A few months ago I snagged a book from my mom circa 1978 entitled “Jog, Run, Race“. Not only is it a nice guide for a beginning runner, it’s entertaining to boot. The book got my mom into running, a sport she’s been practicing regularly for nearly 30 years. She says she couldn’t even run around the block when she started, which gave me hope.
The first lesson in the book is “Run, Don’t Read”. The author advises not to think about it too much or go out and buy a bunch of fancy running gear (apparently new running shoes would only cost you around $45 in the 70’s), but rather just get out and run. So I did.
I started with a 2 minute walk to warm up and then started jogging. I had gone maybe 3 blocks when I really started feeling like I was going to die. My whole body was aching, my lungs were burning and I was feeling slightly sick to my stomach. Six blocks in I had to take a walking break just so I wouldn’t collapse.
I continued this pattern (walk, jog, feel totally sick, repeat) for about 2 miles. The entire time all I could think was if I was being chased by a tiger or something and had to run for my life, I would be totally screwed. That line of thinking might have had something to do with my recent obsession with the Hunger Games trilogy, but you never know when you might have to outrun a wild animal.
After my run I went back to the book for the next lesson, “Look Back”, in which the author basically validated my experience. The first run will suck and the more it sucks the more you’ll learn from it. Mission accomplished.
So what did I learn? 1) I’m horribly out of shape. This was upsetting and motivating at the same time. 2) A training plan would probably be a good idea, preferably one with a lot of walking to start. 3) Slow and steady doesn’t puke. I know I have a long road ahead of me, but I think I’m ready to start.