Psyching myself up to run

I’ve been meaning to start running again and have made a couple of false starts over the past month or two. Today I tried again.

I’ve actually signed myself up to run a half-marathon. Something I haven’t done in almost five years, and since many pounds ago.

Now that I’m finally over my cold, today I took steps to get myself outside to run. It took an extraordinary amount of mind games to do so.

Step 1:
I brought my running shoes in from the car yesterday and left them by the door where I could see them.

Step 2:
After a missed workout and headache this afternoon, I napped and then ate veggies and perked up.

Step 3:
I put on my running gear and went outside.

Step 4:
It started to rain literally the moment I went out the door! A sudden heavy rain. Way to test my resolve! Did I continue or go back inside? Would the rain last long? I knew it had taken weeks to get me to the point of putting on my running shoes and getting out the door, so I decided to continue. I looked in the direction I was planning to run and there weren’t so many clouds that way, so I hoped for the best, telling myself that I would simply run around the block if the rain got heavier.

Step 5:
It turned out to be isolated showers so the beginning was the worst of it. I was glad I had continued on. I started running towards the paths as I’m not so close to them anymore. I ran past people on their lawns and had it in my head that they were laughing at someone as fat as me out trying to run. I kept going.

Step 6:
I set out to run four 5-minute sets with one minute walking breaks in between. Set one: okay. Set two: okay. Set three: my heart rate was really elevated and I was out of breath, I ran two minutes and then walked a few minutes. I passed a lot of young people who I again had in my head as laughing at me – and I said to myself – so what? I could notice that my walking breaks were jauntier and I had to start somewhere. If I let what other people thought (or what I imagined they thought) get in my way, I’d only get more and more out of shape.

Step 7:
I was getting tired but I decided to fit in more spurts of running. Run two minutes and then you can walk again, run from this stoplight to the next stoplight and then you can walk again, one more block to get home, you can run that.

So I did it. I ran and walked for a total of 3.44 kilometres in 31 minutes. Sure I used to run 5 km in the same amount of time with longer stretches of running. But that wasn’t important.

Running is a mind game as much as it is about your body. Today the real goal was to just go outside and run however far I could get in 25-30 minutes.

Mission accomplished.

Next goal: to repeat this within the next two days.


Back to running: Step one

This year, I really want to start running again. Before depression and injuries hit, I was able to run half marathons!

Today, I took the first step: I walked home from work on what was our first nice sunny spring day this year.

The walk was a brisk walk of thirty minutes, and a little less than 3 km. But it’s the first step for many reasons.

1) My biggest issue is always just getting out there and doing it. I love it when I do get out, but that is always a problem because I build it up to this big mountainous task in my head.

2) I never even got out my bike last summer, let alone ran, so this is the opportunity to scope things out, find the best paths and be inspired by all the other runners I see along the way. I think exposure will be key.

3) I’ve been doing lots of yoga but no other exercise. And you really do need to walk before you run. This was a good walk, and it had hills too! So it’s a good warm-up for my leg muscles.

Let’s hope today’s success inspires a second step! 🙂