Thursday, May 16, 2013

This week, I became a runner.

Okay, not really.

I kind of became a half-assed jogger.  Sorta.

But you guys.  This is big for me!!!! 

I’ve been threatening to start jogging for a good 2 months now.  Back on January 7th, when I embarked on my “30 Before 30 Project”, I made a list of hopes, dreams, and goals that I wanted to achieve along my journey.  One of the long-term fitness goals I had was to be able to run a 5K.  And for weeks now, I’ve been trying to psyche myself up.  Unfortunately, I’ve always been a pro at finding excuses, and I’ve been using my share – the weather, the fact that my shoes are too old, the worry that I would further damage my already-sore heels, the reality of not having time to do it when I’m still following a rigorous TurboFire schedule…

It should be noted, here and now, that I have NEVER – EVER – been a runner.  I’m one of those people who firmly believed that no one should ever have to run unless they were being chased.

The last time I remember running and enjoying it?  Probably when I was in Kindergarten.  I think I actually won the girls 100-metre race in my class that year at Track & Field Day.

And from there on, my desire to run dwindled and faded fast.  To the point that, by Grades 5 & 6, I think I faked sick to avoid Track & Field Day altogether.  (There are only so many purple participation ribbons a kid can bring home before they start to wonder what the hell the point is in even being there.) 

In high school Phys Ed, we used to have to “run to the 7th Line” – I have no idea how long that run actually was, but how would I, since I never actually did it?  I’d argue with my Grade 7 Phys Ed teacher, Mr. Holmes.  “Sir, I caaaan’t!!!”  I’d purposely forget my running shoes.  (He once made me “run” in my black loafers.)  I’d forget my gym clothes.  (He once made me “run” in a turtleneck and jeans.)  I think I even once went to school with no BRA on to try and get out of gym.  (Didn’t work.  That one backfired royally.)

I never ran anywhere.  Turtleneck and loafers and bra, or not.  I walked.  And I whined about it.  A lot.

There have been a precious few other times in my life that I attempted to start jogging.  When I was in college, I joined the gym there, and right in the last few weeks before I graduated, I was doing short spells of jogging on the treadmill.  But only because the boy I had a mad crush on worked in the gym, and he kind of made me do it.  And I thought he was hot, so I did it to try and impress him.

In the past few months, there have been no determined teachers or hot boys pressuring me to run.  As my “30 Before 30” became “50 Before 30”, I realized it was something I really wanted to do. 

It’s all me this time.  My wish.

I want to be a runner.

I remember hearing about so many of my friends who were running in the Army Run last year, and I thought it sounded like an experience I’d like to be a part of some day.

So when I started losing weight, I decided to change it from “some day” to “maybe this fall”.  As I began to notice myself gaining more energy, and getting better at my TurboFire work-outs, the dream of running suddenly didn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.  I downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my phone, and thought, Maybe when I get down to THIS many pounds, I’ll start running.

And that’s as far as I got.  I reached that weight loss goal, and another 10 pounds after that.  But still, I didn’t run.

Until Tuesday.

On Tuesday, I went for my usual 15 minute walk after lunch.  And as I was tramping along the gravel road towards the highway, I found myself thinking, This feels effortless.  Try running.  Right now.  Just do it.

And I did.

And I’ve been doing it ever since.

No, I’m not running the whole time.  Far from it.  I start out walking, and when I reach the first hydro pole, I jog.  Then at the next hydro pole, I walk.  The jogging parts are literally probably only about 20-30 seconds long.  Today, I got really ambitious and for the last jogging part, I went for two hydro poles instead of just one.  By the time I got to the end, I was huffing and puffing so hard that I was seriously questioning whether TurboFire has done anything to help me cardio-wise.  I thought I might be dying.

It’s not easy.  I thought, at the current weight and physical point I’m at now that it wouldn’t be this hard.  But it is.

And yet, I also find it exhilarating.  Five months ago, I don’t think I could’ve run for 20 seconds even if I WAS being chased.

Now?  Well… Now, if I was being chased, and my life was in the balance, I think I could give ‘er a good few minutes before collapsing and giving in.

What a relief.

The 5K?  It’s still far away.  And I’m still not entirely sure I’ll ever get there.

But at least I finally made a start.

This week… I became a runner.



VandyJ said...

Good for you!
I still hate running, but like the convenience and the benefits running give me. Therefore, I run. Three days a week, a half mile right now, but working toward a mile and maybe more.
Sometimes I flirt with the idea of running a 5K but still not that dedicated to running.

Nicole said...

OMG Jill that's sooooo awesome! So my friend and I decided we needed to run a 5K before we turned 30. Her birthday is the 22nd of July. Well Mark signed me up for my first 5K next month and I think I'm kind of freaking out. Maybe I should go out and run now!

Jillian said...

good for you! I still need to start running...I'm preregistered for a five k in august so I need to get going on it plus my goal is to run the big Saskatchewan Marathon 10k next year (I'll probs go watch some of it to motivate myself next weekend).

Sheena said...

Oh wow. I hated running to the 7th Line too -- but was willing to do that more than cross country skiing Keep up the good work. You're doing great!

Mind Of Mine said...


I started running back in 2010. It really took me a while to get my stamina up and to really get some distance before I started getting cramp and too tired.

But hang in there, you are doing brilliantly

Caroline said...

Awesome!! You will be up for a 5k way before the end of the year!! I want to get back to running....I feel like I'll have to start all over again. Keep at it. Once you get over the hating part of not being able to breathe, it gets better. Really.

Jolene said...

Good for you!! I am so proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! That is so awesome!! What an inspiration you are - REALLY!!! - And what a sense of accomplishment you must feel!!! Yay you!!! This post makes me want to do the happy dance!

Sarah said...

That's so awesome!!! I also HATE running and find every excuse in the book to not run. But I started just like you a couple years ago, running between the hydro poles and literally that's all I could do, then on the treadmill I would do 30secs jog then walk for 2mins. And I have now worked my way up to a 10mins jog and on my really REALLY good days I can do 15min jog my those are few and far between - my mind always plays tricks on me, as in, I better stop because I might puke, or I better stop because I might fall, im really out of breathe I should just stop. It really is mind over matter when trying/learning to run. But the feeling when you are all done, is great! Jogging/running is a great way to lose weight and stay in shape!

Anonymous said...

That's awesome! I used to feel the same way about running. I didn't mind working out indoors on a treadmill or elliptical but why on earth would people run outside?! So when I started, it was awful. But it gets better and better and eventually leads you to some kind of liberation, I promise. Good for you and good luck!

Stacie said...

Oh, yeah! You should be proud, every little step counts!

Amy said...

Awesome Jill!!

Steph said...

Wow! You are officially my inspiration. I want to run.

Anonymous said...

Good for you! PS. Sorry the Sens lost, bet you're bummin about that. Crosby with a hat-trick.. ouch.

Nancy said...

Wow, how wonderful. Congrats!!! I am so impressed and proud!

Kellie said...

YAY for you! I want to be a runner too. Be one of those gals who seem to effortlessly float as they run down the side of the road.

HickChickBritt said...

Oh my Gosh you are hilarious! When I am reading the stuff you write, all I can think is you must be my identical twin separated at birth! Seriously well if you can do it so can I?! Ummm.. I think I might be motivated.