second, I think I may be congenitally kind of bad at it. Second, part II, I have foot problems which turn into ankle and knee problems (I have stupidly high arches; kind of cute, I suppose, in normal life, but painful under high impact).
But perhaps the biggest hurdle is that I never want to admit exactly how out of shape I really am when getting back into trying to run again. I always compare myself to people like my husband, who can get up after not running for a year and run a 5k just like that. So I just force myself to run full-steam until I’m miserable and deadly exhausted.
Two wonderful things have come into my life that have made running not only possible, not only something I feel I need to do, but, gasp, enjoyable. I actually have thoughts like “I want to go home and go for a run now.” They are:
1) The iPod+Nike adapter kit hoo-hah. Knowing that I’m running a 7:40 mile when totally out of shape makes me slow down because I know I can’t maintain it. The constant feedback from this thing lets me know when I’m getting out of line. Plus I can listen to music. Plus I have charts and graphs and other motivational things online. It’s great.
2) The couch – 10k 13-week running plan (you can see a version of it here). This is big. It focuses on combinations of running and walking, building you up slowly. Admitting that I need to walk during runs is hard for me. But this is working. I’m nearly done with week 5 and the improvement is pretty incredible. Not once during any of the runs have I felt like killing myself. To top it off, I haven’t gotten sore or uncomfortable once, save for some intermittent knee problems I mentioned a few posts ago. But icing the knee when it’s tender and running more carefully (not putting too much strain on that joint there) has helped immensely.
So there you have it. It’s the last day of January, and looking back at the month I feel pretty happy with it.