But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. - Isaiah 40:31
Thursday, May 29, 2008
An Open Letter to Carolyn
Thank you for responding with a comment to my last blog post. I thought about answering it with another comment of my own, but what I have to say to you got to be quite long, so here it is in blog post form. I hope you don't mind.
First of all, stick with it! I have to tell you, if you haven't guessed it already, I don't like running either. Never have. BUT. I signed up for this because I wanted to get in better physical shape and that is happening. It's a very well-known fact that I have done no form of regular exercise for many, many years. So many that I have to stop and think and count.
I used to get out of breath just running up the stairs. Many days, it was an effort just to breathe. Oh, I still have an occasional day like that, but they are far fewer in number. And you know that 2.8 miles we ran last night? Never was I gasping for air, in fact, Romie and I carried on an occasional conversation as we ran. Who would have guessed we would be doing this after only three months? Remember, we started out walking just 20 minutes a day.
If you can find someone to run with, it makes it so much more enjoyable. I can't stress this enough. You encourage each other and you have someone who understands your pain. You can whine all you want to a non-runner and they'll say, "Oh, I could never do what you're doing," yet if they've never run before, they don't even know what it is that they could never do. I know, because I was once like them.
Does that mean it's all unpleasant? No. Does that mean that you'll never have a bad running day or even a bad running week? No. Last night, I was so pleased with myself, it made up for several bad days. Maybe running makes you bi-polar. LOL.
The highs are high, and the lows are low, but in the end it's all about what you want for yourself, and for me, that's a healthy me. Plus, it will feel good to say that I completed a half-marathon, even if it's the only one I ever run. I already feel good that I've been able to run a 5K and I'm getting ready to run another one next Saturday. The good will outweigh the bad and keep you going.
A couple people (I'm related to them) have remarked to me that my running blog has so much negativity in it. For sure, I've been very open about how I feel at various times and it's not all good. Normally, I'm a very positive person, but even positive thinkers have down times. The difference is, we don't let it defeat us or divert us from our purpose.
I include those not-so-positive experiences because it's kind of like when I had my first baby. Romie and I took Lamaze classes and our instructor was excellent, but I came away from there thinking that the breathing techniques would take away the pain of labor, and that there would be no pain at all between contractions. I wish someone would have told me that just isn't true! It wouldn't have come as such a shock and disappointment.
Would I have decided not to have another baby after going through that? Well, Jenna is proof that Kara would never be an only child past the age of 2½. The hard work that feels as though it will never end was eventually worth it in ways that I can't even count. And so it is with running. I don't know if I could even list all the ways that this has been a good thing. But I also want people to know that the negative aspects of it are a normal part of things. I don't think you'll come away from my running blog disillusioned.
That being said, everyone's experience is different. My pain is different from your pain. Everyone has a different tolerance for that, as well as for fatigue and endurance and each has different levels of energy, drive, and motivation. Outside activities get in the way and there will likely always be something else you'd rather be doing. But make the time to run.
If you truly want to be a daily runner, accept that it won't be easy to reach that level. You know what they say, nothing worth doing or having is ever easy. But you've mastered the first step: - you've got the desire and that will take you places and sustain you through the tough days.
My goals change as my body dictates. I listen when it says I've overdone it and I rest for two days rather than one. If I'm still feeling a bit sore, I cut back the time of extended running to maybe 10 minutes, walk one, then 10 more, and so on. I'm at a fitness level now that in just a few days I feel like I'm back to normal and can run like I did before. No one said you have to do it a certain way and not stray from it.
You know what you want, and I know you can achieve it. It's good to have a goal like you do, but don't beat yourself up if you don't get there when you thought you would. You will get there, and I don't think the world is going to end before you do, so hang in there and I'll bet one day you'll look back and be amazed at what you've accomplished. Every little thing you do towards your goal is something you didn't do before. YAY!!
So don't mind me if I whine now and then. I have to do it somewhere and I know the runners that read this totally know where I'm coming from. We're all in it together, no matter what level we're at, aren't we? If I can do this, anyone can.