This morning's run was supposed to be a 5 minute walking warmup, 22 minutes running, and a 5 minutes walking cool down. Since I'm running a little behind my intended 9-week schedule because of time taken to travel, I thought I'd get a little ambitious and skip to the following workout and run 3 minutes more. I want to finish the app program by the end of October and then just keep running 3 miles until the 5K on Thanksgiving. Last week's runs were all really good, so I was sure I could do the 22+ .
I also told myself I wasn't going to look at the app. I was just going to run until I couldn't run any more. Things got off to a good start; I got to the end of the asphalt that's right around the 10 minute mark, maybe a little more than 10 minutes and I felt decent. Then I didn't. I started talking to myself earnestly. I persuaded myself to run to the corner and then to the next corner. Nah. Not that far. I'll just run to the corner. Well, maybe not that corner. Maybe to the tree. Yes. Stop at the tree.
Stop at the tree.
Look at the app.
15 minutes running time. Five minutes fewer than Santa Barbara.
Oh, dear. Walking fast, I headed for the fitness trail, an internal battle raging in my head. Clearly, I'm not making progress. Clearly. I'm three weeks from the end of this training program and I'm no where near comfortable running 3 miles. I'm not cut out for this. Clearly.
I continued to walk. The app chimed the end of the workout.
.63 miles walking. 1.19 miles running. 25 minutes.
I kept walking the trail. I've read a ridiculous number of running books. They seem to fall into two camps. In the first camp, there is gentle encouragement to walk/run/ waddle if necessary. It's all good. In the other camp, there is the keep pushing, hone your work ethic, reach your goal and set a new one philosophy.
My body is in the first camp.
My head, my heart, and my soul, and every male in my family is in the second. We eat the second philosophy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It seriously never occurred to me that I would commit to a 5K and walk a single step of it. I'm going to run the whole thing. Or not run at all.
Because I'm married to a man who has raised elite athletes and apparently it's rubbed off on me.
So, after the app disclosed the dismal results of the day, I decided I'm not going to sign up for the 5K.
Still, I kept walking. Because I love to be outside and I love to walk, too. (I think I might love to run, just not very far? I don't know. I can't even figure out why I stopped. I just stopped.)
I thought about all those really long walks last summer. I thought about the early runs, on this very same trail, where running a full minute seemed hard. I thought about Isabel.
You see, I told my kids about the 5K, and Kristin rallied a whole bunch of them. They said they wanted to run it with Kristin and me. Mary Beth, who has yet to even start training but is in great shape, told her friend, Isabel. And Isabel has already signed up. I haven't registered my kids yet, but if Isabel's already in, I pretty much have to register them.
I thought about how hard it would be to go and just cheer them on from the sidelines. This running thing?
It was supposed to be what I could do with them. It wasn't supposed to be from the sidelines.
I forced myself to look up. And there, was my familiar trail, looking all golden in the morning light.
Nearly eight weeks until Thanksgiving. These woods, this trail--they are going to light up in the next few weeks. I don't want to miss it. I want to be out there, anyway. Might as well keep trying to run it the whole way.
The app isn't going to work. Until now, I've trusted the app, but I spent the next half hour of my walk, thinking it through and holding it up to what I know about my body. By the time I got home, I wasn't going to quit. I was going to revise the plan. I texted my friend Nicole and ran the new plan by her. She assured me I had time to get to a place where I could run the whole way and she found a printed plan that looked very much like the one I'd devised for myself.
I'm still dubious. But in this house, we don't quit. And we don't walk.
So, Wednesday morning, it will be time to head out anew and work a brand-new plan.