I did it.
Armed with my doctor’s blessing and the most intense item of running apparel I’ve ever owned, I did it.
I went for a run.
The conditions were perfect, I had gorgeous weather and a sleeping baby. But not even a crisp fall day could change this fact: it was hard.
These days I’m running with two goals in mind:
1) to get in shape after baby (duh)
2) to run an 8k on November 12.
My plan was to walk a block, run a block. When your goal is completion (like mine is), you’ve gotta come up with plans like that so you don’t tire out too soon. Even though the part of me that thought running would be a piece of cake wanted to just take off, I paced myself.
Tom and I left for our runs at the same time. He jogged the first block with me and then turned around and said, “Um. How long are we running together?”
For me the pace was painful, for him the pace was painfully slow. Take off, jack rabbit.
In all honesty it wasn’t that bad.
When the goin’ got tough, I did two things. First, whenever I saw someone out in the yard I imagined they were thinking, “Wow, she’s already out running!? That’s AMAZING, she’s so hardcore!!”
Second, I’d think about the finisher’s medal for the 8k. Call me juvenile, but I love medals, and the 8k is one of the few races where finishers get medals. I know I don’t REALLY win my medal, but crossing the finish line and getting nothing but a bottle of water is a little anti-climactic, dontcha think? Medals are way cooler.
We give out medals to the kids who participate in Track Club and when I see the gleam in their eyes as I place the ribbon around their neck, I think, “I have never been able to relate to you more than I do right now.”
Whenever I get a finisher’s medal I wear it all day. If you ever see me wearing a medal say, at a bowling alley, it’s not because I won some bowling prize. It’s cause I ran a race that day. Hey, I earned it.
(Notice how all the pins are still standing? Gutter ball, baby.)
Anyway, I imagined impressed pedestrians and thought about that medal.
This is the take-away: you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to keep putting one foot in front of the other. That’s the number one rule of running no matter who you are.
I switched to running two blocks and walking one because, all things considered, I felt pretty decent. I ran/walked 1.91 miles in 25:42. That’s a little slower than 13 minutes a mile. In case you’re wondering, Tom came home from his 4-mile run not too long after I finished running 1.9. He’s twice as fast as me.
However, he didn’t carry and give birth to our son, but who’s counting?
My abs have not forgotten that little childbirth detail. WOW. If you’re wondering whether or not you use your core when you run, wonder no more. You do. My abs ached through my whole run. I’ve never really had a super-strong core before, but I never really noticed. After the warfare that is pregnancy, though, we have some work to do. That was certainly my biggest surprise. My quads, hamstrings, and lungs were champs. (This is where my abs would pipe up and say, “Well, they didn’t carry your son, but who’s counting?”)
Right now my plan is to run three times a week and increase my run about a mile a week until I hit 5 miles. Somehow I’ll also work on adding to my running time as well (as in, more running, less walking).
The 8k is more than a month away, so that gives me plenty of time with a week or so to spare.
If you are a famous running coach and think that sounds like a horrible plan, please let me know. I’m open to suggestions.
[…] On the first day your legs are fresh and your eyes are wide. You’re out there enjoying the fresh air and your athletic accomplishments. You’re AMAZING! Look at you go! You set out with a goal to just come back alive, and you finish feeling pretty darn decent. […]