Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Running It Out

I ache. All over.

But in a good way. I promise. My arms, my shoulders, my legs (OMFG my legs), my feet...

Let me back up.

Remember the other day when I tried to go for a walk? Well, not only did I get myself out the door and to the library (and the bank and to request copies of the girls' birth certificates), but on the way, I found myself holding back this strange desire to run. To just sprint, dash down the sidewalk, to run and run and run.

For some reason, I thought it might feel good.

So, when I got to the library, I checked out this book. It sat on the table for a few days, and then that same urge struck again. Run, Forrest, er, m. run! I started perusing the book and found a nifty chart that is meant for total and absolute beginners to get into the swing of things. It goes something like this:

week 1: days 1, 3, 5 and 6 run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes, repeat 4 times.

week 2: days 1, 3, 5 and 6 run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes, repeat 5 times.

week 3: days 1, 3, 5 and 6 run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes, repeat 3 times....

On the off days (2, 4 and 7), don't run (or do something else). And it's all laid out in a nice little table that I could easily xerox next door at my office and hang up on my wall. By the end of the 10th week, a beginner could theoretically be busting off a full 30-minute run with no trouble.

10 weeks, hey? Well, I got time. And I need a reason to get myself out of bed. And a hobby that doesn't involve ingesting food or alcohol because while that feels great right now, I can't imagine it will put me in the spot I would like to be a few months from now when we can think about trying all of this all over again.

Sunday was week one, day one.

I got out on the riverfront and just started moving. And d*mn if 2 minutes isn't a really long time. But then I walked. And then I ran. And before you knew it I was not that close to home and figured I'd better turn around and come back.

And it did feel good. It did.

Now, I'm sure I'm nothing pretty to look at. In fact, the last time I tried to run was in 7th grade when my (alleged) best friend laughed in my face (in front of boys, nonetheless) and announced that I "ran like a r*t*rd." And that was the end of that. No more running for me.

Well, you know, I just might "run like a r*t*rd" but it just so happens I know a lot of people with that label these days and if that is the company I keep, that is really not so bad. Not so bad at all.

Yesterday was week one, day two - technically an "off" day. So I went to the gym with M. and worked on some things that are always in need of work: my arms and my gut. So add those pieces to the ouchy sore list too.

I am trying not to remember that just a few weeks ago things were all very different. I am trying not to feel how empty my belly feels. How weak my body seems to be. I am trying to get back into this frame of mind. Strong. Ready.

And I am hoping that running helps to get me there.

As a little incentive to myself I picked up not one, but two, new pair of kicks (Can I help it if the footwear store had a buy 1 get the 2nd 1/2 off special??), a watch and some clothes that are a little more decent than those in my gym drawer since I am running along a busy road, here. People might see me! I tested all of those out this morning. This windy, cold morning.

And hey, it still felt good.

Two minutes is still a long time. And my body now hurts from top to bottom. But in a way that makes sense. In a way that I can pinpoint and address. Not like that other kind of hurt.


Mo said...

Good for you! Running is one of my best forms of therapy. I started again after my first m/c last november and got up to 30 miles a week before this latest IVF. look forward to beginning again.

for me running helps me slow down and breathe, to get enough space between me and my feelings to just feel everything no matter how painful.

I love running as a metaphor too - of small growths and changes, of the gradual change and progress that can happen from small consistent efforts.


wifethereof said...

I'm impressed. And of COURSE you need new clothes!

Oh, and I SO GET the what you were saying about your parents. Sorry that was so sucky. (that's my new word)

Good luck!

Amy said...

Running is my crack. I love the book you mentioned, and when I first got back into running I did the Couch to 5k running plan (similar to what's in the book, but there are free podcasts for the C25K with some decent techno music. They tell you when to run, when to walk, etc. Good stuff. http://www.c25k.com/)

Anonymous said...

Wow...good for you! I have been doing the same thing since I lost my girls. Well...not exactly running all the time, but working out nonetheless. Its a LOT better than drowning your sorrows in booze/food (although its okay to do that sometimes too)!

I'm looking forward to following your progress...way to go!

Skerry said...

On vacation, but wanted to check in and let you know I was thinking of you. Running sounds good, I might have to take a peek at that book, cause my old ass needs to do something besides eat cookies and surf the net.

Stacy said...

I am a sporadic rnner but it alays feels so good when I do it! I highly recommend "Nike+". You plug it into your iPod and put the chip on your shoe. When you run it tracks your distance, calories, etc. A little voice comes on and tells you where yo are in your run and far is left to go. I love mine and even on those days when I dont feel like running it keeps me going. It's about $30 from any athletic store,

dana said...

Oh how I wish I was a runner. They all look so free...but alas, I am not. I kinda look like Phoebe from friends...whaling around and looking confused. LMAO! A sight it is, indeed. But perhaps I'll give it a shot in 2009? We'll see.

m said...

wow! you guys, this is so encouraging! Mo, I didn't know you ran too and Amy, I am on the site right now. Let the downloads begin! Happy New Year, friends.

Smiling said...

I hope running brings you all the pain, comfort, clear headedness, and respite from grief that rowing has brought to me. It is so nice to know that there is something you can do that is positive and takes it all away for a moment or two and allow you the needed break so that you can return to reality with a bit more energy.

And I fully agree, the company of those who have the letters MR associated with their name are WONDERFUL company to keep.