Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hoofing It

I jogged last night.  Real, honest, premeditated jogging with intent to jog.

You may not believe it (or you are already rolling your "Well, DUH!" eyes at me) but this is an epic accomplishment in my world.  I've a long standing history of uncooperative joints that make activities with impact particularly difficult for me to stomach.  That and I just hate running. I admit I like the idea of activities that include the necessity of running (ToughMudder, Warrior Dash, surviving a zombie apocalypse) but generally speaking I'd rather have an un-sedated root planing courtesy of Dr. Giggles than have to perform the act of traveling faster than a speed walk in a linear direction for any length of time.

I know that running is a passion for a lot of people and this I have never, ever understood.  I supposed if I thought about it really hard I could whip up a short list of appealing points in its favor but my Do Not Like list chumps the pros substantially.  This aversion makes it particularly difficult to walk up to an old friend who has obviously lost some weight and is looking fantastic and find out that their secret is diet and not just exercise, but the running variety of exercise!  It sinks my heart.

This past weekend I saw such a friend and felt my stomach seize when I heard she'd started running.  Unlike others who found their way to the cult (that's right, I called it a cult, bunch of crazies...) she shared her introduction to it.  She and her husband would visit a track and she walked while he ran.  One day she thought she'd see what that whole craze was about and upped her pace to jog for a brief time.  She started sprinkling her walks with jogs here and there and now she looks incredible and can run for 3.5 miles.  This story flipped some kind of switch in my head.  Curiosity I understand.  The desire to try something new and exciting (dangerous) I also understand.

I spent that evening and the next visualizing myself running.  First slowly, just barely above speed walk pace and maybe for only 2-3 house lengths.  I could wear some spiffy workout clothes, feel all official and drag Clif along as he walked the dogs to be my company and traveling "home base" should I feel over my head.  Last night I turned my visualization into action and stepped out with a cheer leading squad of a husband and two completely distracted dogs to try something I never thought I'd do willingly.

I made it past the first house, then the second and then the third and kept going.  I made it down the block, around the bulb of the cul de sac and back across the street before stopping because my calves felt like they were going to snap in two.  Lately my calves have always stopped me well before my elevated heart rate and exercise induced asthma do.  I limped along with Clif for another block and a half then forced myself to slowly, steadily jog my way half a block back to our house.  I spent far more time jogging during our brief outing than I had expected I would be able to and I'm ready to try again.  Just don't tell my calves, I think they're ready to riot...

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