On The First Day Of Spring Break...

Run For Your Life

I tried to sleep tonight, but it just wasn't coming. I had slept too much during the day Saturday, having not felt well all week, and had consumed coffee too late in the day. I hadn't showered yet, so around 0500, I got up and did so to get ready for the morning's Easter services a few hours down the road. Before, during and after my shower, I felt something stirring inside me.

Actually, I've felt it more and more over the past few days and weeks.

I haven't felt it since I was a senior in high school. It's a weird feeling, almost entirely foreign to me:


The desire to run. For no reason, just to run for the sake of running.

Before my shower, I almost threw on a pair of sneakers and ran right out the door. Then I realized that I wasn't quite dressed for that, was a little too tired, and oh, I could come up with four dozen more excuses why I didn't just GO.

During my shower, I remembered something my friend E had shown me about four years ago or so: the Couch-to-5K program at Cool Runnings. Basically, beginners - couch potatoes - are given a program to get them ready to run in a 5K in a simple, easy-to-follow regimen. At the time, she was all gung-ho about it and I think she even did run in a 5K, but I had absolutely no desire to, well, move. I was a fat lard, and I was comfortable there.


{Plus, I hate running. The only reason I did so much of it as a senior in high school was because we had the mile run in gym class twice a year, and I had never been able to run the whole thing. Some years, I couldn't even walk it. I had a horrible time breathing (I may have had asthma, but since I never went to the doctor, we'll never know) and would just collapse and try to catch some air. I was determined that I would make it a full mile and never stop running the entire time - and I did!}

Anyway, so in the shower, I decided I would do the C-to-5K (as we shall hereafter call it) program and find a 5K in which to run. That's right, I'm not only going to run, I'm going to run in a real, life race! I'm determined not to be the last finisher; that's about my only goal.

After my shower, I was even more motivated. I thought about going right then and there on a mile-long run around the neighborhood, already having clocked a mile with my minivan, but then I realized that despite having lost almost 175 pounds, I'm still quite out of shape. Hell, even after losing all that weight, I'm still considered "obese"! Isn't that crazy! (And also pretty depressing, if you think about it. I try not to do that too much.) I'm only about six pounds away from being considered "overweight", and by golly, I can't wait for that designation! But I digress: I'm out of shape, and one should always start slowly with a new exercise regimen.


{If you're wondering about the Wii Fit, I'd love to still be doing that every day, but the kids scratched up my disk, and I haven't tried it since Rob "fixed" it. I keep forgetting about it now!}

Where was I?

Oh, so here I am, about to embark on my new running-for-beginners program, and I'm feeling excited about it.

Before Pic


I knew, when I started this weight loss journey 14 months ago, at my peak weight of 341.3 pounds, that it would be a while before I could really exercise. Most of you, thank goodness, have never and will never be that fat, so it's hard for you to comprehend the toll it takes on your body. I could barely walk; you might remember that I was using the cart to ride around at the grocery store and praying to God I could actually do the walking required to get around when we took our European cruise in '08. I've gotten much stronger, and not only can I walk, but I actually have been running in small spurts here and there lately. I'm ready, but I'm no Jackie Joyner Kersee yet, after all!


I had been cold before and during the first half of my shower, so I anticipated being cold afterward, too. I threw on my long underwear - which is all black - and since I'm a little nutty that way, I put on black socks, undies and bra, too.  I won't change them, except the socks, when I change for church later, because more than not matching, I hate waste. Why do I insist on telling you every single minute detail that enters my brain? Moving along... Once downstairs, I also donned my black Crocs and went out to grab my Sunday papers.

Only, I felt so good, out there at 0530, that I decided to pass up the papers and take a power walk for that mile I'd thought about running earlier. I used to walk everywhere, or else I'd ride my bike or roller-blade. That was a long time ago, in college, when I was probably at my most fit (and yet still chubby). I never do it anymore, at least not for exercise, because it's hard to go at a fitness-worthy pace when your dog is sniffing at every other blade of grass and your three small children are huffing along and complaining that they don't want to walk anymore when you've only gone half a block!

And so I walked.


The first thing I noticed was the moon. No sign of the sun yet at that hour, but the moon shone brightly.


The second thing I noticed were all the different birds chirping. Because I'm usually out when there are lots of cars, children playing, and life-in-general happening, I don't often get to hear NOTHING BUT BIRDS. It was pretty fantastic. And I am not a bird lover, generally speaking. I tried to count the different species. I thought I heard six different ones, and I wished I could see 'em.


The third thing I realized was that I was still wearing my Crocs, which are ultra-comfy to walk in, but not necessarily for power-walking. Plus, my feet had shrunk. The first pair I bought, the brown ones, are a 6-7, and they absolutely float on me. My black pair are a 4-5, and they're big, too! I walk on tiny pedestals, I do.

So when - not if - I start my C-to-5K program, I'll do a few things differently:


1. Not wear all-black. Rob will probably make me wear reflective tape on my light-colored clothes. He's Mr. Saftey Man, after all.


2. Wear my barely-worn sneakers. They're not "running shoes," but I'm not going to go all crazy with that. I can't afford to buy $120 running shoes, especially since I tend not to have stick-to-itiveness when it comes to exercise. If this becomes a "thing" for me, then we'll see. But Crocs, you just ain't cuttin' it.


3. Bring my iPod along. I might not use it - because I really did enjoy those birds - but I find that listening to fast-paced music really helps me keep up my stride. Toward the middle of my mile, I found myself strolling quickly, rather than power-walking. I kept having to remind myself after that to pump my arms and lean forward a little, walk purposefully toward my goal. Music will help.


I had more to add to that list, but the kids have all woken up (geesh, it's only 0730 and we kept them up 'til 2300 last night!) and are quite ready to begin their searches for eggs and baskets. They're waiting up in their rooms until I call them down, so I can't concentrate anymore on this. I enjoyed google-imaging this post to death (picked that up from my friend E, too - check out her blog; she's frigging hysterical!) and hope you did, too.

Anyway, wish me luck and help me find a 5K!