Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Five Things I've Learned While Training for a 5K

5. Running takes a lot of time. Especially if you are slow.

This is something I know something -- actually a great deal -- about. I am VERY slow.

How slow?

So slow that there is, as of yet, no font size sufficiently small to allow me to type for publication just exactly how long it takes me to run a given distance.

So slow that when walkers pass me -- and they DO pass me -- I know they are thinking "why does she bother?"

So slow that "race" may be a bit of a misnomer for the 3.1 miles I'm going to run on June 28 with a whole bunch of other people.

This tremendous amount of time that it takes me to run is time that I have not been blogging (or washing, or drying, or folding ...) At least you know I've been busy.

4. Running makes you hungry.

This would seem somewhat counterproductive. After all, when my great whites and I decided to start rolling out of bed an hour early four days a week, it was not so that they could get bigger. That, however, seems to be what is happening. By 10:30 each morning, I am starving. I eat lunch before noon and then want another lunch before dinner. Cookies are not safe in my presence. And in addition to mommy blogs and The Huffington Post and blogs about how to run faster, now I have to read food blogs to figure out what I'm going to eat tomorrow.

As I said, running takes a lot of time.

3. Like most things, new clothes make it better.

The coach of my Couch to 5K program insists it's better to run in fancy synthetic tops, shorts, and socks that don't absorb sweat like the wicked and evil cotton t-shirt. I wanted not to believe this, but he was right.

The more expensive clothes keep you cooler. When you're cooler, you feel better as you run. When you feel better, you run faster. I don't, but you would. In the meantime, though, I know I look cute.

And there's another benefit. Don't ask me how I know this, but if your thighs rub together in the middle of the summer, they start to sweat and stick together. This leads (I am told) to chafing. It's also hard to get a good long stride when your thighs are glued together. This means there is at least one situation in life when Bike Shorts Are Our Friend.

2. Women runners sweat as much as men.

I've have smelled scents emanating from me after a run that I honestly didn't know female bodies could generate.

1. It is possible to have fun while you're miserable.

I do not enjoy the beginning of my runs. I don't care much for the middle, either, and by the time I get near the end, I'm counting the seconds until I'm done. And yet when it's over, and I've covered a distance I've never run before -- like yesterday, when I RAN 3.1 MILES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 48 1/2 YEARS -- I feel absolutely amazing.

Cue the theme from Rocky.


MommyTime said...

HOORAY for you! Congratulations. I remember when I was studying for my prelims and running every other day to stay sane, and I set as my goal a five mile run (feel free to flinch and somewhat dislike Younger Me; I do; that was more than 10 years ago; I couldn't run that far now without serious training). I felt over the moon when I accomplished it. And then I wanted to do it again and again and again. I'm so glad you are having such success!

kch said...

Congratulations! That is a wonderful accomplishment. Soon, you may even start to like the beginning and the middle of your run as much as the finishing part.

Jennifer H said...

I am so impressed. 3.1 miles is fantastic!

And, trust me, walkers would pass me, too. And my thighs would rub together (I've always had a fondness for bike shorts and Spanx-like garments for that reason).

I need the learn how to have fun while I'm miserable, exercising. You inspire me!

Janie said...

I'm super impressed! That is awesome. Carry on!