"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Running: Part Deux

Me RunningImage via Wikipedia
I am still running. I have been at it for three weeks now. I can scarcely believe it, really. That sounds terribly, horribly cliche but it is so true. Every single time I run I come home and spend a half an hour saying aloud to A, "I did it! I went running. Again. Can you believe it?" and pinching myself. I'm practically black and blue from all the pinch marks.

I am using the Couch to 5K program that I have heard much lauded. Several friends of mine have used the system to great effect themselves. It basically is a training system that is set up to take you from sedentary activity level to 5K running level in an entirely sane, baby step method. I never feel like I am dying when I am running now, (I always pushed it too hard, and too long on my own) and I am steadily improving and climbing the systems upping difficulty levels. I used to feel like my heart was going explode out of my chest and like my lungs were on being hit with a sandblaster, scrubbing them out of my ribcage with an acid fire. My legs would shake and I would sometimes get spotty vision and feel fainty. This program is hard but I never feel like I'm about to pass out and about as bad as it gets is feeling a little wobbly when am getting to the end and feeling occasional shortness of breath. Honestly, the worst part of running for me at this point is the voices in my head that cackle horrible downer comments in my ear as I'm beginning. I have found I can largely drown them out by listening to music. I also recommend search for iPhone apps for running as there are some wonderful tools out there. I use one of them to track when I should run and verbally coach me through my headphones as I go. I love hearing the British woman's encouragement, "You have only 15 more seconds of running remaining! Keep going!"

Last night I ran three times the length of time that I ran in my time out. I am really truly a runner and I can feel physically that, ever so subtle is happening to me. I don't really dread running nearly as much as I once did and the afterglow is positively crave-worthy. I thought everyone was making up that "runner's high" hokum but I'm telling you folks, it is a genuinely fabulous and very real phenomenon, at least for me. I come in and lie on the floor in the sunroom with the baby patting me or flop on the bed next to A while he "hmmm's" and "uhmm's" his way through some mysterious iPhone interchange and I levitate. I feel like my body buzzes and glows for a while after I come back. I have an immense sense of well-being mentally, I feel happy, even if the whole day up until that point has been a bust and I smile, for no real tangible reason. Somehow, the fact that I went outdoors and moved quickly down the sidewalk, making clomping noises like the local horse, panting out belches of steam and then came wobbling back to my own from door is enough to set my body at perfect equilibrium and solve all problems.

I have reached a not-to-be-believed stage in my life when I want to run! I can't wait for the next time I go out. I can't wait to find myself stretching out in the black night: the thud of the pavement below me, The Pleiades sailing overhead. I feel like such a grown-up: learning to love something that was my nemesis, being healthier, enjoying good things, making myself do something really hard. Gosh, it's good to be an adult, eh?

Next up, once the pavement is warmer and the hiking trails open?

Barefoot running.

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