Forward March!

I’ve completed week 2 of my training and I’m in week 3. I’ll be on a 5 mile run sometime this week. I think I’ll be just fine. Last Sunday, still in week 1, I had a 4 mile run that I cut down to 3. No regrets there. This past week, I had 2 more 4 mile runs and I did them. Thursday’s 4 mile run was so much better than I’d anticipated. Saturday’s run was hot, humid, and harder than I thought it would be. Sunday’s recovery run was less taking it easy and more of me enjoying being able to push myself because the humidity wasn’t as oppressive as the day before.

I went to my usual training on Tuesday and I ran with a group of people. I enjoyed conversation off and on, but I also enjoyed having other people with me to keep me moving forward and take my mind off of my internal voice whining about wanting to stop running and go somewhere cool and shady. My internal dialogue is persuasive. Thursday was my next planned run. Wednesday night, I set out my running clothes and told myself that if I could get up with my alarm, set for 45 minutes earlier than I’m used to waking up, I would run in the morning before the heat of the day and thunderstorm chances started. My 3-year-old helped that along. She woke up at 4am screaming and climbed into bed with the husband and me. So, I struggled with falling back asleep and finally decided to get up and put on my running gear at 5am. After eating a little breakfast, drinking some water, and playing on the internet, I set out for my 4 mile run. I have to say, I rocked it. I kept a pace faster than I have kept on shorter runs. I felt great. The rest of that day, I was sleepy and had a rough time functioning. I don’t think it was that I ran in the morning as much as I ran in the morning after a short night’s sleep. Friday was a monthly fun run/walk for “ladies”. I went and walked about 3 miles. I wore my most recently retired running shoes and I got a HUGE blister on my heel. I used a special blister bandage for my Saturday 4 mile run. Saturday was a morning run. Before I left the house, I could see that it was humid enough outside to fog the windows on the outside of the house. Saturday’s run was enjoyable in that I got to chat with someone while I ran and I went on a different route, but the heat and humidity were nearly sickening. I also didn’t quite memorize the route and neither did the other few people I was with. We missed a turn and had to run around the block to make up the distance. This actually amused me a little. I felt relieved that I’m not the only one who couldn’t memorize the route before setting out. When I finished the Saturday run, I walked over to Starbucks to pick up an iced coffee. I was still sweating when I got home. Sundays are on the calendar as a recovery run, this week 3 slow and easy miles. The humidity was there, but not terrible. It was hot, but not uncomfortable. I took my first mile slow and easy, but then I felt like I wanted to see how fast I could go. I wound up getting faster each mile and really enjoying myself trying to see how long I could hold the speed I was running. I even got in a couple of really hard sprints in my run. I know recovery runs are slow and easy, but I was playing and it was liberating to just play.

So that was how my 2nd week of training to run 13.1 miles went. I mostly followed my training with except my slow and easy Sunday run. I got a blister on my foot and ran with it. Of course, the special blister bandage didn’t stay put in my running sock and when I had it removed from my heel, the protective layer of skin went with it and now it’s an open wound that had better heal quickly.

Tonight, it is optional to run and I probably will. Maybe I’ll even take it slow and easy, even. I’m actually excited to go on my runs. I’m excited to run with other people. That’s a big deal for me since I get anxiety when I am with any group of people, including my family. I’m still painfully awkward, but I can work on my social skills while I’m working on my running skills. I’m learning to ask people about themselves and talk about myself more. I’m also learning to ask people running questions and put in my own helpful tips.

So have I lost any weight? Not anything notable going on with the scale. I haven’t gained any. I have eaten better. I feel like some things aren’t as tight on my body. I’m proud of how far I’ve come with my abilities. I was really struggling with running 3 miles without walking back in June. I was ambivalent about joining this training program just a few weeks ago. Now, I can’t wait to see how much farther I can go, who I’ll meet along the way, and whether anyone else will join this journey and share their experience with me.

Have you thought about what skills you’re working on by starting on a fitness or lifestyle training journey? What areas of your life, other than just your appearance, are you improving? Can greater confidence, willpower, and energy improve your quality of life?

Be back next week to share the adventures of Jenn. Thanks for reading!

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