Wednesday, April 05, 2006

And I ran...I ran so far away.

As part of my quest to get fit, I have been trying to convince myself for months to start running again. Last year I got myself in shape to run the Shamrock Shuffle, which is a 5 mile run that took place in the beginning of April. In the year that has passed since then, I have only run a handful of times. I really wanted to run it again this year, but for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is my own laziness), it didn't happen.

Sometime during the day yesterday, I convinced myself that I was going to run when I got home from work. The weather was perfect, and for once it wasn't raining. I managed not to snack incessantly at work, so I had the necessary empty stomach. But I worked kind of late. It must have been about 8:50 when I walked out the door. My motivation was waning. Thanks to an upbeat shuffle on the pod, I started getting some motivation back as I approached home. I pulled in the driveway at 9:12, which is my lucky time (don't ask), so I decided that it was meant to be. I walked in the house to find that Chris was making dinner for us. I almost gave up, but I knew that it had to be done.

So, I got myself suited up, grabbed the ipod and headed out the door. Since this was my first run in a looooong time, I knew I had to take it easy. Start out with a brisk walk to warm myself up, then run for short intervals to get my body used to this exercise business, and not overdo it.

But the pod mocked me. The first song that came on was No Doubt's Just a Girl. And it made me want to run. So I did. Too fast and too hard. For the duration of the song. When the song ended, I commenced to walking; my body was pissed off at me. The feeling I was experiencing, I could only guess would feel like being stabbed repeatedly in the chest with a butcher knife. Next song on the shuffle? Lucky Star by Madonna. I took that to mean, thank your lucky stars that you didn't drop dead after that little incident where you decided to sprint for 3 and a half minutes after doing very little aerobic exercise for way too long. Duly noted, body. So for the next 3.5 minutes, I walked and tried to recover.

I decided that I would start running again at the beginning of the next song. Well, it just so happened that the next song was Steely Dan--Reeling in the Years. And it was the perfect pace for me. Now, don't get me wrong, I like Steely Dan as much as the next guy, but there's something kind of sad about realizing that a song whose beat provides a good running pace for you could very easily be made into elevator music. So, I run for 4.5 minutes, at a much better pace, thinking about how sad I am and that I really am reeling in the years, so to speak.

I'm thinking, sure, I might be out here running, but there are probably 70-year-olds out there who could put me to shame. So, I'm getting a little down on myself. The end of the song, which is my cue to stop running and walk for the duration of the next song, happened to coincide with me passing the Emergency Room sign at the nearby hospital. And I thought about how sad it would be if after 12 minutes of exercise, I needed to be hospitalized. I wondered when, exactly, I got to be so pathetic.

Appropriately, the next song the ipod cued up for me was Weezer--Say it Ain't So. I took that in the, "please let me not be as big of a loser as I currently feel like I am," sense. And I took those couple minutes to reflect. I managed to convince myself that everybody has to start somewhere. And I'm taking the first step by running rather than sitting on my ass in front of the computer or TV. Right? Right!

So, at this point, I'm getting pumped up to run again. The next song that comes on is Mighty Mighty Bosstones--Let's Face It. It was pretty much perfect for the moment--upbeat and fun, but not super fast. I aslo decided that the chorus provided a pretty good mantra for me (and my multiple personalities): Let's try to erase it, It's time that we face it, If we don't then who will, shame on us...(with "it" being excess weight and out-of-shapeness, rather than racism, as the song actually implies). So, that brought me most of the way home. Just as I was approaching my driveway, Fleetwood Mac--Go Your Own Way came on. Thanks, Lindsey, I think I will.

So, there you have it. I ran (poorly) and lived to tell the tale.

1 comment:

elisa said...

What an inspiration! Maybe after this baby comes out of me - I pray very very soon - I will run! Now you're making me want to steal my husband's ipod and fill it w/songs i like and make my own little exercise routine.

Good for your for actually getting out there and doing it!