For the love of running

Recently I was reading in Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years the notion that a character in a story doesn’t make the choice to change, but instead has to be forced to change.

My husband and I signed up for a 5K run – forcing ourselves to change. We were going to bed every night with the pledge that we would wake up at the crack of dawn to workout. Of course when the alarm went off every morning, we chose sleep.  Even when my husband chose the workout, I still chose sleep.  Soon we stopped setting the alarm. So we signed up for a 5K.  What better way to force you to work out than to sign up for a race, right?  I think the best part about the race is that we signed up with the race a month away thinking 3 miles would be no biggie.  HA!

Signing up was at once both a good and bad thing.

Good

1. The Water is Basic 5K is a worthy cause.  The Water is Basic goal is to drill a thriving, clean water well for every village in Sudan.  I take water for granted because I don’t have to walk 3 miles to get it so I let it run when I’m brushing my teeth or when I step away from the sink.

2.  I needed something to propel me back into a healthy lifestyle.  The thought is that my body will feel better in the long run.  It was the jumpstart to get the wheels in motion.  Because of my competitive nature, I usually need a little something to inspire me to move even if in this case it’s not so much winning the race as it is not looking bad.  Motivation is motivation people.

Bad

1.  I can’t feel my legs today after 100 squats Saturday and a 2 mile run Sunday. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a 3K version?  This will eventually go away, right?

2.  I’m freakishly mean when I’m out of shape and trying to run. While trying to explain that I had messed up the timer during Sunday’s run, my husband dared ask me a clarifying question.  I let out a low scream. Needless to say he ran ahead and stopped asking me questions until we were no longer running. I wish I could say this is the first time this has happened. The same thing happened several years ago during a race. I had outpaced myself because I was feeling claustrophobic with all the other runners around me. We were less than half a mile from the finish line and I was moaning and groaning about longest run ever. My husband trying to cover my pessimism says, “We’re so close. Almost done. I can see the finish line. Can you see the finish line?” I think my head spun around a few times and green puke flew out before I yelled out “NO, I CAN’T SEE THE FINISH LINE.” To which, of course, two seconds later I could see the finish line.

3.  Hills kill me and somehow when running, there is always some sort of hill involved. I used to consider myself unashamedly the Lance Armstrong of hills. Don’t tell him I said that.  It’s not like I won any races or became famous, but what I lacked in speed I made up for in my ability to run a hill. Those days are gone. Today when going up the hill, all I could think was if my husband even dares to hand off the jogging stroller to me before we go up this hill, I will hurt him. I’m not sure how, but I will.

So here we are again, running. I feel better when it’s done, but desperately wish I had not stopped my workout regime for the past 6 months. Of course, I also wish that those entire packages of chips ahoy cookies and massive amounts of Dr. Pepper weren’t riding on my thighs at this moment. I used to lengthen my stride to make it through a run. Now all I can think of is when do we stop.

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