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Monday, May 2, 2011

Day of Winning

Saturday was my day, and I really needed it. Sometimes, it's just nice to know that there are days out there meant for you.

On Saturday, I ran my first mile! Win.

I've been running since August and have never been able to run a mile straight through without stopping. Sure, it's been a long time since August, but technically I gave up on the running endeavor a few times in between, and I would go many weeks without running.

Here's the deal, I started a running club back in August. I started with beginners, and we couldn't even run a whole lap. There was no pressure to be fast, and together we would work our way up to a 5K, running an additional quarter of a mile a week. But somehow, during the middle of the eight week session, they all started lapping me. I was always last. It was really discouraging and I started having anxiety attacks on the track (which were probably caused by the then undiagnosed exercise-induced asthma).

I remember one time, when I was so far behind, that my boyfriend (in the intermediate running group) came to look for me. The second-to-last person said she heard me gasping for air and was worried about me.

I joined this club with a bunch of my friends who were heavier than me, and I just couldn't understand why I wasn't making progress. I had this crazy notion that fat was the only determinate of physical fitness.

I started to resent running, even though I wanted to do it for a long time. I wanted to do it every day. I wanted to do it for long distances. I wanted  to feel a  "runners high." It was my idea to join the club, but everyone seemed to benefit from it except me. I eventually quit and, to this day, I still haven't completed a 5K.

I was pretty scarred from the group running experience, but I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started running slowly. I started on a treadmill, pretty isolated, at odd hours in my gym. I promised myself I would just do what I could, which was usually less than a lap (quarter mile). I looked at some Couch to 5K programs and adapted them to work for me. I had to spend about two weeks for every week of distance/time they suggest. Also, I consulted my doctor, which is when we realized I had exercise-induced asthma.

 This time, it took about two months of running three times a week to get to my first mile straight. Prior to that, I would usually do some type of interval (walk a lap, jog a lap). But once I was running more than a mile total (with walks in between), I knew it was time to attempt one straight through.

As I left the gym, sweaty and elated from my progress, I saw a sign that said "Free 15 Minute Massage." Win.

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