I should have known I’d pay for being so smug.
About a year ago, early in my get-fit efforts, I visited an old friend in Moncton, who I see rarely. Noticing my weight loss, he asked my for my “secret.” My response was glib: “Oh, I just move more and eat less.” It was true, as far as it went, but I made it sound pretty easy. And at the time, it was easy. The pounds were falling off me and my physical fitness was improving daily. I had started from a position of nowhere-to-go-but-up, and was enjoying the transformation.
As I’ve discovered this winter, it isn’t always that easy. Recently, I joined Team Myles, a group of new runners training to run the 5K or 10K at the Blue Nose Marathon. When I got the invitation, it seemed like a godsend. I decided a while ago that I wanted to run one of the Blue Nose events this year (probably the 5K, maybe the 10K), but my training had stalled. I have almost no running experience, and wasn’t really sure how to get started. And I’ve had a lingering muscle strain that’s forced me to take some time off. And motivating myself to run when it’s -20 out appears impossible. And I’ve had some personal commitments that have taken up a lot of time. Fearing I couldn’t get in running shape by May, I considered backing out. I hated the idea of quitting before I really started, but I was discouraged and demotivated.
I couldn’t bring myself to just bail out, though, so I decided to give Team Myles a try… after a few more weeks of procrastinating. This weekend, I finally exhausted my supply of excuses. My muscle strain has healed. The weather was fine. My schedule was clear for Saturday. So, with little enthusiasm (as I say, running is intimidating when you don’t do it), I joined Team Myles for a run at Point Pleasant Park. “We’ll see how it goes,” was my frame of mind. I expected an ordeal. It was a run of about 20 minutes, led by a trainer, in intervals of four minutes, broken up with one minute of walking. The first interval was… OK.
I was in the groove. I wasn’t at the back of the pack (I know it’s not a competition, but still, I wasn’t losing) and was pleasantly surprised by my pace. But I kept waiting for it to get embarrassingly hard—to suddenly run out of wind, or pull up with a charley horse, or just fall down.
But it never got harder. The run was a challenge, but one I was equal to. I handled the distance, I wasn’t too gassed at the end, and I was proud of my performance. Over the last year, I’ve done a lot of team training at GoodLife, so I’m sure I have that intense cardio exercise (and the relentless motivation of coach Jon Ells) to thank for my success. I’m now looking forward to Blue Nose weekend, instead of dreading it, and find myself eager for my next run. I even did a 4km on my own yesterday—I’m sure that’s not much for an experienced runner, but it feels good to me.
What a difference a couple good runs can make…
Are you running a Blue Nose event this year? How are you preparing? What’s your advice for a new runner?