Monday, August 20, 2012

Becoming a Runner?

May 9, 2011

Like millions of other Americans, I made a New Year’s resolution to be more fit in 2011, I’m just late. The hard thing about fitness resolutions is that they start in January, one of the coldest and snowiest months in Colorado. The gym is intimidating; it is full of fit people who know how all the equipment works, have all the right gear, and they look good doing it. They usually don’t even sweat.

I have given up on losing weight; I am just not very disciplined. But I do want to be fit, and I always admire the runners I drive by. Plus there are plenty of races that give shirts for swag.

I read an article on the Women’s Health website about how to become a runner in six weeks. The plan is very specific and gradually increases the amount of running vs. walking. The first two weeks, you walk the first 16 minutes, alternate running for a minute and walking for a minute for the next 6 minutes, and then you walk the remaining 8 minutes. It seemed easy enough.

So, last night I went to bed early and set my alarm clock for 5 a.m. The shocking thing is that I actually got up when the alarm jarred me awake. I got dressed, leashed the dog for company, and off I went. Walking the first 16 minutes was great. My black lab got used to the pace, and we both enjoyed the cool morning air.

When it was time for me to run, I took a deep breath, gathered my courage and set off. The first two intervals went well. I was thinking: hey, I CAN do this….then came the third and final run/walk interval. By this time, I had turned around and began heading back toward my house on the surrounding streets. A few cars were passing me, so I had to be more careful with the dog.

At the beginning of my final interval, something happened. I’d like to blame the dog and I guess it could be her fault, but I think it was mostly my inexperience. I tripped on something; a pothole, my own feet, the dog, her leash, something, and fell on my knees on the pavement. I managed to avoid a face plant, but my palms were scraped and I fell hard enough to tear a big hole in the knee of my pants.

I started crying and working myself up, so that soon I was gasping for breath as I lay in the middle of the road. When a car came close, I made myself calm down and scooted to the sidewalk to see what the damage was. Yep, my knee was pretty jacked up and my other ankle hurt when I twisted it and fell. Sorry if my picture grosses you out. I just wanted to share my pain.

My poor dog was waiting patiently for me to recover. So, I limped the rest of the way home, with tears streaming down my face. My husband was already at work, so I had no one to baby me, which was a probably a good thing. I emailed my boss to let her know I would be late, cleaned up, and slowly got ready for work. As I limp through the office, I doubt that I will ever succeed as a runner. Apparently it requires grace that I do not have.

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