Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Hate Running...I Think

Recently I've heard some interviews with Tim Van Orden, a raw runner.  He started running in his late thirties, as an experiment to see how well someone could perform on raw food. He does mountain running and tower runs (running up the stairs at places like the Sears Tower).  Now in his forties, he is winning races and beating guys half his age.  At forty, athletes are considered "washed up".  But raw athletes are showing tremendous success at "advanced" ages.

I found this really inspiring.  I thought about how fit I was back in basic training, and about what it was like to feel fit.  I remember the day I looked over my shoulder, and couldn't see my behind.  Cool!

Before I went in basic training, at 145 pounds, I couldn't run far without gasping for breath.  In fact, I'd never run for anything except to catch a bus! 

I hated running.

But this past Saturday night, remembering how it felt to get up in the dark and cold and go running at 5:30 am, singing cadence (it stunk, and I hated it, but I felt good about myself afterwards), it made me think I really should start walking.  "Just walking," I thought. "Maybe a little running once I'm skinny...but I really hate running, so I'll never want to run up a mountain or a tower like Tim.  Forget that!  But a walk sounds good."  So that night I started looking up cadences on iTunes, and listened to some.  Eventually I found a few sites that offered free cadence downloads (legally).  I was so motivated by them that if I'd had a reflective vest and a big flashlight, I would have gone walking right then, at midnight.  I started thinking maybe I should do some running, when I can.

The next day, I did some stretches, took my iPod (and a cell phone just in case I collapsed!) and went for a run.  Up a mountain road.  3.1 MILES round trip!! Wow!

I suppose it wasn't technically a run, because after less than a block, I realized I was going to kill myself if I started running UP a MOUNTAIN at my weight, without at least easing into it.  But I did run about 1/3 of the way down the hill, taking some walking breaks a few times.  I stopped when I felt I'd hit my limit.  You'd be surprised how hard even running downhill is at my weight.  I think I really overdid it, but I was so proud of myself!  I haven't been able to even walk more than two miles, even if I'm not tired, because my right foot always starts to hurt really bad.  I've had that problem for years, even before I got very heavy, and it's made trying to exercise extremely difficult.

But when I did my run/walk on Sunday, I didn't have any trouble with my feet at all!  Which was incredible, because the edge of the asphalt in many places was rounded down a bit towards the dirt runoff along the side of the road.  So my feet were sometimes at bad angles as I walked.  I was definitely sore the next day, but not even close to as sore as they should have been...would have been, if I wasn't eating green smoothies.  And I was still eating cooked food at that point.  I get stiff when I sit or lay down for too long, and my heels get really sore (they feel bruised...poor babies weren't meant to take a 246 lb. pounding), but after I walk around a bit, I'm fine.

I should mention I did this in 5 year old cheap Reeboks with the sole peeling away in places.  ;-)  It's all I had.  I'm buying new walking shoes today. I'm also buying a full album of U.S. Army cadences, because it was extremely motivating.  It made me really want to do better, and be able to really run.  Maybe even in a race.

Even though I hate running.

I think.

I'm confused.


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