This afternoon I had another one of my famous ideas that seem great at the time.
“I’m going to go running!”
I had a great time during my US visit, but one can only spend so much time in a country which prides itself on pizza buffets and Doritos tacos before it starts to take a toll. My flat is across the street from one of London’s best parks, so it seemed like a no-brainer: “I’ll go for a run!”
I started pumping myself up — picking out some good running clothes, making a running mix on my iPod, and mapping a route on Regent’s Park’s handy running website. The site assured me that running is fun and good for me! I was tempted to try an intermediate route — 2.76 miles is not that long at all! — but decided I should try the beginner 1-mile route, just to ease myself in. After all, I just spent two months eating Mexican food and birthday cake ice cream and I haven’t gone for a run in years. Why has it been so long since I went running, I wondered — it seems so easy and it’s free!
The minute I picked up my speed from a walk to a jog I immediately remembered why I haven’t been running — I am really, really bad at it.
I may look like a relatively thin and fit girl on the outside, but I have an inner 300-lb. fat guy who smokes who comes out when I run. Two minutes in and I was dying, huffing and puffing like I had just run up 10 flights of stairs. In reality I had run 1/10 mile on a flat surface.
“There are people who do this everyday?” I wondered, as I slowed to a brisk walk. “There are people who can’t function unless they get their run in? How?!”
I was very thankful I had chosen the beginner’s short course, because I couldn’t even finish that, I walked about half of it. I also remembered another reason why I don’t run — I have sports-induced asthma. I realized this when I used to frequent the treadmill at my college gym. I told my allergist/asthma doctor about it and he gave me an inhaler to use before running. That was five years ago. I should have asked for another when I was at my $177 doctor’s appointment, but I guess I had visions of cake balls and candy dancing in my head, running was the last thing on my mind.
I finally made it back to the flat, breathing like someone who weighs three times as much as I do and ran three times as far. Shouldn’t I be feeling some endorphin rush? Does that come after the “I want to die” feeling? Is this “I want to die” feeling because of my sports asthma or because I’m a running n00b and will it ever go away? Is running something you need to do for a while before it becomes enjoyable? Or is it like childbirth, where the end result is so good you forget how crappy the process leading up to it is?
I guess the only thing I can do is give it another go soon, with the hope that I forget just how bad it was …or just stick to my exercise videos.
PS–I found this image while Googling. Happy 4th of July!