Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Twist and run

Some time ago I set a "fitness" goal for myself: I said I would start running. As in, running regularly and being able to run for one minute without stopping and, as we say in French, spitting my lungs out (classy I know).

This was a real challenge to me. I always hated running. Hated with a passion. Speed running for 100 meters, ok. Endurance running, not ok. I remember in high school dreading PE, even more so as our teacher was a female version of Sgt. Hartman. She would have us run for what seemed like ages, and every time I believed I was going to die.

Anyway, back to the now. Let's call this a twist of fate**, or some crazy thought from my twisted mind, but I figured that if I hated it so much years ago, why not give it a try now that I'm in much better shape than I was back then*? You know, just for fun (I have a strange idea of "fun"). And no, I don't run to lose weight I don't need to lose ;-)
Also, to give me an extra kick in the asana, I signed up for a race. A small one (5k), a real one, attainable, not too soon so I can train properly. What makes it even better is that this 5k is in December. DECEMBER, of all months, people. Which means I have to get used to running in the cold. Oh it's not cold yet, but it will come. It's Belgium, so it might as well rain. I have to be ready to face any kind of weather, so running outside it is. I'm ready to cancel my gym membership.

I started running about 3 weeks ago, and I have learned a couple of things (I'm a fast learner):
- Much to my surprise, I like it. No, wait, scratch that, I love it. I don't know how this happened, but I'm actually looking forward to my runs. I never ever thought I would say that, let alone write it for the whole world to contemplate;
- Stepping out of my comfort zone is not killing me;
- Running is moving meditation. I swear. I focus on my breath, and there I go, forgetting everything for 30 minutes and above all quieting my mind;
- It's a breathing exercise, first and foremost. My body is able to follow, my legs are strong enough to carry me where I want to go, but if I don't pay attention to my breath, I stop and die. Ok not literally but man do I feel it;
- Yoga asanas come in handy when it's time to stretch;
- I'm stronger than I thought I was.

Not bad after three weeks, eh?

What have YOU learned lately?

* confession: by "back then" I mean when I was 18 - 15 bloody years ago.
** one day I'll make a confession post, and I'll explain.


  1. Awesome! I know exactly how you feel...esp. because I am still trying to convince myself that I "look forward" to running. I look forward to working towards the next race (triathlon on Saturday), but I get frustrated that I'm still rather slow.

    Re. the running meditation. Exactly. I stopped listening to music last spring, and I haven't missed it. I figured I couldn't race with it, so I should get used to silence, but now I find the silence preferable. The beats might make me run faster, but I like letting my thoughts wander around...

    I'm glad it's going well (and your lungs are still whole)...

  2. I admire you - I still hate running. Just be sure you take care of your knees : )

  3. so awesome! It's funny because I've been running off & on for a while, and I usually DON'T love it. Only after I complete a run thats "gone well' (i.e. I didn't feel like dying by the end), or gone furthur or faster, than I'm like, wow this is awesome! But usually it doesn't happen lol. I keep at it though, one day there will be an "ah-ha" moment!!

  4. @ Brenda: I remember you writing about triathlon, being able to go through the whole thing sounds pretty awesome to me, I get proud when I run 5 whole minutes without stopping :-D

    @ Jamie: thanks! Knees: I didn't spend a lot on running clothes, but I did splurge a bit on good running shoes. My knees are the reason why I can't sit in hero pose without a block under my butt or why I can sit only in half lotus and not maintain full lotus, so i know it it a sensitive area for me :-)

    @ Callah: I think it comes when you run regularly, so keep it up girl! (oh and love the Ultima replenisher, thanks again!)