Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thank you

...for your comments. It's encouraging. Blogging about running keeps me accountable. Now that I've "published" all this, I'm conscious of it on the trail.

I tried something new yesterday: half-way through the run, when I didn't think I had another drop of energy, I asked for help. J could tell I was hurting, and I let myself dwell on the distance and discomfort way too early in the run. So I said, "Help me. Get me through this. " And he did. He reminded me we had less in front of us than we had behind us. He said I was doing great. He said, "This is nothing! You got this!" So I kept going. And I finished.

Since we first ran the whole lake without stopping, our times are improving. In one month, we've dropped NINE minutes off our time. Since running 2.6 miles, we've dropped 4 minutes. The last two runs, there have been brief portions that I enjoyed. I wasn't in pain, it actually felt like a good stretch, a nice "feel the burn" moment. Miraculous.

Fishing season opened last weekend, so the lake is much busier. There are people on the trail and in lawn chairs, wielding fishing poles and swinging hooks over their heads. It's very disconcerting, especially because they hear us coming (what with all that heavy breathing) and they look over their shoulder to see what's bearing down on them. Not so helpful to my self-consciousness. I have to keep reminding myself, "I am a beginner. But I'm running. I might get dirty looks, but I am the one running." I have the urge to defend myself, as if I am obligated to explain why I can't exercise silently, or why I don't look like an REI catalogue, which I dream of.

Like Bob Wiley says to Dr. Leo Marvin, I hear myself whining,
"Come on! I've come so far! I'm not a slacker. I'm doing the work!"

Thanks for cheering me on. Keep the comments coming. In the meantime, I'll keep repeating my favorite motivational comment from my husband: "Pain is just weakness leaving the body."


  1. I love "What About Bob?"! Great job on your running. And be grateful that you have such a good running partner! I know I would run more if I had someone to run with. I'm so encouraged hearing about your successes on the trail. Watch out for those fishing hooks!

  2. wow, keep up the good work with all that running--you are doing super great. It's been ages since I jogged/ran anywhere, but you are inspiring me to maybe think about taking it up again, maybe.

  3. I'm the first one to lend too much weight to the opinions of others, so I understand where you're coming from with that self-consciousness angle. With that said...most people are probably not judging you. As far as those who are, they're morons. Who would be stupid enough to judge someone for clearly working hard on getting into better shape? Anyone who doesn't applaud you or shrug at you (I would be in the shrugging category toward random running strangers) doesn't meet the Leif Johnson Standard™ for worthwhile human status, so I find it easy enough to dismiss those thoughts. Of course, that doesn't mean that I don't speed up as I go past strangers in some misguided attempt to look better...

    For another motivational tool when you're feeling beat around the halfway point, just ask yourself if you really want to take the time to walk. I get far enough out and think, "If I stop now, I still have to get home somehow, and I don't want to waste more of my evening on this exercise crap than I already I might as well run and just get it over with."

    Anyhow, keep it up.

  4. After one of my more pleasant running experiences of late, on Friday, I sent this e-mail to Emily:

    "When all other motivational tools fail you while you're running...

    I recommend running 20 feet behind a hot girl who is also out running. I know that I never wanted to let myself lag too far behind..."

    Emily replied:


    Will you please post this as a comment on my blog? I love it. The problem is, those hot girls are so FAST."

    But you see, Emily...that was the magic of this one. She would jog, and I would keep pace with her...then she would speed up, and begin to lose me. Then she slowed her pace down considerably, and I started to catch up with her. Then she shifted gears back into fast mode and pulled away. She kept doing this in a random pattern, but eventually she kept herself in fast mode for a while and I lost her.

    I didn't time myself, but when I got home I was way more bushed than usual, so I'm confident in saying that I ran faster and pushed myself harder that day.