Sunday, August 4, 2013

C25K -- OMWord! I'm going to die!

My sister, Lori, has been running for about a year and has completed two 5Ks. I always told her if I was running there will be a boogie man chasing me or I was running towards a pile of the World’s Famous Chocolate. As a matter of fact, if I ever have to go to a seedy side of town that requires me to pack, I go with law enforcement, and I’m pretty sure I can outsprint most of them that I go with. I once saw a t-shirt that read, “I’m a bomb technician. If you see me running, you should too.” That’s kind of the only reasons I’d voluntarily run anywhere.

It’s not that I’m opposed to running, not in the least. As a matter of fact, in high school I was a sprinter who ran second leg in the relays. We ran the 400 and 800 meaning each runner ran 100 yards and 200 yards respectively. Sprinting does not require endurance. Sprinting requires speed. I am made for speed. During one tournament, our relay team needed to place in one more events for our school to get a trophy. The team would have to run a mile meaning I would have to run 400 yards. Just for the record, I had never trained to run the 400, and as I found out at the end of my leg, you don’t run the 400 like you do the 100 or the 200. You see, once the baton is slid down my forearm and put into my hand, I ran one speed – full speed ahead. In the 400, I learned you are supposed to run fast, but sprint – blow it out -- the last 100 yards. Why does this make a difference you ask? In sprinting, I took short quick breaths. In the 400 I should have taken deeper breaths. As I’m running the last 100 of my 400 leg, I cross the line and pass the baton and promptly pass out…on a gravel track. I slide leaving bits of my leg on the track. I had road rash on my left leg from my ankle all the way up to my knee. It was the nastiest thing I had ever seen, and it stayed with me well over a month, so I got to see a lot of it.

So, why am I writing about running now? Two reasons. About a month ago, my husband had chest pain that went up into his left arm. After testing, it was determined he would need a heart cath at 47 years old. Second, my daughter made the mistake of saying that she wanted to be a runner. She said she never wanted to compete but wanted to be a runner. I said, “Great! Let’s do the Couch to 5K program.” In case you are unfamiliar with this tortuous program, you start with a five minute warm-up walking. Then you run/jog for a minute then walk a minute. You do this little routine for 20 minutes with a 5 minute cool down at the end. The first day we did it, Erin cried every time we had to jog…EVERY TIME. I heard through her crying, “I hate you,” and “I don’t like running.” The second day on this regimen was a little better, but by the third day, she was back to hating me again, and she told me not to talk to her while we ran. Know what I was saying? “You can do it, Erin. Push through it. You can do it.” I also was telling her to run on the balls of her feet, so she didn’t pound the pavement. Apparently, she is free to talk to me, but I may not talk to her even if it is to answer HER question. The second week, she decided to take Pearce and leave without me. That was fine even though I have to admit I was a little hurt. I was looking forward to running together. Instead I got my big baby (aka Sunni – a Heeler/Border Collie mix), and she has been my running partner ever since. Erin has since given up running. By the way, the second week you jog 1 ½ minutes and walk 1 ½ minutes for 20 minutes. For me it’s more like, limp, limp, lope, lope, and suck down some major wind.

I just finished week three, and I’m pretty sure that whoever wrote this app was not running it in Louisiana at 7 PM at night in the summer when the air is so thick you where it, and you sweat the moment you walk out the front door. Some days, I outrun the dog. Other days, she wins. This week we jog 1 ½ minutes, walk 1 ½ minutes, jog 3 minutes (sucking wind and praying the rapture happens), walk 3 and repeat. By the time I come home there isn’t an orifice on my body that isn’t pouring sweat, and there isn’t a muscle in my leg that hasn’t jumped.

I keep saying I’m going to do yoga on the days I don’t run, but I have yet to work that into my life as wife, mother, employee, chef, chauffeur, purchasing officer, educator, maid, laundress, and the other many hats we as women wear. I’m learning to breathe deeper while praying I don’t suck in the Louisiana state bird, the mosquito. I don’t know if I’ll ever run a 5K, but I’ll know that I have the capability.

For all of my fellow forty-somethings, take care of your health. Your children need you. Is it pleasant? Not in the least, or it isn’t for this out-of-shape woman. But my children need me to be around a lot longer, and so do yours. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my running partner won’t stop annoying me. She doesn’t understand it’s only a 3 night a week program. And yes, I’m interpreting the looks my dog is giving me. Doesn’t everybody?

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