When I was younger, back in the days when I was still elastic enough to recover from bangs, bumps, and skids, I played softball. I wasn't all that great so it only lasted until 8th grade. I could hit the ball a long way and I had to. I could also catch pretty well and throw pretty well because I had to. I had to hit long distances because I ran at the speed of a turtle moving uphill through quicksand. I caught things well because if I had to chase them down, I would be chasing for a long, long time because I run like a snail climbing the Empire State Building.
As an adult, I don't run. If you go hiking in the woods, you need to take me along. I will be excellent bear fodder if it comes down to that. There will be shaking, jiggling, cracking, gasping, panting, and generally painful appearing movement. And it will look like it's all taking place in a single spot, sort of like I imagine what it might look like if Jabba the Hutt tried a jumping jack.
You get the picture. I have determined that I must eliminate all blogs, all tweetage, and discard my dearly beloved iPhone because I have been doing dangerous reading which led to irresponsible downloading of Couch25K...a 9-week program for beginners which alternates between walking and running (on purpose!) to build up to 30 minutes of continuous running. I believe the idea would be to run approximately 5K in 30 minutes. That's around 3 miles in 30 minutes of continuous running. It's seductive: a program where I get to check things off, accomplish things (if it doesn't kill me first) for a finite period of time (even if my period of time is going to be a lot longer than prescribed because there's no way 9 weeks is enough time). Why running? Who knows...I'm no runner. It just seems like it's impossible for me to do.
Week 1, Day 1 starts with 9 runs of 1 minute each broken up by 90 seconds of walking. How do I know?
I did it last night. Yes, really.
Before you check me for ability by setting rabid Rottweilers after me, I was moving at a pace that probably turned back the hands of time if running very slowly can do that. I did about a mile and half in 30 minutes which means I'll have to run twice as fast for the entire time to meet the 5K goal. I don't think that's going to happen, but I looked it up and the ability to run a 5K in 60 minutes exists on the internets so it's not unheard of. Probably it's always laughed at but it's not unheard of. Sure, I used to be able to walk faster than that. Maybe I will be again someday (but don't ask me how the program is going because I'm going to give up on this too because that's the one consistent thing in my life: physical unfitness).
How it works: you load up the music you want to listen to and as it plays, a voice comes on to say "Walk" or "Run" at the right intervals. And this male voice says "Run" in a disinterested, completely unconcerned manner as if he really means "You know, if you really want to and it's not too much trouble, you might want to think about picking up your pace now or soon but really only if you want to."
I think this would be much more helpful if this man actually shouted "RUN! Run as if your life depended on it. Run because the snapping hounds of hell are behind you and before you is the finish line where Nathan Fillion is holding three dozen roses, a Route 44 Diet Coke, a pepperoni pizza, and a million dollar check with your name on it (because in this dream world Nathan Fillion is an excellent juggler) and if you just cross that line these hounds of hell turn into Golden Retriever puppies! Rrruuuuuuuunnnnn!!!"
He doesn't say it like that, though. Would someone please take away my iPhone? Remember the first treadmill episode or the walking in the neighborhood or the Wii Fit or the Yoga or...this will be like that.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.