An Ode to Running
Running through the rain
Beating myself at this game
One step at a time
In December, I took up jogging, an act I had always failed at miserably. As a kid, I had horrible asthma which left me hospitalized for a week when I was nine-years-old. My attacks were triggered by physical activity, cold air, and seasonal allergies. Even laughing set me to wheezing.
As I got older, some of my symptoms lessened, and I found myself using my inhaler less and less. Today, I usually use it at night before bed when lying down makes chest tight. However, my endurance has always been lacking. Hiking up hills, I would hack and struggle to get my breath like a pack-a-day smoker. Swimming makes me feel like my lungs are being squeezed by a vice, and the simple act of standing in the shallow end makes me short of breath. So why take up running? Surely this must be a personal hell?
Running is my Great White Whale. I have always envied people who could just get up and run or jog for an extended period of time. In the past, I have tried running, but couldn’t make it around the block, and eventually gave up with my tail between my legs. Then I heard about an app that could train one to run a 5K.
Yes. Train. My whole life, I have been surrounded by naturally athletic people. Training to do something that seemed so innate to humanity had never occurred to me.
My naivety abounds.
So I downloaded the Couch to 5K (C25K) app and started jogging. At first for only 30 seconds with 90-second walk breaks in between. Wash. Rinse. Repeat for 20 minutes. I did this three times a week until I was running for 90 seconds with a 1-minute walk break. Then 5 minutes. Then 10. Truth be told, I balked at the 10-minute mark. I thought, there’s no way I can do it, so I stuck with 8 minutes for several weeks instead, afraid of failing. Then A friend told me not being able to run for 10 minutes wasn’t failing. As long as I got out and tried, I was winning. So I ran.
I still haven’t made it to 5K, but I can jog easily for 30 minutes with no breaks. Some days are harder than others. Somedays, I do need to stop and walk for a bit, but I figure I’m way better off having to walk for a minute than to have never gotten my ass up off the couch.