A year ago I joined the Run/Walk Club at work. I’m not one for joining social groups in general, but I needed to do something to kick-start my desire to get back into shape and lose a little weight. So, stepping boldly outside my comfort zone, I signed up and started the beginners walk-to-run group. That group basically follows the Couch To 5K program where you run a little then walk a little, gradually increasing the run time and decreasing the walk time.
When I started, I couldn’t run three minutes (1/4 mile) around the flat East Campus wall trail without feeling like I was going to collapse. Today, a year later, I ran for an hour (5.6 miles) on the Al Buehler Trail, which is a cross country trail that circles the Washington Duke Inn’s golf course. It includes long low hills and steep short hills, mud, rocks and the occasional snake. A few things I’ve learned this year:
- I still hate running, but now I hate it only about 50 seconds out of every minute. What keeps me going is how much better I feel afterwards.
- Most running days I wake up whining a lot on the inside, but I know that not going will just make it worse next time.
- It helps knowing that a lot of my friends are also out there starting/continuing to get fit. Knowing that I’m not the only mid-forties slowpoke huffing and puffing their way around the trail keeps me going. That, and being lapped by the two 70+ year olds that I routinely see on the trail.
- I don’t care how fast I run, I’m out there to better myself. If I run faster today, great. If I run farther today, great. If I run at all even if it is short/slow/long/fast/easy/hard, yea for me!
Finally, the two mottos that keep me going:
Turtles run faster than couch potatoes.
If you are tired of starting over, don’t quit.