fitness challenge

Hello all – for those of you following along, I hope your first week of training went well. For me, two random thoughts came to mind while I was attempting my first week of runs.

One. Rome was definitely NOT built in a day. I thought going in that this year would be easier. I mean I work out five days a week, have been for over a year now. I’ve told myself that I’m in pretty decent shape. However, in reality, it seems – not so much. While trying to distract myself, I reasoned that I might rock the cardio/weights thing, but running is a different animal and uses different muscles – evidently ones that have not seen much action over the winter. (I hyper-analyzed things, can you tell).

Rome was definitely NOT built in a day. #exercise #running #momlife #c25k Click To Tweet

And two. Starting a training schedule is a lot like having a second baby – in your mind you’ve romanticized the idea of having a brand new little one that you can shower with love and attention, but sufficiently forgot the pain of labor and all the gross things that go along with it. By that I mean, I’ve romanticized the idea of finishing an 8K – crossing the finish line knowing that I’ve just run almost five miles and reveling in the feat, only to be rocked into awareness by my burning lungs and screaming muscles before I’ve even run a half-mile!

Yup, week one was rough – I admit it, but I guess it always is when you start something new. In my defense, it was cold here (I live in New Jersey), the highs all week were in the forty’s and it snowed on Friday! Just the same I got my rear end out there, huff and puffed my way through a local park near my house and made myself finish. Admittedly, in the heart of full disclosure, I did allow myself two “walk cards” per run. This is a trick I do to take into account my body’s extreme reluctance to start a new running schedule after a winter off, and to give my hyper-critical mind an accepted rationale for periods during the run where I need to walk. Each “walk card” allows me to walk three-hundred feet at whatever pace I choose. However, they cannot be used concurrently and the running must begin again immediately at the end of the three-hundred feet. Hey, ya gotta do, what ya gotta do to get the job done right? Don’t judge, everyone has their things.

However during all of this, I was pleasantly reminded of why I do this – why I run and do the races. Growing up you’d never confuse me with an athlete. About as close as I got were my weekly marching band practices and football games, combined with the controlled sprints across the field while playing an instrument. It never occurred to me to don a pair of running shoes and go running. That is until I entered college. During my sophomore year, I had an extremely vivacious, bubbly neighbor that decided she was going to start a running club and whip everyone on our hall into shape. For whatever reason, I agreed to join despite the fact that I never did anything like this before. Through her tutelage and that of another friend that joined, I found I could do this – and before long I was averaging four to five miles a run! The sense of accomplishment and pride were exhilarating. Not to mention my astonishment at finishing my first ever 5K. And so life went on and I counted myself as a runner. Admittedly I’m not setting any land-speed records, I’m not part of the pack leading the race – however, I am a FINISHER. For a person that could barely walk without a cane three years ago – that is everything!

So with one week in the books I’m turning to week two with high hopes and renewed ambition. My takeaway advice is to allow yourself room to grow – be it through walk cards, reduced mileage, etc. You need to do what’s right for you and revel in the fact that you’re lapping those on the couch, but at the same time not beating yourself up because you needed to take a break halfway through the run. Rome was NOT built in a day, but it was built.

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