Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Running (does not) Give You Energy

It has been over two years since the last time I ran.

And it shows.

Now I have several good reasons for not running. They are as follows:
-Grad program
-100 degree weather (um, no thank you)
-Became an administrator
-Got pregnant

I also have several not-so-great reasons for running. They are not worth a list, but most of them involve my desire to sleep and/or remain on my ass.

I have been a "runner" for a significant chunk of my 32 years. I first started (was forced to start rather) at the tender age of 14. I lied about my mile time (ru-roh), and I think my dad thought that my running would be a character building exercise. I just don't think he realized how hard it would be to get me to run. Eventually, he won, but there were tears involved (mostly mine...just kidding...I think...)

Running took a back burner in college since I was so busy, you know, studying. (More like I was busy having a love affair with ranch dressing and fried chicken.)

25 pounds later (who ever said "Freshmen 15" can bite me), I decided it might be time to try running again. So I plugged along for about a year and eventually lost weight and even discovered that I, ack, liked to run.

Throughout college, off and on, I ran. I would occasionally take a break and try something new like hip-hop aerobic classes or swimming, but I would always come back to running. It's a relatively cheap form of exercise and you can do it pretty much anywhere.

Then I had a baby.

I tried to get back into running after having Emerson, but it never quite felt the same. I found I could run for longer periods of time, but I had a hard time getting myself motivated to run faster. So when I got serious about losing weight, I focused on my diet and weight training. Running fell by the wayside.

Then I had a second baby.

And I never have a second to myself. Seriously, if I am not fixing a ponytail, discussing Barbie, or searching for GD shoes, I'm changing a diaper, making a bottle, or folding an enormous pile of laundry. Then, Justin and the cats'll get in the mix and want some attention too.

Running has become an appealing option.

Or, at least it seemed to be. Until I went out for my first "run" yesterday. Then I remembered.

Running sucks.

Now, I know I just had a baby (well, "just" might be stretching it a bit...he is almost four months old...shhhhh.) But I'm not actually in terrible shape. Yes, I still have 30 pounds to lose, but I have been exercising regularly for the past month. I can do a ton (read 10) of push-ups and jumping jacks are no sweat (actually, they are a lot of sweat, but at least I live through them.)

That's the thing about running. No matter how strong or in-shape you are, running will literally kick your ass. Because here's the essential truth about running--you are fighting gravity with every step.

And gravity always wins. Always.

So yesterday, I headed out on the creek path by our house and went for a low-key 30 minute run/jog/ritual rite of humiliation.

As I was plodding along, I thought of a couple truths about running, nuggets of wisdom (ha!).

Running "Truths"
-The first day back to running always seems like a good idea. It is not. It will be terrible
-The first run will eventually be over. Thank gawd.
-There will always be something for one to obsess over while running: a droopy bra strap, itchy socks, a shirt that keeps rolling up (real sexy by the way when you've had two kids)
-No matter how tired you are, if you pass another runner, you will try your hardest to look like a "good" runner--no slouching, no feet dragging, no drooling, etc. Once you pass the runner, you will immediately go back to your Hunchback of Notre Dame posture.
-Midway through your run, you will discover any or all of the following thoughts--you should have peed before you left, you should have used your inhaler, you should have had more water, or running sucks.
-Nothing feels better than when you have finished running. (Some would say it's the feeling you get of accomplishing something that is purely healthy. I would say it's that your heart is no longer in failure. You say potato...)

So I did it. I "ran". I'm not sure if I'll do it again. I would like to say I plan on it, but I'm not 100% committed to the idea. It is nice to have 30 minutes to myself though...

No comments: