running fool

I’ve never liked running. Running, to me, it torture in slow motion. And in my case, very slow motion, especially if I’m running long distance. For track in high school, I ran sprints just because I wanted to get the running over and done with a fast as possible, not because I had any talent for sprinting.

Still, I run. I go through phases. Again, in high school, I used to take my little Excel car on back dirt roads and run 1-2 miles. In the past when I wasn’t a member of a gym I’d run for exercise, but never far. I have a 3 miles limit on my tolerance for running.

Now enter my husband. About three years ago he started running. He’s since competed in two half-marathons and one full. I’ve seen him come in from a fifteen-mile run, sweat dripping down his face, him all out of breath, and haven’t felt the slightest case of inspiration or desire to do the same. This is because running is misery.

And now, to torture myself, I’ve agreed to train for a half-marathon with him. I promised to do it when I still had an eight-pound baby in my stomach, sort of a nodded agreement, “Sure, next year I’ll train with you, dear”, all the while having to stop and catch my breath walking upstairs, so – at the time – it wasn’t the most sincere promise I’ve ever made.

But a promise is a promise and now it’s time.

My scheduled training starts on August 9th. It doesn’t seem too bad; three to four days of three to four miles runs a week, with one long run at the end of the week. According to the schedule, I’ll be able to run 13 miles by October 29th. 13. Effing. Miles.

Last week I ran a total of ten miles, spread over 4 days. I didn’t die. Last night I ran four miles straight and it actually felt, sort of, cool. Like, the last mile felt cool. I’ve rarely run more than three miles at a time in my 34 years of life, so the fact I wasn’t combusting internally from the distance felt reassuring. Of course, this morning I ran a measly three miles and wanted to die about halfway through so last night’s high was probably some fluke.

The hardest part of this all is forcing myself to slow down. I hate running slow – hence the whole sprinter-in-high-school-thing. My natural instinct is to run as fast as I can to make the run get over and done with. But I’ve got to get the whole “pacing” aspect of long distance running in my head. I’m in decent physical shape right now so I have no doubt my body can take me to 13 miles, but the question is if my mind can handle it.

I’m excited about the whole “setting a goal and achieving it step by step” aspect of this trek. I’m sure the sense of accomplishment is rewarding. Maybe I’ll grow to love running. Maybe. In the meantime, I’m taking it one scheduled run to the next, hoping it gets over as quick as possible.

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