Well, this has got disaster written all over it.
Do you know the feeling when you realize you are completely driven to do something that's going to be a little bit of a, uh, stretch - and you have absolutely no idea where the whole notion came from? Maybe you get a wild urge to repair your own plumbing (and you've never done it before), or perhaps you audition for a local theater performance on a whim, decide to learn a foreign language, or even climb a mountain. All of a sudden this thing pops into your head and you just can't get it out. What then?
Some people - the smart ones - take a nap until the urge passes. Others jump in whole-heartedly and either a) fall off the mountain or b) land the lead role. Then there's the third group, the one that inches their way sideways to what they want to do, until voila! There they are. (They may not have a clue of what to do once they're there, but there they are anyway). If they're really lucky, at some point in this journey they figure out why the devil they want to do whatever it is in the first place. That's me. I'm the third group. And I have a wild notion.
I want to start running. Distances. And I would be very hard pressed to say why.
Actually, that isn't true - the first part, anyway. I have started running. Yesterday. It was an inauspicious beginning, to be sure, but you know what they say about the journey starting with a single step. I found this training program on-line that says it will have you running thirty minutes straight in eight weeks, and I'm giving it a try. It's a walk-run program, where you gradually decrease the amount of time you walk and increase the amount of time you run. I'm even playing by the rules, which I typically don't with anything exercise related. I always want to go from zero to a hundred in about five minutes, which ends up with me getting either burned out or hurt. I'm not in the market for either of those, so I'm being good.
This is what I did: Walk six minutes and run one minute. Four times. For a total of twenty four minutes walking and four whopping minutes running. (Otherwise known as twenty eight minutes at work).
How simple can it get?
It felt pretty good, and I made myself only run the one minute at a time, even though I wanted to do more. (Not a lot more, you understand. Just a little more). It was a gorgeous day to be outside, which made it even better. My brand new iPod (fully loaded for me by Sasquatch in a thinly veiled ploy to get me to lend him the money for a new video game that comes out Friday) performed beautifully, unlike my old one with the glitchy battery. It may have been a tiny step, but it was an enjoyable one, and I'm looking forward to the next time.
I'm sure the fact that I'm surrounded by runners has something to do with this. A lot of people at work run, and maybe I'm projecting, but they seem just a shade calmer than the rest of us. We pretty much run the gamut. One of the nurses just started a running program and is now running three miles straight. And she had never run before. A bunch of people run 3-5 miles a day regularly. Someone else just finished their first marathon. We all supported a co-worker who ran the New York Marathon last week. One of our docs even does the extreme running thing, where you run races up to 100 miles. Makes my feet hurt just thinking about it.
I've always been off and on athletic. I played tennis for hours every day growing up. When I was on the tennis team we'd practice for a couple of hours and run a couple of miles. Five days a week. In college, to appease an overly controlling boyfriend, I ran six miles a day for quite a while. I'm a world class walker - I love to walk. I like the gym, too, always have. I'm not getting any younger and I'm attempting to halt my butt's descent to my knees. And I keep hearing about what a peaceful, Zen-like experience it is. What other reasons do I need?
So why do I have the feeling of impending doom? I can do this, right?