Friday, April 25, 2014

 The running thing

I think we all have those things.  Things that we have an unspoken "I will never do that" kind of attitude about.

For me, one of those things has been running. For a while I was in a very demanding phase of life. Babies,
more babies - and all of the above. :) It's alot. I was in survival mode.

Didn't have time to run.

As I entered a still very busy but less demanding phase of life I exercised in other ways.

Didn't need to run.

And really - why? I mean if no one's chasing you…..

Could find no reason to run. 

But, you know what? There was this underlying real reason. There was a lie that I completely believed.

I can't.

Growing up, I played no sports. None. I have always been small, and have never been athletic. Like, at all.

So as different people would talk about running, and I would see multiple facebook posts about running, I would say "humph. Good for them" and walk away. I truly respected people who would run to stay fit and get stronger. But I couldn't do it. I wasn't strong enough.

There's a thread of "I can't" that runs deep through my life story. There's been a knee jerk reaction of "pain is bad". When something gets hard, I have a history of quitting.

That's ugly and I don't want to write it here. It's truth though. And I grieve the times I have let fear drive me like that. I regret the times I have quit and the times I have underestimated my abilities. I believe those have been times that I have had a marked lack of trust. I have doubted my Creator and His power in me. That's not cool.

Running. Not a big deal. Not earth shattering. I have tried to not be super annoying in talking about running, since I started last September. But for me, right now - it's kind of a big deal because it is so not about my feet hitting the pavement.

It's not about exercise.

It's not about losing weight.

It's about discipline,

It's about "I can",

It's about intimacy with my Creator,

It's about pain making me stronger,

It's about pressing on towards a goal,

It's about picking myself back up when I don't do well, and going out there again,

It's about seeing growth, and not comparisons.

That's why this has been a thing for me.

Last September was really the first time I had ever even attempted to run. I am not stretching the truth at all when I say that running for 30 seconds was a challenge for me. I thought there was something wrong with me, and the voice in my head was never so loud,


I started following a couch to 5k program. I started with intervals. 30 seconds of running, 90 of walking. There were some variances on the intervals as I continued doing the C25k program. I invested in the good shoes. They made a big difference.

And then I started having knee pain…

Not having much experience with running, I was nervous about what may be going on with my knee. It was really aching after every run. I iced it, but I started wondering if I needed to stop. I backed off a bit on intensity, but kept going.

And then November happened…

I don't have a tread mill. I run on country roads. And then Dec - Feb happened. Oh my goodness, people! Snow like crazy. It was not only difficult, but it wasn't safe to run on the roads with huge walls of snow on either side.

While all of that happened, I committed in my heart that as soon as the snow melted, I would be back at it. I didn't want to. I still flirted with the "I can't" mentality. I wasn't even sure if I could fulfill that commitment…. The quitter still tried to win.

On April 5th I looked out the window and saw open roads with no snow on them. I knew I had to do it.

The last time I had run - back in November, I ran somewhere in the 2 mile range. Still intervals. Still more walking than running. I had done up to 2.5 miles, but when I was running on our road anything beyond  2.5 was up a very large hill and, you know, I couldn't do it. ;)

I laced up my shoes, pushed play on my running playlist, and hit the road. For the first time ever, I did three miles that day. I didn't stop at the base of the hill. It was hard. I still did a ton of walking. I kind of died when I got home, but 3 was a big deal for me. I was super sore the next day, but it was a good sore. My knee didn't hurt at all.

I play mind games when I am out there, because I learned very quickly that this running thing is far more mental than physical. :) Crazy. I feel like my legs can't go any further - but I tell myself I can go just a little bit more

I have these little landmarks that I push myself to.

Just to that next tree

To that shadow over there

And sometimes when I hit that landmark - I have a little bit left in me and can press further. Sometimes it's just not happenin'. But recognizing my own growth is huge.

One week after my first run of 2014 I decided I was going to push harder, and instead of following my c25k program, listening to my app,  I was going to listen to my body and try to run a mile. I ran one and a half before walking.

Two days later, I ran 3. Since April 5th I have run 24 miles. I am consistently running 3 miles, 3 days per week.

Comparison has been a big ol' ugly temptation. I have this joke that I wish I was surrounded by couch potatoes instead of marathon runners. ;) Seriously, one girl should NOT be surrounded by so many marathon runners….

5k runners would be fine. Maybe even half marathoners. But the BIG one? Please. 

{But of course that is rooted in pride} Blehhh…

I'm slow. Realllly slow right now. But when I'm discouraged about my 12 minute mile, I stop and think, "dude, you are measuring your run in miles. Forget about minutes. You are RUNNING MILES!"

And this really neat thing is happening in other areas of my life.
When I am exhausted after a long day, and I just don't have it in me to get one of the boys a drink, or patiently explain the homework, or put that last load of laundry away, I reflect on the last time I did something I didn't want to do. Usually that last time I did something I didn't want to? -Earlier that same day. Running. :) Pushing.

Somehow I ran when I didn't fell like it. Somehow when I hit the wall at mile 1.5, I gritted my teeth and ran the last 1.5 instead of walking it.

So I slowly get up,
fill the water cup,
sit at the table next to the homework,
take a deep breath and form a kind response instead of allowing my flesh to react.

 I know I can. My mind and body are equipped, were created, to learn, grow, and build.

1 comment:

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Wendi, you are an amazing woman, a super mom and one who knows her mind and body. You inspire me to do better; thanks.