Despite having completed ten miles the other day, I still consider myself a non-runner. My body seems to agree, and I am stiff and sore. Yesterday morning, I took Greta for a walk. She kept pulling the lead, wondering why I was going so slowly. This morning, I took her for a very slow jog. The first half mile was pretty pitiful, but finally the muscles loosened up and I managed to go the 1.6 miles necessary to just complete my second PT goal for the year: to run 250 miles.
When I established the goal of 250 miles, running one full mile was quite a feat for me. I thought if I ran one to two miles three to five times per week, that would be really good. Since I had already decided to run the Army Ten Miler, I knew that I would likely run some longer distances at some point, but that was too far away to really think about.
A friend of mine was really surprised to learn that I had run the race (her reaction to this fact really convinced me that I am truly a non-runner...I mean runners are thin! runners have that lean hard body that I covet! runners run everywhere all the time! runners exude runner-aura!). This friend had taken her kids to do all the kid-stuff at the Ten Miler while her husband ran. That was one thing I thought was great: seeing nursing moms with little babies on the train headed to the race...and DAD was wearing jeans and MOM was wearing running clothes, and seeing other whole families going together. It was really nice. I was happy my kids were still in bed, but it was nice to see others doing it nonetheless.
This friend seemed to think running this race was an unachievable goal for her, but since I had done it (I, the non-runner with a non-runner-aura) maybe she could do it too. She asked me how. I told her that the first hurdle was one full mile. Our neighborhood happens to be 1.06 miles in circumference. I told her to set one lap around as her goal and to do the whole distance even if she had to walk most of it. Run 3 houses, walk 3 houses, run 3 houses, walk 3 houses......run 6 houses, walk 3 houses......run 8 houses, walk 2 houses......after she manages to run the whole thing, go for 1 1/2 laps, then 2.
It really is easy. Sure it is! Granted, I have another friend who has been trying this for months, and she can't get up to 2 miles. Every person is different, and I can't promise results. This same friend who can't run two miles can do 50 pushups and I can't do 4, despite trying for months to increase my upper body strength. That lamentation will be spelled out in another post about PT goal number three, which sadly seems to me to be unattainable.
I do encourage anybody who thinks they may want to run to try it. 5k races and fun runs abound, and that is only a bit over 3 miles (not 2 - thank you, Bill, for pointing out my glaring error from early this morning). I think training for this Ten Miler motivated me to get up early to do my morning runs when I overwise would have preferred to sleep another hour. I recommend going online and searching for races in your area that are several months away and aiming to compete. I intend to find another (much shorter) race to enter in a few months to keep me going out. Two goals down. I don't want to be like several women I know who have not run at all since their big races last fall!