You would think going from 2 miles to 3 miles would be easy enough. It’s not. It’s almost like starting over. It’s how I felt going from 0 to 1 mile. The wall is hit, my body is done. Even as I write this, I’m feeling a little embarrassed because I’m still talking about RUNNING ONLY 3 MILES!
Sheesh! How hard can it be?!
I used to think that everyone could run 3 miles, except me. Kind of like the way I think everyone knows their times tables through the twelves except me. I mean, I know them, but I need extra time with the middle 8’s and 9’s because I was probably daydreaming about Shaun Cassidy that week in 4th grade, and I’ve struggled with them ever since. I’ve come to find out that not everyone can run 3 miles. Why? Because it friggin far! Don’t believe me? Set your odometer the next time you’re in the car. Find a landmark, and start counting.
Now imagine running that!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m cutting myself a break lately. The idea that I “should” be able to run 3 miles has changed to, “Holy shit this is hard! If I can do this, I can do just about anything!”
So yeah, I’m doing my half ass training and 2.5 miles feels like my first mile.
3.1 is in sight, the only question is will I finish ugly or strong?
I agreed, on a handshake, to run a 5K; and I have less than 3 months to do it.
I know. Three months is a long time to train to run 3.1 miles. I get it. But I am new to this running thing, and for someone who can barely run 1 mile, 3 miles may as well be across the country. I am weak and out of shape and have almost no muscle tone to speak of. Can you say FLABBY? Oh sure, I exercise here and there — take walks, ride my bike, lift groceries, lug laundry; the basics. But to exercise to exhaustion? No. Not really.
I used to think that I didn’t sweat when I exercised. The truth is, I never worked hard enough. Oh sure, I’d break a sweat. But it never got in my eyes and rolled down my body like the Mississippi River.
I can sweat! And. I. Get. Soaked. Who knew?
This running (and sweating) thing is new territory. It’s exhilarating and satisfying and hard work. I don’t have a training plan and am winging it instead. Why? Because I don’t like following rules. And because I figured I could run every other day and gradually extend my distance until I hit 3.2. Simple enough, right?
Jake fell in love with running a few years ago, and hasn’t stopped since. He can run 40 or 50 miles a week with his eyes closed. Well, not really. But HE CAN RUN. Me on the other hand, I enjoy WATCHING him run. And feeding him when he’s done.
I am not a runner.
Then one day almost a year ago, upon returning from yet another run, my son asked, “so what are you doing mom?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know, for exercise.”
“Nothing…?” (Said in a guilty, I know I should be doing something voice.)
He asked, “Why not?”
My stupid answer, “I don’t know.”
Then my son asked, “Why don’t you start running?”
“Me run?? I don’t know.” Then something came over me. I don’t know if it was a need to impress my runner son, or that it felt like a dare, but he was right, and he called me out. I was a flabby weak thing and I needed to do something. So without thinking it through, I said “Okay.”
I started “running” (if you can call it that) in May 2011. It was brutal. Pure torture. Running was so uncomfortable for me that I was honestly nervous about having a heart attack. I couldn’t run a mile and barely half a mile. During one of these grueling, huffing and puffing one mile crawls with my (by now) son the coach, I somehow agreed to run a 5K by the end of summer. I don’t recall how this happened, but I remember we shook hands on it. And there it was. I just agreed to run 3.1 miles in a few months. I must have been oxygen deprived. I don’t go back on handshakes, so backing out or giving up was not an option. I will do this even if it kills me!
Dear God, please don’t let me die running. Thank you.