how well do I know myself?

Sometimes the answer seems to be 'not too damn much at all'.

Before I expand on that I want to thank everyone for the good wishes and report that last night I finally slept, and I feel like a nearly normal person again. The virus is on its way out. Oh and happy Easter to all who celebrate today.

So the new thing I hinted at yesterday, I now have the brain power to blog about it. I am doing the couch to 5K program. For those of you who have known me for years remember to breathe through the amazement and disbelief. No I don't think we all slipped into a wildly alternate universe and I am pretty sure I have not been taken over by aliens. And really it's pretty weird for me as well, although I do have the advantage of knowing my process behind it. Many events and people have been part of my journey here without realizing it. If you want to hear it read on. Warning: it's a long one.

For those of you who haven't known me for years let's just say that the idea of me running for exercise seems ridiculous. Something I neither desired or ever considered a good match for me to put it mildly. Biking, dancing yes, elliptical machines fine, but running... no.

This did not come on suddenly though. It was year or so ago and the health list I have long been a part of was talking about holding a 5K run at the convention last summer. Due to India and money, I wasn't able to go to the convention, but it was, as always, interesting to hear the runners talk about their plans. I believe it was around that time that TJA told us all how she had been training and running at the Y. I found this enthralling since I knew that she had knee problems for years and that she wasn't a size 4. Yet she was doing something without pain, without making her knees worse that she always wanted to do - running. It was awesome and I was so happy for her. I also remember thinking so not interested in doing that. It's not for me.

Last summer which shall also be known as the 'shoe hell' summer I bought 3 pairs of sandals and I did not go low end. I bought Tevas, Keens and Clarks. I got home from India in September and my feet were killing me. I was starting to have pain in my right heel no matter what I did or what I wore. I was terrified I was getting plantar fasciitis. [I have 2 friends who are dealing with it] At the same time I was doing some of my consults that are part of resiliency training. I talked to the physical therapist about my frustration with my shoes and pain. She encouraged me to get running shoes and explained that even if I never ran they were still the best for support and cushioning. I decided I had nothing to lose.

I took my wife for support and went shoe shopping. Nordstrom's was having a big sale so we stopped and I told the clerk I wanted running shoes. He turned my current shoes over to look at the treads and said "you need to be careful when you buy running shoes you are an 'under pronator' [or supinator] and most running shoes correct for the opposite problem." He then found a pair of running shoes half size bigger than my 'normal' shoes for me off of the sale rack
they were asics Gel Kinetics. I bought them and never regretted it. Within 2 weeks my heel stopped hurting.

Lots of stuff things happened last autumn and winter. My wife and I started exercising regularly again. I did nanowrimo and was amazed at myself. As part of RT I learned that running was an activity recommended for my dosha. TJA had an upper body injury that derailed her running for awhile and I was finding her slow journey back to running incredibly inspirational. And I started thinking.

Why was I so sure I didn't like to run? I realized that I actually knew nothing of the sort. The very few times I had 'gone jogging' in junior high and high school it had been fine, kind of boring but I hadn't hated it. And I hadn't tried it since. I knew it was considered 'high impact' and that had always seemed like a bad thing. We went away to Austin and I missed my gym. I didn't feel like I was getting enough exercise just walking, how nice would it be to have one activity that was only dependent on having a good pair of shoes I thought. Here was a stunning thought: why not try it and see if in fact I liked running or not? Being sure to try it in the most stress less and easy way possible. I thought about what I needed. I needed new shoes [even without running shoes wear out in 6 months]. I needed comfortable bras with maximum support. I found both.

When I checked out the C25K program I was amazed at how similar it was to how my wife and I had started exercising back in October. It is very gradual and that's good. My body will probably go into shock a bit over this 'new thing'...but that's ok. New can be good, look at nanowrimo I said to myself.

So here I am in the bottom third of week one of C25K. I am using the podcast and enjoying it fine. I plan on going slow and I am alert for pain. Of course I don't know where this will end. I am committed to getting through the program as long as there is no pain but who knows I may find out that indeed I don't like running. That would be ok. At least this time I would actually know.

Once again I am amazing myself and that feels pretty awesome. I told my wife about it the first day and added the intervals in my head. 'I jogged for 8 minutes today' wow. If you had told me I would be saying that a year ago I would have laughed so hard I would have cried.
Let's see what happens.


Máire said...

Yep, you're right! I'm too stunned to know how to respond!

engagedbliss said...

Totally fine.
a) at least I am not boring you
b) don't forget to breathe :)

Máire said...

a) You? Never!
b) Don't *you* forget my neato shoes! Not that I run in them, but some experts say that humans weren't designed to run "heelstrike" style, and furthermore that modern shoes make it hard to do anything else....

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