To call running ‘fun’ would be a misuse of the word. Running can be ‘enjoyable’. Running can be ‘rejuvenating’. But in a pure sense of the word, running is not fun.
~ Dean Karnazes, Ultra Marathoner
Some of you may remember a delirious moment back in October of last year when I somehow decided that it seemed like a good idea to publicly declare that I was going to train for a half marathon. Some of you may even remember that I even went so far as to sign up for one. In February. On Cape Cod.
I’m sorry to say that I did not run that half marathon back in February. I somehow sobered up and realized that oh, yeah, I DON’T RUN. I mean AT ALL, no less in the middle of the bloody winter on the bitterly cold New England coastline.
However, I’m incredibly proud to say that come November, I began to run. I started slowly, but built my mileage pretty quickly. Within a couple of months I was clocking as many as 45 miles a week.
I have to admit, I became a little obsessed. I began to constantly update my status on FaceBook. Last mile of 10 came in under 6:30! and heading out for a nice slow 6 in my vibram five fingers! were par for the course.
Before I knew it, I was in the best shape of my life. I’ve dropped every possible bit of excess weight and I look utterly amazing. Between you and me, I’m even sporting six pack abs!
I ran a sanctioned 5K back in April and set my sights immediately on an upcoming half marathon. I ran Boston’s Run to Remember on May 24th and dare I say it? I kicked ass. I ran 13.1 miles in 1:40:47. Best of all, I looked great doing it. Even at the finish, I was nearly unruffled.
See? There I am. Don’t I look awesome? After THIRTEEN miles I still look pretty damned fresh, don’t you think?
Oh, excuse me .. I have to take this call.
“Hello? Yes, this is she. What’s that? That’s not me? Huh? WTF? Oh, that’s Luau. I see. So it is. Well, isn’t that nice? Friggin show-off. Oh, man. Guess I got me some splainin’ to do. Dang.”
OK. So, um. Hi. You’re still here, huh?
OK, OK, so I didn’t do it. I bailed completely. I tried in fits and starts and got exactly nowhere. All these months I ignored the topic completely. I was afraid to tell you. I felt like I’d let you down – me and my grand declarations.
I got overwhelmed with the business of well – life. I couldn’t seem to carve time out anywhere. Mornings were brutal, afternoons were full, evenings were exhausted. I had a whole lot of nothing, sparky.
Luau has become a runner. Truly, down to his core he is now a runner. He’s training to qualify for the Boston Marathon – known as one of the most competitive courses in the world. He will first have to run a qualifying marathon in 3:20 to be eligible. He will.
But me? Not so much. The only running I’ve done has been to the store to get new jeans because my fat jeans were suddenly no longer my fat jeans. Damn dryer.
But then I read this.
When Katie found out that her pen pal, Riley had run a 5K, she was in awe of the accomplishment. I read a little bit more about Girls on the Run. I knew we couldn’t handle the whole program (and Katie’s still a little young), but we began to talk about creating our own. A Mama and daughter running club geared toward eventually running a 5K.
On May 1st, Kaite and I called to order the first meeting of the May-Day Club.
Marathon Luau tailored a training routine to our modest goal. The first time we set out, we ran for just four minutes. Baby steps.
We’ve had a ball. We are up to two miles, alternating walking and jogging in three and four minute intervals. We’ve inducted two more members into the club. We run together whenever we can.
Last night, I took off on my own and managed to run for nineteen of thirty minutes. I covered a ridiculously meager 2.2 miles in that time, but I did it. I had to look at the sidewalk a couple of times to make sure that I was actually moving forward, but I did it. I had to talk myself through it at points, but I did it.
My iPod helped. Country music may seem like a terrible choice to run to, but it worked. Lyrics like, “I knew somewhere amid all this distraction was a little less talk and a lot more action” and “A glass half empty is a glass half full, and that’s what make’s life beautiful” kept me moving.
Running does not come naturally to me. As I said back in October,
You know that expression, ‘this body’s made for comfort, not speed’? Whoever said that knows me. No one will EVER mistake me for a triathlete. I’m soft. Cozy. Cuddly. Cushiony. I need a highly engineered, steel reinforced sports bra. Lean and mean? Not so much.
So it’s hard. Last night when I started to slow down, I thought of Katie the other night on our May Day run. We were on our fourth interval. Her little pony tail bounced behind her. After having spent the last interval moaning and groaning, she was hitting a groove, finding a second wind. “How you feeling, baby?” I asked, checking in. Her answer sent my heart soaring. “Strong, Mama! I feel strong!”
I’ll leave the marathons to Luau. I think I’m just fine with working toward STRONG.