52 FEATS – NUMBER 17 (Running)

1 May

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

UPDATE – DAY 7 (Sunday):

Well, after my last update I had pretty much given up on running.  After listening to several people’s horror stories about joint pain, knee injuries, and surgery (!) due to running, I was ready to throw in the towel.  (I have a family member who works for an orthopedic surgeon.  Her advice about running:  Just DON’T do it.)

Tonight I was going to write my post saying that for the safety of my knees (yes, they really do hurt during and after a run) and my overall well-being, I am not going to pursue this Feat.  It’s out of my hands, right?

But then a facebook friend of mine posted a very intriguing link to something called the Joggermom Marathon, which starts today.  Before you think I’m a total glutton for punishment, let me explain.  This is a special kind of “marathon” in which you run the 26.2 miles over the course of a month.  You have to track your time, dates, and mileage on a spreadsheet, and provide photographic proof of your distance on some sort of electronic GPS device.  You have until the end of May to complete the “marathon.”  Then you’re entered into a drawing to win some sweet prizes.  Cool, huh?

While I still think running sucks – no, really SUCKS – I feel suddenly supercharged by this opportunity.  I can run a little bit at a time (doesn’t have to be a 5K all at once).  I’m sure I can cover 26.2 miles in a month’s time.  Should be no problem!

So even though this differs from my initial running objective, I’m feeling good about my new goal.  I’m glad I found out about this event before I gave up altogether.

Wish me (and my knees) good luck!!

UPDATE – DAY 4 (Thursday):

The important things I’ve learned so far, in the three grueling weeks I’ve started running:

1) I should not run right after eating.

2) Running hurts my knees.

3) Running when it’s really hot outside might be the worst kind of torture imaginable.

4) Pushing a jogging stroller with 80 pounds of kid in it is a thousand times harder than running alone, and it makes my back hurt.

5) Running 9 (non-consecutive) minutes doesn’t burn as many calories as I would hope, yet it makes me want to eat everything in sight.

There are quite a few really good reasons there for not even bothering to try running – am I right?  And yet, I press on, probably only to prove to myself that I can do it.  I don’t exactly feel like I’m in the club with the cool kids yet, but I am starting to feel like maybe they’re considering letting me apply.  And I guess for some reason I want to be in that club…so on I go!


Let me just start this Feat by saying that running sucks.  By that I mean it’s one of the worst and most horrible things a person can do – but for some crazy reason, I’m going to give it a try.

A couple months ago I was at the park with my kids, and they were running around like crazy, running and running, and…I just couldn’t keep up.  I know I’m getting older and not in the best shape, but there was more to it than that.  It was like I had just forgotten how.  That natural, fluid movement that comes so easily for humans has become foreign to my body.  I want to be able to run – even if just a little bit – to savor the joys of my children’s youth.

A few weeks ago, I started a program called C25K (Couch to 5K).  It’s a running program, an app on my iphone.  It gradually takes you from being a couch potato to being able to run a 5K.  The first week, I alternated running for one minute and walking for one minute, 9 times.  I was shocked that I actually ran for 9 minutes.  (OK, so they weren’t consecutive minutes, but still!  That’s probably 8 minutes and 45 seconds longer than I’ve run in years.)  The program increases your running time each week, eventually leading you up to 30 solid minutes of running, which is an average time for running a 5K.

I have to be honest, I am SO skeptical that I will be able to do this.  Yesterday I started Week 3 of the program.  I ran for 3 straight minutes, twice.  The second time I thought I would die.  I got mad.  I wanted to quit, I wanted to throw my phone into the street and walk home.  But I didn’t.  I stuck with it.

Will I be able to stick with the program and make it to a 5K?  I have no idea.  The program is 9 weeks long, though you don’t have to complete it in that length of time.  You can modify it to suit your needs and your schedule.  Perhaps I should find a 5K this summer and aim for that as a deadline?

Obviously, I won’t be able to complete this Feat in a week.  I’ll have to update this in the weeks to come to let everyone know the outcome.  If I get to the end of this thing and I’m actually able to run an entire 5K without stopping, I will be in shock – and pretty proud of myself.


2 Responses to “52 FEATS – NUMBER 17 (Running)”

  1. Lori April 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Wow, there is seriously an app for EVERYTHING these days, isn’t there! I think you should totally plan to run a 5K this summer. I know you can do it! You might as well, seeing as you’re training for one! Your body will thank you for accomplishing this feat!

    • Jen April 28, 2011 at 3:13 am #

      Ha, yes – that commercial slogan, “There’s an app for that” is totally true!

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