Sunday, August 15, 2010

C25K: Day One (Sort of)

This weekend I started the Couch25K program. But I didn't start at Week One.

I've been doing the Week One intervals (1 minute running, 90 seconds walking) for weeks now. I've done that workout dozens of times, but I've never been confident enough to do Week Two. I don't know what my mental block was - fear of commitment to the program? Fear of pain, or being uncomfortable? Shame? Knowing that if I actually graduated past the first three workouts, I might actually have to admit to myself that this is something I want to do, even if I might not succeed at it immediately?

For whatever reason, I'd never graduated to Week Two. But now I have. I jumped right in, Gary on the treadmill beside me, doing 90 second running and 2 minute walking intervals. And it felt fantastic.

The night before, I had a dream that was really upsetting. I was back in school, and all of the kids in my class were making fun of me. The kids older than me were making fun of me, too. Then I was my current age, and they were still mocking me. Joking, teasing, taunting.

While I don't actually recall a lot of the teasing and taunting I experienced as a kid, I definitely was drawing on memory. Memory of how I felt as a pre-teen. What I thought the other kids were thinking and saying about me when I wasn't there.

When I woke up, I realized that I don't hate running. I hate feeling like I did when I was a chubby twelve year old: being last. Being slower than everyone else. Being different, and not keeping up, or fitting in. Letting my team down, or knowing that I'd be sitting on the bench.

I couldn't run as fast as the other kids, so I gave up, and for over a decade now I've been beating myself up about it. As a self-preservation technique, I've held myself back from trying a lot of things because I desperately want to avoid feeling like the last kid picked in gym class. I stuck to shame-free activities that, if I did manage to embarrass myself, odds are everyone else was, too.

Holy Hannah, this running thing is a lot bigger than I thought.


Courtney said...

Awesome Job on graduating to week 2!!!! I have a hard time doing week 1, so I am hesitant to start #2, I should just go for it, take the plunge!
My sister has done this, and she assures me that it gets easier as you go, I hope for our sake she's right!!
Good luck on your next 6-7 weeks!!! :)
Happy Running!!!

Alice said...

Congrats on getting going on your running dream. I call myself a crazy running woman now and I know how hard it is to get over the fear of what others think. Don't ever let that stop you! I have gotten so many compliments from the trim and fit runners who see me run that I can't even count them all! Know that most people who run do it for love of running and/or health and they respect others who do it! Great job and you'll be at 5km in No time!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Meg. You continue to inspire me, and your insights are so thought-provoking.


Deb said...

I can really relate to this post. I always convinced myself that I didn't like sports or being active. In reality, I didn't like feeling like I wasn't as good as everyone else doing it. Therefore, I hid behind the mask of "not liking it".

Erin said...

Its like you are speaking for me!
I've lost ~85lbs and have only 17lbs to go to get to my goal and its probably the scariest time of my life. The future is a complete haze! I think I've missed out on a lot in life for the same reasons as you. Keep running :)

Meg said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Sometimes these more emotional posts are really hard to write :)