Wednesday, July 8, 2015


So, this running thing.

Let me start with a little background:

I have never been a runner. I used to dread the twice-yearly mile run in gym class. Gasping for breath, I was inevitably one of the last kids to cross the finish line.

As an adult, I wondered if I had undiagnosed asthma. I've even tried using my son's inhaler to see if I would magically be able to run afterward without feeling like I was going to die.


I've actually tried to be somewhat fit for the last 15 years or so...since the days when the kids were little and anything—even working out—was preferable to spending an entire day at home with them. (While I love my children dearly, the early days, with two kids exactly two years apart, were...well, let's just say it's a merciful blur now.) In those 15 years I have done cardio-sculpting classes at the gym, used the elliptical, and walked on the treadmill...sporadically. Never more than three times a week.

This past January I made a resolution to try to get 10,000 steps a day. Yup, jumped on the 10,000 steps bandwagon—just a bit later than most.  I actually didn't have a Fitbit at first; instead I downloaded a free app for the iPhone and carried the phone with me everywhere (including the bathroom at work) to log steps. Eventually I got a Fitbit Flex, which made my life a lot easier and I'm sure eased the concern of my co-workers, who wondered why the phone needed to come into the stall with me every time.

Counting steps had been so completely motivating for me—it appeals to my compulsive personality I think! I just love seeing the number go up and when that flex starts to vibrate--heaven.

After about four months of consistent walking, I started to jog for a few blocks of each walk. (An aside: When I say jog, I mean...barely shuffle along. Turtle-like. Honestly, at first I could walk faster than I was jogging.) The jog sections got longer every week, and soon I was consistently running about two miles at a time, and had improved my "speed" from a 15 minute mile to a 13 minute mile. And I was LOVING it. My breathing just...wasn't a problem. For the first time in my life, I felt GOOD while running.

Last Wednesday it was too hot to run outside so I took myself over to the gym to run. I was feeling great—so great that I decided to go farther than the 2.25 miles I typically run. 2.5, 2.75, 3.0...I was thrilled. Basically I was running a 5K with zero issues...aside from a small twinge in my left ankle.

Yes, as the hours passed that twinge turned into real pain. With swelling. A week later, I am still resting, icing, elevating, and popping the Advil. It's a little better.

But I'm frustrated. I can't wait to get back out there.

Moral: When you're 49 years old? Take it SLOW.

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