For the first time ever, I woke up before my alarm (which was set for 5:06!). It was amazing to wake up on my own, and it wasn’t like most mornings when my alarm goes off and it feels like I have sand in my eyes and so I think there is no way I can possibly keep them open. I took that as a sign that running was meant to be.
I packed my bag the night before and slept in my work-out clothes so there would be no excuses. Once I got to the college and drove in a circle a time or two before accidentally driving down the road that lead straight to the track, I was thinking it was still incredibly dark for 6:00 in the morning. The sun wouldn’t rise for another half hour.
The darkness wasn’t my only problem. It was COLD (29 degrees!) My ears and face were numb within seconds.
Well that’s not a problem, I thought, I’ll be running soon and I’ll get warmed up!
False. Kind of.
My first day of Couch to 5K involved alternating between a brisk walk for 1:30 and jogging for 1:00. So while I was active and trying hard, I was still freezing.
I probably looked like an idiot. I kept my big parka jacket on. My I-pod earbuds fell out the second I started jogging. I forgot about my Spi-belt so it stayed in my pocket. My keys are still on a lanyard and I just tossed them around my neck so when I did get jogging, I sounded like Christmas.
I had my hands in my pocket the whole time. Bad form, I know. The whole workout I was cursing myself for not having brought my gloves and something to cover my ears. It.was.so.cold.
No one was on the track which was a relief as I definitely looked like a moron; running in my big coat, with my phone out, keys jangling around my neck and hands shoved in my pockets. It was also alarming since it was still dark out and the track is semi-isolated on this huge campus so I was nervous I’d get dismembered or something (I watch too many crime shows).
You probably predicted this was coming, after about 5 minutes, I started debating leaving. I sat down on the bleachers feeling cold, red-faced and tired.
My thought stream went something like this: “It’s way too cold. I’ll get sick.” “I can’t start to run if I’m not fully prepared. I need gloves!” and “Am I really ready to do this anyway? I’m already kind of exhausted. I’m not ready. Maybe I can’t do this.”
Then I came to a realization: I was doing exactly what I had predicted I’d be doing. Letting myself feel defeated before I even (really) got started. Trying to weasel my way out of it.
I decided I needed to severely alter my mental state if I was going to do this. So I focused on four things:
1) It was way past time that I do this. It was way past time that I literally take the first steps to shedding the extra 15-20 pounds my body’s been lugging around for years. It was way past time that I do something about the fact that for years, I have not been happy about how my clothes fit or my reflection in the mirrors. I can complain about it until I’m blue in the face, but what does that accomplish? Nothing. If I finish this work-out on the track, it’s accomplishing something.
2) Every runner out there had to begin somewhere, too.
3) I really had no choice. I paid $35 already and have to show up at a starting line in two months and complete a 5K. (Thank God I signed myself up for those two races before beginning running. Thank God)
4) My office wasn’t open for another half hour so if I stopped running now and gave up, I’d have nothing to do but sit in my car and wait for the building to open. So since I was here…..might as well run..
So, trying to focus on those four things, I made the resolve that I was here. I was going to start TODAY. Caution: cheesy alert ahead. These exact Rascal Flatts lyrics popped into my head.
On your knees you look up
Decide you’ve had enough
You get mad, you get strong
Wipe your hands, shake it off
Then you stand, then you stand
Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place
So, I stood (back) up. It wasn’t an amazing work-out. Occasionally I’d stop jogging and start walking 5-10 seconds sooner than I should have. But once my Couch to 5k app instructor told me to start the “cool down” (walk), I got all kinds of excited. I’d done it! I’d started to run! I wasn’t dead! My legs kind of ached and it feels good even though I am frozen! I can’t believe I actually went through with it and finished!
I feel so victorious. Although it sucked in the moment because I was cold, I’m in such a good mood today and am so proud.
Of course now that i’ve started and am trying to get into a routine…Baltimore’s expected to get anywhere from 1-14 inches of snow this week. Ugh.
Here’s to Day 2, Day 3, and starting down a new healthier track.
(edited 3/8 to link up with Jill)