Thursday, November 3, 2011

How I learned to Run at age 36

One year ago I was running like the wind, I was grinning at my new skill, just flying along with no pain, no gasping for air, no grabbing my side at the sudden cramps. ..... Oh that's right, this is how I recognized that I was in fact sound asleep. The only place I could run more than 1 block was in my dreams! I wished I could do it, but faced the facts that for me it was impossible. My only real exercise was an occasional walk with the fam.
Last spring I was inspired. I went to visit my sister and while we were making dinner my brother in-law who relatively recently picked up the sport was out for a run. He was gone a LONG time and when he came back he said he had run 7 miles. 7 MILES! I couldn't believe it! How was that possible? Two years earlier he was just as non-athletic as I. He lent me the book "Born to Run", and after reading it I was willing to find out it there may be indeed, a runner inside me after all.
Here is how I did it.
Rule # 1. No big goals. I will try to run, and when I am tired I will walk. I will walk for as long as I want, and when, if ever, I feel like running a little more I will. I don't have to run 1 mile, I don't have to train for a marathon. Seize the moment, no strings attached.
Rule # 2: Keep repeating rule #1

My first day I ran about a block and half, but I was not discouraged because it was infinitely more than the "nothing" I usually ran. Slowly, I improved. A month later I was running 2 miles, (always with my comforting walking breaks.) I stretched it to three, faithfully following my rules.
My new goal was to be able to run without thinking about how hard running is, and trying to make it to my next walk break. This just took time and consistency. I just kept on doing it, and about 4-5 months later I could run 4 or more miles without thinking. My husband said he flashed his lights at me the other day and honked the horn, but I must have been thinking about my day or something because I didn't even notice him. I still don't care if I'm fast enough, I've no desire to run a marathon. I'm just glad that if a bad guy were chasing me I'd have a better chance of getting away!
Anyway, I am writing this in hopes of inspiring you to give it a try sometime. You never know, little by little, step by step, you may just get there too!

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