I used to be in shape. Like, really great soccer-playing shape. Not like "round", which is my current shape. But even during my soccer-playing years, I was never much of a runner. Short distances? Sure. I was pretty speedy. But I've never enjoyed running any type of distance, and have only ever tried it a few times, mostly with my friend Joy, who unfortunately lives on the other side of the country. So you know what's weird? Over the years, I've had periods where I've had these crazy urges to go running in the middle of the night. Never during normal people hours, but at 3am. I realize I may be a little bit crazy. I AM incredibly nocturnal, but still. I never followed these urges, because 3am isn't exactly the safest time to go running by myself, and the desire never comes in the prime hours of daylight. So I have maintained my status as a non-runner.
However, these days, with my current level of motivation, I've been feeling the need to join the ranks of those crazy people who put foot to pavement in rapid succession. Coincidentally (eh... I don't actually believe in coincidence... we'll call it a God thing), the day after I was telling my cousin Gillian about my desire to run, I was at lunch with a couple friends and the exercise topic came up, and one of them told me that I should start running with him. I agreed to the challenge, and he gave me two months to prepare. I posted a status about that fact on facebook, and a friend told me about a schedule that she followed to get her running. It's called "Couch to 5K", and it starts you out slowly and builds up your running time by alternating walking and running, and increasing the running duration each week. It slowly gets your body used to running, so that you don't die a horrible death while pursuing health. I may have added the part about dying the horrible death.
I decided to follow the schedule last week, and while I have been going to the gym and walking, I have been putting off the running part... until this morning. It was time. How will I be ready to run in two months if I'm not doing anything for running readiness? So I asked my running friend to check up on me, for the necessary accountability, and this morning at 10 I graced the neighborhood with much panting and many cries of pain. Okay, not really. It was actually not that bad! The first sixty seconds of running was even easy, and I could have run for longer! The schedule did warn against that though, demanding that I stick to the schedule, which I was glad to do. So I did sixty seconds of running, ninety seconds of walking, and so on, for twenty minutes, with a five minute warm up and cool down. By the end, I had gotten a great cardio workout, I was proud that I had gotten through my first official time of running preparation, and I met a nice down-the-street neighbor named Tiger, who has lived on the same street as my aunt and uncle since they moved in. He offered me a water bottle, which I politely refused, though I was grateful for the offer. Maybe saying hi to Tiger will be part of my new running routine! Unless it's raining... then I'll be saying hi to the employees at 24-Hour Fitness.
On another note, I'm slightly worried about the upcoming Holidays. You know: that wonderful time of year spent with family and friends and way too much food. But I have some great accountability in place, and I am praying for the self-control I need.