Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can

I did something momentous and completely out of character for me over the long holiday weekend. It may not seem significant to the rest of the world but I consider it an accomplishment. I ran a mile. Yep, a whole mile, and believe it or not, nobody was chasing me. Ok, the absolute truth is that it wasn’t a continuous mile, I only ran the down hill portions of a 3 mile route in our local park. It may not seem like much, but it is the furthest I have run since my freshman year in high school when I was forced to run a mile to pass gym class.

Where did this sudden burst of athletic enthusiasm come from? After we dropped our youngest at college I was pondering all of the changes in our life and decided that I should get serious about a regular exercise routine. The easiest way to get serious about exercise in our house is to tell my husband what you are thinking. He loves the “E” word. My husband is in great shape. I don’t have to add the words “for a man his age” to that statement. Cary is in better shape than most guys that are half his age. When I mentioned walking the park near our house he was all for it. To help me stay motivated he offered to walk with me each day, and he meant EACH and every day. There is no slacking off in Cary’s exercise world.

The walking part is actually quite enjoyable. The route through the park is beautiful, the weather has been perfect and I like getting an early start to my day. The bad part is that it takes about an hour to get ready and make that walk happen. Seven days a week. That is SEVEN hours out of my life. Seven valuable hours of SEWING time! Something had to be done. Convincing my walking partner, who considers a 3 mile walk a great way to “warm-up” his legs for a softball game, to skip a day or two was not an option. It seemed that the only way to speed things up is to start to run.

What the heck was I thinking?

Have you ever noticed that runners never look like they are having a good time? That is because they aren’t having fun. They are just trying to get home faster. It is either that or they are punishing themselves for some inexplicable sin they committed, like eating fries with their burger.

In my own personal, and I admit short, journey I have learned several things. The first of which is that yoga pants are for doing yoga, they are not made for running. Yoga is a gentle form of smooth exercise not at all like the jarring, pounding of feet on pavement. If you attempt to run in yoga pants, you will wish with all of your heart that you were also wearing suspenders. I also learned that I run with all the grace of a Clydesdale. My husbands size 12’s barely make a sound as they hit the pavement and my size 7½’s pound the pavement into submission. Then there is the fact that my face turns bright red when I exert myself. This has happened for as long as I can remember. It actually came in handy once when I attempted to mow our lawn and a neighbor was so concerned that I was going to drop dead that he insisted on finishing the job for me. Unfortunately nobody is offering to finish exercising for me.

Sunday we “ran” the lake at another local park. Once again I use that term lightly, we only jogged the downhill portions of the longer route. It was amusing watching the expressions of the runners that were traveling in the opposite direction. I think we were quite a sight. Cary, peacefully jogging beside me not having broken a sweat and me, beet red and desperately trying to control a pair of yoga pants with a mind of their own. One guy caught my husband’s eye and gave him the thumbs up. I imagine he was thinking “Nice of you to sacrifice your run to hang back with the little woman”. As he passed he probably added “I hope that guy has a cell phone to call the paramedics”.

The exercise hasn’t been all bad. I’ve made three new friends. Maybe you know them, Tylenol, Advil and Motrin.

Time to strap on the running shoes. Wish me luck!


Sheila said...

OMG--Thanks for the morning laugh!

Kris said...

you are so funny! i actually "ran" yesterday for the first time since my knee surgery. good for you!

bmayer said...

We can no longer be friends.

bmayer said...

OMG As soon as I hit the "publish" button,for the last comment, there was a knock at the door. UPS just delivered John's new Kiteboard. I am surrounded by you athletic overachievers.
Bernie (again)

Marsha said...

My husband runs too but I refuse to give it try. I like water aerobics instead. Good luck though. It's hard to get started and harder to stay committed. OH, and get some running shorts pronto. that part was hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting a smile on my face. You certainly didn't start slowly. I'll think of you as I run to the kitchen.

Debbie at QP said...

You absolutely crack me up!

banjo795 said...

And I thought that I was nuts! I started rowing last year when my youngest went to college. Must be some kind of empty nest thing.