Friday, November 7, 2008

the longest journey...

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?



laurie said...

good luck. there's nothing hard about running; it's just putting one foot in front of the other. i used to run but i quit because (a) i got anemic, and (b) it's so fricking boring.

i got to the point where i could run 11 miles without stopping, and then i quit.

walking? i love. running? not so much.

i hope you like it better than i did. if you like it, you'll do it. no problem.

Rudee said...

good for you. I'm betting you just might like it. Me, I'll cheer you on from the sidelines. I'm more of a yoga girl myself and I do like to walk. Start training for the 3 day, or plan the 5K race for the cure. That will give you something to work toward.

the rotten correspondent said...

laurie - You used to run 11 miles a day? Good grief. That's really, really impressive.

rudee - I like yoga, too. About the 3 day...I'm really serious. Pick a city. I think that would be a blast. Maybe we can drag Little Miss 11 miles a day with us.

ciara said...

i think you can do anything you want, r.c. i believe you have it in you more. i tried to commit to exercising everyday, and it just isn't happening. i would love to try the regime that you're doing prob, if i run even for 30 seconds i'm gasping for air (maybe i should try my inhaler). what is the name of the online program? maybe i could try it.

i'm more of a walker than a runner. i hated running in school, and i hate it now! lol i think that running would be a very good way for you to de-stress. good luck with it! you can do it! instead of 'yes we can' it's yes I can. hehe

ped crossing said...

Personally, I only run if being chased or there is an emergency. I am more of a sprinter anyway. As much as I wanted to be a runner for a while, it just isn't in me.

I hope you love it, I know lots of people do. It is really cool if you have the Nike sensor thing. Good luck!

Hilary said...

You can do it! I am possibly the least athletic person around but when cabin fever hit late last winter I had to do something, and I started running much the same way that you are doing it. I ran until about mid-June when it just got too warm. It's great for blowing off steam!

Devon said...

Good for you! The premonition of doom may be from remembering your past philosophy of 'no pain no gain'.

But you are an older, wiser RC now and won't slide into that foolishness of youth! Right? Hello, RC, Right?

Anonymous said...

is this the C25K programme? i promise it works. i love fitness. i hate running. i still managed to get up to 20 minutes in the way it said without loathing it too much, but then i got sick for a few weeks and haven't quite got the courage to get back on the horse yet. go for it. you can do it. and you've inspired me to be more determined about it. you'll feel so proud!i swear my thighs never looked less jiggly than while i was doing the programme.

softinthehead said...

Good luck, I tried it a couple of years ago and the joints just couldn't take it. I found it hard to jog - I wanted to run fast!! Keep us posted.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Do you know, this is something I've been thinking of doing.

I have no idea why but, like you, I just seem to be getting an urge to do it.

Now you've started, I'll think aboutit a a bit more seriously and we can swap stories!

Potty Mummy said...

You CAN do this. Just make sure you warm up and cool down - it will make all the difference, I promise.

Jenn And The City said...

G of W II, right? The Friday release is much anticipated here too.
Running is about the only athletic thing I CAN do.
Good luck!

Maggie May said...

Running is good for you. Makes you FEEL good. I walk a lot because of my back & joint problems, but if you don't have that type of problem, then go for it. You have your youth and it will do you good.

the rotten correspondent said...

ciara - the website is at and it's called Getting Started With Running. I'd put in the whole address but I don't know how to link in comments, and I think it's easier to just go to Let me know what you think.

ped crossing - what's the nike sensor thing?

hilary - that's kind of how I feel.I just need to blow off some steam in a way that doesn't involve a half gallon of mint chip ice cream.

devon - I hear you, all right. It's the older, wiser RC. At least this week!

annonymous - I don't know if it's the c25 program. Is that the one where you can run a 5K in 8 weeks?

softinthehead - I'm a little worried about how my body is going to feel about this. I think I'm going to have to take it really slow.

angela - well, lets go, woman! We can be on-line running buddies. We'll keep each other honest!

potty mummy - sounds like you're talking from experience. Do you run?

jenn - oh, heck yes. G of W ll. You'd think it was the second coming of Christ.

maggie may - well, let me tell you that I'm not as young as I used to be. I don't even think I'm as young as I feel!

Marti said...

Good for you RC! I had become a runner...until I rolled my ankle off the side of the trail and am now in a walking boot. However, as soon as I get the go ahead from the Doc - I am back out there. I like running now more than walking.

Have fun!

laurie said...

ps i have a friend who started running a few years ago and decided to set her goal on a marathon, to keep herself going.

then she decided, hell, why just do any marathon? i've always wanted to go to ireland, so....

she ended up running the Dublin Marathon, which is on halloween.

she had a great time, toured the country, finished the race.

think big!!!

CrazyCath said...

You can do it. Yes... you can!

ped crossing said...

RC- it is the Nike+iPod and you get a sensor and a receiver for your iPod. You put the sensor in certain Nike shoes. Then when you run (or walk) it tracks how fast you went and how far. Then plug your iPod into the computer and it uploads the data to keep track of your run data. It is a really fun way to track your progress.

ped crossing said...

There is also a really great website that lets you map your run and it tells you how far you went or plan a route.

Iota said...

I think this is great. I kind of keep meaning to do it too, but I'm swimming at the moment - 3 times a week, and 20 lengths each time (that's 1/4 a mile or so). Nothing to write home about, but with exercise, something is better than nothing, and 20-30 mins 3 times a week is a whole lot better than nothing.

I'm just worried that you don't really have time and/or energy for this. I know it's meant to be energising and GIVE you energy, but it must also take some as well. Don't listen to me, though, voice of doom. Listen to your upbeat commenters and go, girl.

the rotten correspondent said...

Marti - your story was one I was thinking of. You're a hell of a lot more coordinated than me. If it can happen to you...

laurie - thinking big isn't my problem. It's the doing it.

crazycath - thanks! I needed that!

ped crossing - okay, that sensor sounds really cool. And how is it that you know so much about running if you don't do it?

iota - you're not alone in that worry, believe me. It's in my mind, too. The thing is that most of the stuff I do is for other people. I really need to do something (besides blogging!) that's just for me. It's going to be a challenge, though.

16 year old girl said...

I think it's great that you're going to start running. I love to run. It feels so good! I do distance and also some shorter speed work. I got my 3 mile time down to 21:36 for cross country. Good luck!

Faye said...

Many years ago I thought I wanted to run. Out every morning at dawn and then luckily this creep tried to pull me into his car. No more running for many years until I joined a fitness boot camp where running was part of the regimen. That time I stuck with it for three years because we changed up a lot--sprints, hill runs, timed runs, distance runs, relays. Now I walk and do pilates. No matter what you choose, there's something mentally and physically empowering about exercise.

Tiggerlane said...

Wow...I like that plan...walking, then running. I used to do that on a lark when I walked my dog. Would love to do it that my calorie counting weight loss plan is working, I should try the running!