Monday, March 25, 2013

Plodding along

A couple of weeks ago I had posted on the Weight Watchers message boards about feeling quite overwhelmed by the running program. If I felt like I couldn't run for 90 seconds without dying, how would I ever run for 30 minutes straight? Or run five kilometres? It seemed to me an insurmountable challenge.

I have amazing family and friends who are runners. One of my Aunts ran the New York Marathon to celebrate her 50th birthday! But I don't really know anyone who is quite overweight and runs. I felt like maybe I was being foolish, thinking that I could really be a runner and be overweight. Maybe I should stick to walking until I've lost 30 lbs, I thought. I can't really do this.

But I got some tremendous advice, from other women who, like me, started running while overweight. A lot of them started when they were nearly the same weight that I am now. And that was encouraging. (I like a benchmark!)

Poster after poster reminded me that I can do it. It's a mental obstacle, more than a physical one... but when it is a physical one, maybe I should consider changing my pace.

I wasn't sprinting, by any means. The speed I'd set the treadmill at was probably a leisurely, comfortable pace for most runners.

But I had forgotten that I'm not most runners. I'm a beginner.

So I slowed down. And it feels less impossible now.

I took almost two weeks off due to travel and another stupid illness, but I hopped back on the treadmill today. I'm still sick, but I'm tired of feeling sick and hopeless and sad about something that is within my power to change. I decided that I'd go slow, and if it got too hard (you should picture me with some kind of snot-bucket strapped to my face) and I couldn't breathe, that I would just walk.

I slowed down, and I did the whole workout, and I know I can do it again. I believe in myself. And I didn't before.

So thanks, Ladies of the ww message boards. This tortoise thanks you for your stellar advice. I might not win the race, but at least I'll be in it.

3 comments:

Carolyn said...

Who believes in Megan?
Carolyn believes in Megan

Deb said...

Megan, it's good to see you back! I'm late commenting, but for the record, I started running when I was about 230 pounds. I did my first 5k when I was about 220.

You do need to adjust your pace, and when I was doing the C25K, I honestly ran as slowly as I could and still call it a run. If you can get outside, I'd suggest it. Then you can just run and not feel like you have to go a certain speed. Also, keep in mind that many treadmills are not adjusted correctly. I have a footpod that has been callibrated on a track, and my footpod tells me I'm running a half mile per hour faster then my treadmill does.

Every time the C25K increased the run, I was terrified. I honestly didn't know if I could do it. I went in with the attitude that I would be able to do it. If I wasn't successful the first time, I'd be able to do it the next. It's largely in the head. Realizing that you can push through.

When I was a new runner, I remember a friend telling me that I'd reach the point where I could just slow down my run to take a break. I almost laughed at her. From my perspective, it wasn't possible to slow down what I was doing and still call it a run. I can now though. You'll get there too.

I can't wait to see you progress through this. :)

Meg said...

Hi Deb! Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate it!