Thursday, June 03, 2010

Ready to Run


I've always hated running. That's an understatement of epic proportions. I've hated running, and everything to do with running. I've hated runners, not individually because I love a great deal of people who run, but collectively as a group, I've hated runners. I've poked fun at runners claiming that there is no such thing as a quiet runner-- they're always going on about how many miles they've clocked that day to anyone who will stand still long enough to be told etc.

To really understand why though, we'll have to go back a few years. Let's start with Ballet. In Ballet, I was taught to prance and float on my toes, and it wreaked havoc on my running abilities and self esteem. When I was a child, we were made to run a mile twice a year in PE, and for me at that time, Turkish prisons would have been more appealing. Later on in my teen years, I was told that I "have bad knees." These are the excuses I've used my entire life to get out of running. In fact I have always believed that my utter demise would come in the form of someone chasing after me with a weapon of some sort, because I wouldn't be able to run away.

A couple of odd things have happened lately though-- first of all, I have energy for the first time in years (I think this is directly related to the extra 60 lbs that I don't have to lug around anymore). I'm dancing around and twirling and racing my kids back and forth. I just find myself wanting to explode into some activity or another lately, and one such time was at my parents' house not long ago. We were all gathered around talking, but I had to get up and move and I suggested to myself to run. Run?! I don't run. Me wanting to run for any reason is crazy, but I couldn't shake it so I went downstairs and ran from one end of my parents' basement to the other two or three times as fast as I could. And... it felt amazing. I was flying. I felt untouchably fast. A few weeks later, while on a trip to Disneyland, it happened again. Jon asked me to check out the menu from a restaurant down the way across the park, and for some reason, I wanted to run-- fast. And so I did. I darted this way and that between people and strollers and kids and Disneyland characters, and it felt great. I smiled ear to ear, and I think everyone thought I was nuts or in a state of emergency.

After that, I kinda just couldn't get that feeling out of my head, and for the first time in my life, I thought: hey maybe I could be a runner... Maybe if I got the right kind of shoes... Maybe it would firm up that squishy mid section of my body... Maybe it would make me feel good... Maybe... Maybe I would actually like it...

The funny thing about running though, you can't just sleep around with it-- you have to commit to it up front by purchasing a very expensive pair of shoes that will save you from pain and injury. Once you do that though, the world is your oyster-- or more accurately-- your track. So I committed and went to the store where the local runners go to worship and I said my vows and became espoused to a brand new pair of running shoes. It was a humbling experience to say the least, I had to run in front of perfect strangers and admit that I knew nothing of the sport amid other seasoned runners who were throwing out words like "marathon" and "5K" and other foreign running vernacular. But the guy helping me was very kind and not at all condescending, and as I left, a woman wished me luck and just like that I felt like I had joined some sort of club.

I promise not to overdo it at first and I promise to stick with it no matter what, and you know, if I can do this, I think I can do just about anything.

15 comments:

Erin said...

I hate running too. Just have horrible endurance I think. But I am SO supportive of you. Keep us updated.

Esther said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! I'm sorry if I'm "one of those runners" who gabs on about miles and races and so on (I'll not say a word tomorrow -- unless you ask me :)). I'm glad you're running and going to run and everything!! Can you be ready to run the Freedom 5K? If you can, let's do it together! I'm excited for you, can you tell?

Natalie said...

ALI! I am sitting here sweating as I type. Because, you see, i just got home from running:) I don't want to brag about how many miles i just clocked because i don't want you to hate me. But i will say it was <1 and >3. So not too much to brag about, i know, but the whole time i was running i was saying (in time with my rhythmic breathing) "I am steady". By the time i finished i believed myself. And you will be steady too. It feels good. We should run a race together some time:). It would be fun to train "together" wouldn't it? yay for you!!! xo

ali said...

Esther, I knew you'd be excited :) And no, I will not be ready to run the Freedom 5K if by "freedom" it means anything near the fourth of July ;) But maybe the next one?

ali said...

Nat-- I'm so there. Just give me a couple of months ;)

JujuBean said...

Yeah! I'm with you on the running thing. There's something very different about running, that I just don't have right now. You're inspiring me to be brave and try it. Great job!

Jill said...

This is awesome! Keep us posted on the journey!

ty and megs said...

way to go! i SHOULD totally follow in your footsteps {no pun intended}. maybe your journey will inspire me!?

and again, you look fab!!

Jonathan said...

Can anyone slew hear the Chariot's Fire theme song playing in the backgroud when reading this legendary moment in our home?

Ps - Ali is not flabby around he middle......I would know. :)

Chocolates for Breakfast said...

you go girl! i actually tried it way back when along with tennis...i was dating a runner/tennis player ... obviously neither worked out!! but i am behind you all the way...just remember to smile when you run...you never see a happy runner, so SMILE!

Juli said...

Hooray for you!!! Oh what a wonderful place to be! Some day I aspire to have the desire to run, too =).

Have you read "Born to Run" by Christopher MacDougall? It's a really different and very thought-provoking take on running. You can read more about it and all the reviews on-line and I'll bring it to you on the boat if you're interested =).

Lisa L. said...

I loved running in college! Great stress reliever when I wanted to be away from the roommates. 5k's are pretty easy - you should go for the Freedom run. I ran it after only training for a month and it wasn't bad at all. I did walk a little, but the course wasn't bad. You'll feel great at your bbq later! :) I was never a hard core runner, clocking my miles etc. I just kept signing up for races with the goal of finishing them - that kept me motivated. Good luck!

ABlack said...

Ali, it was great to see you last week! Im so glad you are feeling as amazing as you look. I hope to some day call myself a runner, for now I am just a jogger/walker. =) Hope you are having a great time in Alaska, talk to you soon.

Villamor family said...

just found your blog through trainermomma.com (i think) and love the feeling of running too. can you tell me what shoes you bought? I need to be fitted for some good shoes so maybe my right foot will not go numb around mile 2!

and go ahead and sign up for a 5K...you will love it!

Mary Kate

ali said...

Mary Kate,

I'm thrilled to have you as a reader :)

The shoes I bought are Brooks something or other, but I'm not currently running in them, I've opted for a minimalist/barefoot running philosophy and am now running in some merrills that I had on hand....

Love it, it feels great. Good luck and let me know if you want more info!