I swear, running is my nemesis. I envy those people who are natural athletes. I have to work really hard for every gain, every skill that I have. For instance, I practiced my wicked awesome squash serve for at least 400 minutes before it got to be as awesome as it is today, and even now it’s not that consistent.
I have tried to be a runner at least five separate times. The first time was when i was training for the Grand Canyon hike I did in 2002. It seemed like it should be easy. After all, I was on the elliptical for an hour at a time, lifting weights, at my lowest weight as an adult. And yet, it wasn’t. I was a foot slapper, and instead of having gentle, soft foot falls I had giant, concrete smacking wallops. I swear, it sounded like I was wearing clown shoes.
Needless to say, i sucked at that so badly that I gave up that time. But, I’m a stubborn bastard, so I signed up for a clinic the next spring, to get to my goal of being a runner. The Running Room is an amazing resource here in Ottawa, which is a city with more runners per capita than any other I’ve ever been in. I went, I bought shoes, I started the clinic, and I made it to 4 minutes of running (which apparently is what I could do if I didn’t do the other two runs a week, outside the clinic, because I seemingly couldn’t make that happen), and I quit. My foot hurt a lot.
Fast forward two years to my getting a joint in my foot replaced. Yeah. That’s probably why my foot hurt.
Fast forward another three years until I would walk without a limp. That’s when I hiked a lot.
Fast forward to 2011, when I decided to do a triathlon. There was no running. I started on the treadmill, but that whole running thing kept getting in the way of my squash game, which was actually fun. So, yeah. I walked the run part of that triathlon. But I felt some shame, so that summer I tried another learn to run clinic, this time at BMI.
It didn’t work out so well. I kept getting dead foot, which is apparently because my calf muscles are too big for the tissue that surrounds them. (Note: there’s actually a surgery to cure this. Cause what I really want is a surgery. To be a runner. I think not.) I quit after week three.
Fast forward to 2013. Dammit, I will be a runner. It’s not going to happen on anyone else’s schedule. It’s clearly only going to happen on mine. Yeah, I have a triathlon in May and it’s possible I’ll be able to run that piddly 2km without stopping, even though I’ll already have swum and bike. But what’s more likely is that I’ll run for a few minutes, walk for a few minutes, run for a few, and repeat until I’m done.
Yesterday, I finally completed what is considered to be “week 1″ of the running room program. What’s that? One minute of running, 2 minutes of walking, repeated 7 times. It took me five weeks to be able to do this. Sometimes I’d mix it up and do just one walk minute, others 90 seconds. But yesterday, I actually did the full program, as instructed. Yeah, it sucked. Yeah, my foot hurts today. Yeah, I had some calf issues. But on the whole, it was do-able. Sweaty, but do-able.
It’s the small victories, people. It’s my body. It’s my schedule. It’s my willpower that’s going to get me from the transition zone through the run and back. It’s gotta be done my way.