Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I've always been an active person. I love to bike, take long hikes and I walk for a purpose or for pleasure at least once daily, usually more.

That said, I've never been one who "works out." The drama of a gym bothers me: the noise, the TVs, people strutting around in ridiculously expensive workout attire. To me it misses the point. Shouldn't exercising be about more than toning and shaping your body; shouldn't it also be about exercising and toning your mind? A rare chance to be alone with yourself and let yourself think the thoughts you're too busy to think at any other time?

Eschewing traditional gyms and resting on the idea that I have always been active I've sort of just always assured myself that I was in fine physical shape and needn't worry.

And then, last month, while in New York, I climbed Hadley. I was fine, and even climbed it in a reasonable amount of time. What I took issue with was just how I felt while climbing. I felt more winded than I felt I ought and during that climb I realized that something was going to have to change.

But what? Should I dash out and gather all the newest, trendiest workout gear, buy an iPod and start watching Orange County so I could fit in at the gym? No, besides disliking all the things about gyms that I've already mentioned, what I hate more the most is being inside. Exercise is about moving and, to me, there seems no better place to do that than outside in a vast expanse of space and fresh air.

Running? Running has always appealed to me; the movement and the solitude, but the idea scared me. In the past when I've tried running I'd be exhausted before a reasonable person would and I'd give up, dejected, figuring I'd never be able to do it as well as other people. As well as real runners.

Still though, I have decided to try. I'm going to start out with an easy running regimen and make reasonable, attainable goals for myself. My first goal is simply to make it through week one. And you, my lucky blog readers, get to read all about my trials and successes.

Why? Well, one thing that has always intimidated me about running is people who talk (or blog!) about running are already good. They're already running marathons and are totally in shape and never, ever talk about when they were starting out and felt like their lungs would explode after just a few blocks and when they just felt like they couldn't possibly run another inch well before reaching the half mile mark.

But I will. I'll tell you just how pathetic I am and, hopefully, how non-pathetic I become.


MOST with an attitude said...

Good Luck with this....I personally can't stand running. I believe running should only occur if I'm being chased by a mad individual or chasing a large Krispy Kreme donut and a Starbucks Mocha! (talk about health food)
I enjoy walking, as you do, OUTDOORS!! Biking is always fun too!! Just a thought.
Have fun :)

Anonymous said...

Okay, here are a few tips from "a former want-to-be runner", and now a "trying to be a jogger" again" (now that I finally had my foot surgery this year...). A mile is a mile is a mile, it doesn't matter how long it takes...it's still a mile and that is still a big accomplishment. Most importantly - you shouldn't feel like your lungs are falling out - punishment is not a necessary part of running. In fact, it's counterproductive. Run at a pace where you could carry on a coversation with someone. And you can always start with a combo...walk for a few minutes, run for a few minutes. It's not a sprint! The slower you run, the more you'll be able to enjoy the scenery and be able to think through your thoughts. And if Fiske were blogging right now, he would be touting the benefits of running slowly vs. fast...running fast is much worse on your joints and can cause much more injury....so just keep it slow and steady - Okay...one last tip...I DEFINITELY think you should get an iPod!!!! The new nano's are great! And they are the perfect size for running! - Holly

SuperMom said...

Sar, but you're so good about your walking regimine!

Thanks for the tips, Holly! I'll be interested in your expert opinions (didn't you run a few marathons!?) as I continue forward.

No, my goal this time around, and why a run/walk program appealed to me, was I don't want to ever feel like I just couldn't possibly run another inch. I know a lot of people love to run, and I want to get in shape enough to discover why-- but I know I need to do it slowly.

Liz said...

You can go to my blog and read about my chubby self trying to run because it is the excercise that can be done quickly and with no equipment (though my husband keeps coming up with stuff he "needs" to run). I just spend a lot of time laughing about it.

Set the bar low, real low. I actaully went out the door in workout clothes low. After all, aren't the kids their own workout?

terri said...

Next year. You 'n me. Chicago marathon.

...or not.

I do try to hate running, I so relate to Sarah's comment (LOL), but I keep remembering that I was in the best shape of my life when I was running.

I'm glad you're doing this, it will be inspirational. Now I just need to stop getting knocked up.

And one more thing... One reason I could be a runner is the Athleta catalog. Contradicts your "cute gym clothes" idea, but be sure to check it out.

Oh wait, another thing... Hope you and my marathon-er mom talk soon!