Last year, I fancied myself a runner. I ran 4-5 days a week, 3-5 miles a day. I was “in training” for my first half-marathon. I tracked my progress on runkeeper, tracked my weight on my phone, got support from friends on Facebook and Twitter through my runkeeper posts and my post-run pictures. I cycled, and I played softball. I lost about fifteen pounds. I then let life get the better of me. One excruciatingly hot day cut my 6 mile run into a 2 mile run because of what I assumed to be impending death. I promised myself I’d make up the four miles I missed over the next couple of run days. To my credit, I did do my next run, a 3-miler, but I didn’t tack on any extra to make up any of what I’d lost. And then the next run day, I had to work, or I had too many errands to do, or someone wanted to hang out with me, or something happened otherwise, I have no idea. But I didn’t go. And once you don’t go for your run ONCE, it can set a tone. A very bad tone. A very bad tone where you keep making excuses not to go.

“It’s too hot to go for a run.” (that’s why whatever natural force exists made it cooler in the night and early morning)
“I have too much to do.” (suck it up, that’s not going away)
“I have to work.” (unless you’re a doctor or a nurse, you probably only have to work 8 hours)
“I don’t want to.” (too bad)

The ones in quotes are what I said to myself last year. The ones in parentheses are what I should have said in response to them.

After a few months of not working out, I gained back the 15 I’d lost. I joined a gym, and got back on the wagon. I lost about 10 pounds again. I am the very definition of yo-yo weight loss. Fifteen pounds here, ten pounds there, ten pounds here, fifteen pounds there. Money problems (the bane of my existence, and yet one of the few constants in my life) forced me to fall behind on my gym membership dues, and new love led me to make poor choices about time management, gym-going, and food.

I sold my bike yesterday. I needed the money, and I didn’t *NEED* the bike. I miss the bike already, but it’s not absolutely essential to my life and livelihood. Paying my bills is. My horse is. And I’ll give some of that bike-sale money to the gym to be current on dues so I can start using their stationary bikes and ellipticals and treadmills and weight machines for when it’s “too hot” to do anything outside. Last night I convinced myself I was going to go for a run, weather be damned, Rebecca be damned. I implored Kirk to make sure I was up and at ’em by the time he left for work, at the un-Rebecca-ly time of 6am. Being the absolutely amazing boyfriend he is, he did. I did all my “start of day” things like peeing, washing my hands, checking my email, checking twitter, checking Facebook, all the while thinking of ways to get out of the run I’d promised myself I was going to do. My throat felt a little goofy when I woke up, slightly scratchy with some post-nasal drip action, so that was going to be my cornerstone for getting out of it.

Then I saw on Twitter, via Sus, that it was National Running Day. And if there’s ONE thing I can’t do, it’s ignore a National Fill In The Blank Day. What kind of asshole would I be if I refused to run on National Running Day? That’s like not eating a hot dog on National Hot Dog Day or not riding a go-kart on National Go-Kart Day. It’s un-American. It’s Communist.

So I laced up. Did a five-minute active warmup. Filled my water bottle, earbudded my iPhone, freed my key from my keyring, pondered what to do with the key given that I had no pockets and no hidey-place for it (solution: hair elastic attached to the key ring and then attached to my tank top strap), did a pre-pee, and got the hell out there.

It wasn’t pretty. According to my RunKeeper log, my last workout on anything was April 2, and my last treadmill run was 2 weeks prior to that. My last road run? Girl, don’t even. (It was November. For shame.) So it’s acceptable-ish that my run sucked. In theory. But the point is that I did it. I did it slowly, and with a fair amount of “holy shit it’s hot. Holy shit ouch. Holy shit muscles.” but it got done. I got back and thought “I am not a runner. I was never a runner. I will never be a runner.” When I fancied myself a runner last year, I was a hobbyist. I did it, and then I stopped. Real runners don’t stop. They don’t quit. Even when they probably should, due to muscle or tendon or bone injuries. But I WANT to be a runner. I have felt runner’s high, and I have felt ecstatic after a run, and I have felt like I can carry the world after a run. My history with running shows that I don’t typically hit that high until after mile 2, so it’s understandable that I felt like shit today after my measly 1-miler.

The trick is to keep going.
I will.
I don’t like the weight where I am now. Not just the number, but the shape and the heft. I don’t want to focus on a number at all this time, and if I can, I will stay far away from the scale, except to check in maybe once or twice a month. I just want to feel fitter, more toned, tighter, more taut, hotter, more beautiful. I have been on the precipice of that before. I will go again, but this time I will keep going, and I will be all that, and more.

I will.

let's go. let's get this show on the road.

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Published by oh, rebecca in: Health

6 comments to “run, don’t walk”

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  • BY Sus on June 1st, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Awesome job getting out and doing it πŸ™‚ And handy tip for the whole “what am I supposed to do with this key?” quandry that I always run into..

    I’ll be looking for updates on your progress, so expect me to inquire πŸ˜‰ And I’m a teacher (of seniors at that!) – I don’t accept excuses!

  • BY stephanie on June 1st, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Someone sent me this the other day – this reminded me of it:

  • BY Bethany on June 1st, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I’m excited for you πŸ˜€ I recommend signing up for a race! That’s a really awesome motivator.

  • BY Dom on June 1st, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Running makes me miserable so kudos to you for doing it at all. Rooting you on over here πŸ™‚

  • BY Elena on June 20th, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Good luck to you! I miss running, too. I used to be a big runner (not fast, I just did it a lot). I’m trying to get my stride back as well. One step at a time. I’ll have to check out runkeeper – heard great things about it!

  • BY oh, rebecca on June 20th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Sus, thanks, and yes, it was kind of a DING DING DING moment when I figured out I could just attach it to my strap through the loops – usually I just tie it to my shoelaces and tuck it into my shoe, but that’s so dicey!

    Steph, the running commandments are awesome. I need to print those up or something to have physical reminders.

    Thanks, Bethany! My problem with signing up for a race is that I’m usually sooooo strapped for money/bad at budgeting that I can’t work it in, or just don’t. I should just sock away a few bucks a week for it though – $5 a week should cover me for a race per month.

    Thank you, Dom πŸ™‚ You can survive and thrive on long-distance endurance rides, though, I don’t think I could do that, so you get kudos!!

    Elena, I absolutely adore runkeeper. I love that it has manual and gps entry modes so I can run outside or at the gym and still enter my info. Nike+ will work the same way, but to me, it’s more gimmicky/gadgety, I guess, since you have to have the app plus the special chip to put in your special shoes. I’m too poor to mess with that!

    All: I have not at all kept up with this in any kind of regular manner, getting back on the proverbial horse this week. I was back up to 2 miles at the gym though, so that’s good. I guess sometime soon I’ll have to kick my Frappuccino habit to better supply my body with the fuel it actually needs :-\ SAY IT AIN’T SO!

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