I have been running. You know — exercising by moving your legs faster than normal. That type of running.
And I’ve been doing it for five weeks.
I cannot believe I just typed those words.
This is a revelation because I’ve spent the past 40 years not being a runner. And stating, if someone asked, that “I don’t run” in no uncertain terms.
I remember distinctly running in junior high, cursing my gym teacher every step of the way and resolving to never run again if I could help it. And I kept that promise to myself.
Except, you know, I’ve noticed something about runners. They usually are in quite good shape. And that’s something I can’t say about myself at the moment.
I am in the midst of that middle-aged phenomena where I can’t lose weight easily anymore. It used to be a few dietary changes and a little exercise would result in a five-pound weight loss on the scale in a week or two. No more.
So when a friend of mine suggested we take up running to help get our kids off the couch this summer, I did what any good Internet geek would do — I Googled a running plan. I found the Couch-to-5K app.
I think it works because there is no thinking. The little voice on my iTouch tells me what to do, and I just do it. And there’s a point, every time, about halfway through the last leg where I think, “I cannot do this anymore.”
And then there’s a point right after my iTouch dings and says, “Slow down and walk,” where I realize that I just did what I didn’t think I could do.
I’m more than halfway through the plan, and I can’t believe I’m actually running… really running… for eight minutes at a time. I’m pretty sure I haven’t run for eight minutes at once since that day in junior high school.
My friend and I rewarded ourselves yesterday with new running shoes. Real running shoes… not the ones I usually pick up on clearance at the mall. Running shoes that were selected based on the sales clerk evaluating how I run and what type of shoe would work best. Running shoes that, hopefully, will help me keep going for another three weeks when I can run three miles without walking.
That goal feels far away today. Yet, I’ve already learned, I can do something I told myself I could not do.
I can run.