My Couch to 5K Diary: Week 1
I hate running. Seriously. I hate running.
The hatred started back in grade school. Being forced to run that damn mile in gym once a year. Remember the "Presidential Physical Fitness Test?" The "chin-ups" and the "flex arm hang?"
Let me tell you - when you are a chubby kid and both your parents smoked inside the house, running (and lung capacity) wasn't your forte. Nothing like humiliating children in their formative years! [Note: I'm happy to report that this asinine fitness test was finally replaced after the 2012-2013 school year. And it only took 40 years!]
I've tried to run as an adult from time to time. Yup, still not good at it. Not only does it hurt, but it's exhausting. I never had the stamina or the will power to keep it up, so I told myself I would never do it again. Case closed.
With all that said, I've decided to start running.
Why on earth would I force myself to do something I hate? Isn't forcing ourselves to do things we hate counter-intuitive to being happy when our time on the planet is so short? Walking's cool too right?
Yes, that is all true, but I guess it's time to conquer this one, if only temporarily. To test my will power and determination. To accomplish something that will not only make me proud of myself but make me healthier. And at this point my out-of-shape-itude has gotten to a desperate level and desperate times call for...you know.
A few other reasons to start running:
- It's not a bad idea to build your stamina during the good times (the salad days, as they say), so when the bad times come (e.g. the zombie apocalypse; El Nino; Hunger Games) you have at least a fighting chance at survival.
- I hate the gym. OK so this explains a lot I know -- I hate running AND the gym. Running is good because it doesn't require having to troubleshoot a giant machine with a thousand buttons in front of a room full of people staring at you. Plus it's fast and it's cheap.
- They say running -- and of course all cardiovascular exercise -- prevents or reduces the likelihood of getting all sorts of scary ailments including heart disease and diabetes. That's serious shit. I hate that I'm at an age where I even have to bring this up. Eek.
- Think of all the cool things you can do as a runner: you can chase an ice cream truck; you can run down a purse snatcher; you can run with the bulls in Pamplona. But the best thing of all? You can kick ass in the Amazing Race.
(For some more scientific reasons to start running, check out "35 Amazing Health Benefits of Running" here from Sport Fitness Advisor.)
So I've started running. One step at a time of course (figuratively and literally), but I've started. I'm using one of those "couch to 5K" apps to moderate the balance of walking to running to build up slowly over the course of 8 weeks. Basically, it tells you right in your ear when to walk and when to run. It even reminds you to cool down and to stretch. It's the Suri of the workout world.
Week one and my feet and ankles already feel like broken glass and my shins feel like I've been kicked by a horse. Will this get better? Will I ever run more than a minute straight without wanting to fall on the ground and cry? I have a feeling the answer is ... maybe?
I will be documenting my couch to 5K journey weekly with this blog. Your anticipated respect and admiration (and the fear of not following through and humiliating myself) is going to drive me and motivate me along the way. One week down...only seven to go.