Friday, March 18, 2011

A Running Plan

Remember in school when you had to take the Presidential Fitness Test every year?  Boy did I dread that! Ms. MacGuire was the tiniest, fittest, and in the springtime the tannest person I had ever met.  She loved to run.  She always ran the mile with us and I wanted to be like her; but I always got a cramp, and my legs were so sore for days afterward!  When I was in Jr High.  There was a girl who lived down the street that ran and I wanted to get in on it, but I had no real idea how to go about it.  I remembered running the mile in grade school and what that was like and I convinced myself that "I'm just not a runner".  I don't come from a terribly athletic family.  None of us really plays sports. Although I do have a younger brother and sister who ran cross-country, they were not runners then.  So this was a logical conclusion.  In High School I thought of running again.  I tried to join the crew team, but I was pretty shy and when I approached the coach, who was really cute, proud as a peacock, and not terribly enthusiastic about my abilities, my resolve crumbled and I never thought of it again.  I would occasionally "go for a run" outside my home, but I had no idea how far I should go or how far I was going, or for that matter how fast I should go.  I tried to run with a friend once, but my mom freaked out and made me eat first and I got physically ill.  So I have gone an entire 30 years as a non-runner, thinking of it now and then and dismissing it.  Recently, however I have become more and more aware of a number of aquaintances becoming runners.  This has renewed an interest in me.  I want to be a runner too! But how?? I have no endurance and no time. 
We bought a treadmill with my husband's bonus this year. We bought an elliptical too, but that's beside the point.  It's something we've talked about off and on for quite a while, so we decided to go for it this year.  Anyway, these machines came with level 1, Jillian Michaels iFit cards.  Naturally I took full advantage.  I was surprised at first how easy the routine felt, then at how soon it got harder than I expected.  It was great, but it was a walking card (she says walking burns more fat than any other form of exercise) and it ran out pretty quickly.  After that I had no idea what to actually do on the treadmill.  Sure I could get another, but they're pretty expensive.  Enter familiar frustration and feelings of defeat--remember that cardio is part of my new mold and shape plan.
Then something miraculous happened: My 3 year old son spoke.  No he is not a mute!  We were at the kids PE gymnastics class and he noticed the running shoes of the woman sitting beside us.  I knew she was a runner.  We've talked a few times about this or that--really nice lady.  But my son said to me "Mom, she has shoes just like yours!" they were nothing at all like mine.  Hers are blue, mine are pink.  Hers are Nike, mine are Saucony. So I say to my son "yes, sweetie, they are similar, but they are different brands.  Mine have a Saucony symbol  and hers have a Nike symbol. See?"  So she turns and smiles at him and says wryly "It's ok if your mom wears Sauconys" "Ha ha. I say.  I'm not even a runner! I've tried but I always fail" Turns out she's teaching a "Run for God" class and asks me if I have a plan. What? a plan??  I didn't even know there was such a thing.  WOW!  Now, I'm not going to be taking her class; I can't spare 3 nights a week away from my family.  But I have a treadmill and what I did do was go online when I got home, as she suggested,  and print out one of the several running plans that I found.  Now I have a plan.... and I'm ready to run!  YES!

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