Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To Run

To run, or not to run. Up until this point in my life, that has not been the question. Even during times when I was quite active and frequenting the gym four days a week, I was not a runner. Give me the elliptical machines or an aerobics class, but actually hitting my heels against pavement - never.

Recently I've caught myself watching runners, with their seemingly effortless sprints through the air, with longing. They make it look so uncomplicated, so enjoyable, so freeing. And so, in May I decided it was my turn to join in on the delight that is running and began training to run a 5k.

I started running just once a week. On my day off work, I dropped the boys off at the fitness center daycare and spent the next hour thumping around the track, red-faced, sweaty and heavily-breathing, anxiously gazing at the elliptical machine each time I passed it, wondering why I was putting myself through such torture. Running was not turning out to be as joyful as everyone else made it seem. However, I stuck with it, gradually improving my frequency, pace and stamina. The work has proven slow, very slow. I do not glide in long beautiful strides. Instead, each step is awkward and labored. And I am not fast. In fact, there is a 60 year old man who runs the track every afternoon, who I can not, for the life of me, keep up with. The training has been hard on my body. My legs cramp frequently, and my feet hurt. This evening I'm pretty sure I bruised my heel. (I have heard the impact is much less severe with running shoes; I am hoping to have to funds to purchase a pair soon.) Yet, sometime during the last few months, my obligation to follow through with my goal has turned into desire. I have found that I actually enjoy running! I like taking a break from the stresses of life. I like moving my body and feeling its strength. I feel a compulsion to go for a run whenever the chance presents itself. It seems I have finally experienced what makes those runners I watched look so energized and free - a runner's high.

I still have a ways to go until I am able to reach my goal of running a 5k. I'm not entirely sure when I will get to that point. In the mean time, I plan to enjoy the journey.

So as I pull my hair back into a pony tail, tie up the laces on my shoes and pop in the ear buds of my iPod, the question comes rushing back to me. To run, or not to run? I resoundly answer, to run!

9 comments:

Adrienne said...

You amaze me! I am in the HATE RUNNING group, but my mom loves it and it keeps her in such great shape! Keep it up.

Tiffany said...

Good for you!! One day you will pass that 60 year old man and it will the be hilight of your week!!! One day I hope to be in that so called "group" that love to run, but now it is still a question for me... "To run, or not to run?" Still deciding. Way to go Lera!

Haley said...

I've embraced running since my mission, and it's definitely true that it takes some doing to get into. I certainly am not an endurance runner and the most I ever attempt is a 5K, but it gives me something to work on - no matter how slow my 5K time is, I always have something to improve upon.

If you want a good starting 5K, one I've been running the last couple of years is the Wasatch Women Love Your Body 5K. It's all women of all levels of athleticity (is that a word?), and it's to raise money for eating disorders. If you want more info let me know.

Brian_n_Amy said...

Good for you! Hey if you ever want a running partner, let me know! I really hated running too until I actually started doing it. I love how it clears your mind and makes you feel so energized! Good luck!

Josh and Mary said...

That is so awesome Lera! I can't wait till i love it. haha You totally are so awesome!!!

*Marie* said...

Wow! That was motivating. Enjoy your run =)

Colb, Sar and Cici said...

Yay! Go you! That's great Lera, your awesome! I've had 80+ year old men and women pass me so don't feel too bad!!!

Lisa said...

Way to go Lera. Keep up the great work. I too was once a runner. It was so freeing. Enjoy it my friend and good luck with the 5K. You can do it.
Love the new blog look also.

The King's said...

Where's your sweat picture :) Just kidding. I really enjoyed running the other day. Maybe we'll have to do it together sometime.