You see, I've decided that I've got to get in shape, and hopefully lose some weight. But I love to eat, and so therefore I've got to exercise in order to support my eating habit. And for me, that means I've got to do it first thing in the morning. Any other time just will not work for me because I am much too good at justifying and making excuses for why I do not need to exercise today. And because I started working at our church's preschool, and I'm pretty sure even 2 year olds would not appreciate the stinkiness of my body after I run, I must get up in the middle of the night in order to exercise and shower before work.
So, I started this Couch to 5K running program. In all honesty, I started it back in May before we even moved. I am now on week 5. I think it's important to take things slow. It started off all innocent sounding and sweet - jog for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds. Yes, I like that. I liked it so much, I think I stayed on week 1 for about 3 weeks. And then I would stop for a few weeks and have to start all over again. So, you are supposed to be able to run 3 miles at the end of 9 weeks. Since I have never been able to run 3 miles my whole stinkin life, I don't think it will hurt me too badly if I end up taking 9 months instead of 9 weeks. I've never been one to push myself too hard anyway.
See, before Joey was born, I was running with my friend Virginia, and I lost a lot of weight and was in pretty good shape. And, Virginia, bless her heart, tried to get us on this program then. I told her she was absolutely nuts, that there was NO WAY I could run 3 miles, and I was perfectly happy with our little arrangement of running and walking for 45 minutes that we did - it was not too hard, and most importantly we could chat the whole time which was really my motivation for dragging my butt out of bed anyway. So, now that I no longer have the motivation of getting to talk with a real, live grown-up every morning, I figured I needed some other type of motivation - thus the couch to 5k program.
It is a very humbling thing to be dragging your large hiney around the track, thinking to yourself, just 5 minutes, just 5 minutes, you can do it, and you get passed by a grandma doing her morning walking. (okay, not really, but it feels like it sometimes!) And there will be people who are just running by, seemingly effortlessly, and I will try to motivate myself by telling myself that someday I will run like that - no more huffing and puffing and gasping for breath and counting the seconds. One day, I couldn't find any short socks to wear, and I was all embarrassed by my tall socks that I had to scrunch down, until I gave myself a reality check - come on, Alayna, do you really think anybody will even notice your socks when you are gasping for breath and they are worried that they may need to give you CPR? Nah, I don't think your socks are going to be noticed.
The other day there was this guy who was running with his dog, and running is really not the right term. Leaping may be a more appropriate word. Bounding like a gazelle. He ran on the grass, not the track, and the look of sheer joy on his face made me think of the look I get when I take a bite of warm brownie. I couldn't help but smile just watching him. And I saw him another day, as he effortlessly leaped past me, and he called out, "Good day, mate!" And I smiled again, picturing him running on the savannah with the kangaroos, so graceful was his leaping. I couldn't help but think that this was the way God intended for us to run - loving it, for sheer joy, not for drudgery on a track, but effortlessly bounding through the grass with a smile on our faces. Or... maybe he was made to run like that, and I was made to eat brownies like that? A definite possibility.