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.


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!