I need to make something clear: I am not a runner.
I never have been. In high school, I jog-walked a 10-minute mile. In college, my workouts consisted of unpredictable trips to the gym to hang out on the elliptical and some dancing in musicals. I took up yoga last year, and I’m so happy I did, but I still don’t feel fit by any means. (P.S. I’ve actually never felt fit.)
My boyfriend has been running for about a month now, and I can see the change in him already. He’s losing weight. He has stronger arms. On the non-physical side, he’s calmer, happier, proud of himself. I saw that and I wanted it.
“Would you mind if I joined you sometime?” I asked.
“Sure!” he said. “But you’re going to have to put in some work.”
Behind our apartment is a reservoir that spans Brookline, Newton and Brighton. It’s 1.5 miles long, and runners are there basically 24/7. Boston is such a running city, and seeing all these people push their limits every day inspires me. I’ve been going out every day for 3 days now, and I haven’t ran across the entire loop yet, but I’ve seen improvement. My one goal is this:
Run at least 5 times a week. Push yourself past where you stopped before.
It helps having an accountability buddy, someone to help you put on your shoes and walk out the door. Tommy’s actually been doing double duty (running in the morning and at nights, with me), and he’s been a great motivator for me.
It also helps that the reservoir itself isn’t boring. That’s what I always hated about running: it was just so boring. How can people love smacking their feet against the ground for 30 minutes? I didn’t get it. Now, I do: It’s nice to be out there, with nature, returned to your base self and just running. When I turn my head, I see turtles popping their heads up out of the water, or dogs wagging their tails beside their owners, or a beautiful sunset over the “Hogwarts” tower of Boston College. I see calm, rippling waves on the reservoir, and it eases my heartbeat just a bit.
I’ve learned a few things so far from a few days of running: You need to watch your pace, focus on your breathing, and stop if anything is really hurting. On the first day I went out, my knee started hurting immediately, a sharp inward pain on the right, and soon I developed two cramps as well. I got about 1/3 of the way around the reservoir before I had to stop and walk it off. The next day, it was my inner thighs, for whatever reason, but there was no sharp pain, so I told myself I could keep going, and I did, this time at a smarter pace for my level. I’m going to run on the weekdays for 30 days, and see how I feel after the challenge is over.
I’m using Momentum to track my new habit and keep me accountable. I’m also going to keep doing yoga twice a week using my Yoga Studio app. I’m excited yet nervous. As I said, I’m not a “runner,” but I hope to be one by the end of this challenge, or at least to find some excitement in the activity.
What do you think? Do you run, and if so, why do you like it? Do you have any ideas to help keep me going?