Oh my lovelies… today I discovered just how out of shape I am.
For the past couple of weeks the Hubster and I have been talking about running together down by our local lakefront as the weather has been so glorious and the lake is beautiful. This, that and the other kept preventing us from making it down there until today, as we both had the day off and had absolutely no excuse not to.
After a lazy sleep-in morning (allll the way to 8:30am! I am so old… haha) I finally threw on my runners and we made our way there. When we parked our car I had no idea exactly what I was signing up for, but the sun was shining and it seemed like most of Pretty City was out on the trails so after a quick stretch and warm-up we started to jog.
It was such a pretty day that the Hubster and I decided to be a little ambitious. He pointed to a spot way off in the distance and suggested that we try and make it there and back.
…eight kilometers and an hour and a half later (that’s five miles for those of you south of the border) my legs turned to jelly as I slid back into our car to head home. We didn’t quite make it to our destination–the Hubster figures there was maybe another kilometer or two to go when we decided to turn around–but I was pooped and needed to head back if I was going to be able to run any of the return trip.
The Hubster was a trooper and loves me so much he stayed with me most of the way despite my slow pace, only jogging ahead for the final stretch so he could really get a run in. (Sadly my short legs and out-of-shape-ness left me at a jogging pace that was barely a fast walk for him. haha)
As I pushed myself to keep going kilometer after kilometer–jogging some and walking some–I couldn’t help but wonder, how did this happen? How is it possible that I am this tired and this sore? Wasn’t I just able to run 5km like a breeze?
…oh wait, that was two years ago. *sigh*
The summer before teacher’s college (2008) I decided to start running. When I started running at the beginning of July I could barely make it one lap around the track of the high school next to our old apartment. By the time I went back to school in August I was comfortably running 5km every day.
So what happened?
I think I kept up running every day for the first week or two of school, then I had my first major assignment and I skipped a day or two. Then I started practice teaching and my running time turned into planning time and somewhere along the line I just lost it. It wasn’t that I consciously wanted to stop running, I just have this terrible habit of letting other things get in the way. I’ve tried to get back into it a few times, but again, I let other things take priority and after a couple of weeks I stop.
And here’s the kicker: I love running. It’s not even a chore for me. Sure, those first few times when I get back into it are terrible when I can’t breathe and my legs want to die, but then something clicks and and I love it. I do some of my best thinking when I’m out.
So why do I stop?
Honest answer: I’m lazy and often unmotivated when it comes to exercise.
I am SO much better at keeping my exercise goals when I am working towards something specific. Two years ago it was Peeah’s wedding, and in five months I shed 10 pounds and a few inches to fit into my bridesmaid dress. This is what I looked like then:
I lost so much that the dress was too big around my hips and I could have had it taken in.
This is what those (then) small hips look like now:
Needless to say, I have a little extra “junk in my trunk” these days. I knew I had gained a bit of weight since the wedding, but when I saw this photo it was a total reality check. I haven’t been completely happy with the way I look for some time, and I was two years ago. I felt great. Maybe I’m vain, but I loved when people came up to me and told me how good I looked and wanted to know my secret.
I’ve missed having a goal… something to work towards to push myself to get back in shape.
So, when the Hubster casually mentioned that there was a 10km run that he was interested in trying with some guys from work, I latched on to the idea of it with everything I have. I tied on my runners and forced myself out the door. After two weeks of running 3 times a week I can comfortably run 3km without my lungs collapsing.
Today was a big wake-up call that I have some serious work to do, but I am hungry for it. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I was sad about how out of shape I am. Yes, I complained a lot.
…but under it all I was so proud of myself for doing it. And I want to do it again. And I’m going to before the week is out.
On October 16th I will be running this 10km race. My goal is not to come first, but to finish it. I want to be able to run / jog the entire thing. I want to be able to say that I did it.
I want my body back.