Vicious Cycle

running tweet 2

It’s been a minute since I’ve last blogged. When I started this blog, I envisioned updating it with success stories and lots of likes and, “you’re doing great!” feedback. I didn’t anticipate how vicious this would be. The scale is on a summer vacay it seems, so I’m spinning my wheels. Literally. God, the puns just come naturally to me.

I will say this, while the scale is holding firm at 39% approval rating, I do feel like I’m accomplishing something mentally with this running challenge I’ve put myself up to. It’s been 15 days. I’ve considered quitting at least four times. I have actually quit running three times, but given myself pep talks and forced myself to start over and get it done. Here is a realistic breakdown of the last two weeks.

  • Day 1: Decided to start this thing after spin class, which is very poor planning. Tired legs, but I pushed through.
  • Day 2: After work treadmill run, watched Parks & Recreation. Survived.
  • Day 3: Ran outside, felt very similar to Usain Bolt with my new found speed.
  • Day 4: Ran outside for longer distance and cut even more time off my first mile. Basically, I’m transforming into the fastest, best runner alive.
  • Day 5: Had the afternoon off and a long list of things to do, but pushed myself to go for a quick run. Continued my almost-Olympic qualifying pace.
  • Day 6: Wanting to switch it up. I came up with the idea of running around the backyard as a way to run a mile. If you run the entire length of our backyard, it is .8 miles (we have a really big yard). So Husband and I ran in a square and criss-cross for 14 minutes. It was not as fun as I had hoped, but the 4 year old loved it and yelled, “You’re winning!” almost the whole time, so that made it better.
  • Day 7: The day I finally broke. Battling the emotions and memories tied to my best friend’s death anniversary quickly approaching, my heart was nowhere close to being in it. I wanted to go on a “family run,” but we only have one jogging stroller. Without an immediate solution, I went upstairs to the treadmill and at .6 miles I stopped. I just couldn’t finish. I announced I was quitting and went downstairs to sulk. It wasn’t really about running, it was more about feeling defeated overall. So after some self pep-talking, I asked if, just for one day, we could do a family run with one jogging stroller and one umbrella stroller. Running with an umbrella stroller is hard and dumb, but it was our only option. Also, pushing a 40 lb. toddler is not the easiest thing I’ve done. But, I did it. I ran the damn mile.
  • Day 8: Treadmill running. Leslie Knope pushed me through.
  • Day 9: Husband and I went out for drinks the night before to celebrate our friend who passed. She was the one who introduced us, she was an integral part of our lives. Anywhoozle, I stayed up later than my geriatric soul is used to and was very, very tired the next day. So tired. And I gave Husband four solid reasons why the 9th day would be a perfect day to quit. He instead tried to inspire me with old cross country stories from high school, because as we all know, those are the most powerful stories told… I cursed his name and did it but was not happy about it. Until it was over and then I felt proud…and still a little annoyed.
  • Day 10: Global Running Day. Ran my fastest mile to date: 11:28. Husband was so proud he insisted I use the right lingo of my “PR.” Then he said by the time this challenge was over, I’d be running sub 10 min mile. That statement made me question his sanity.
  • Day 11: It was a day that was packed full, including a t-ball practice I was unaware of until about 2 hours before. So after work, then t-ball, then dinner, then a run to Old Navy, I went for a run at 9pm. No excuses, just ran.
  • Day 12: I struggled through a mid-day run at the YMCA. I was mesmerized by the woman on the machine in front of me who seemed to be sashaying. She even held one hand up as if she was in a pageant. I was completely drawn in to her runway performance. She and the folks in Pawnee, Indiana got me through. Very slowly.
  • Day 13: This was the worst day. We did our “family run” with our janky set up. My calves and shins were hurting from the beginning. It was a bad run out of the gate and miscommunication left me mad and walking at .6 miles (common time to get frustrated and give up apparently).  I stewed for the day, mad that I quit, wanting to blame it on someone else, knowing the blame was on me and having a “do you really want to quit this because of your own stubbornness?” internal conversation. Me and myself hashed it out and pulled it together. The whole family headed to the track at the local school. By this time it was 4:30 p.m., 90 degrees and windy.  But we ran and it went pretty fast.
  • Day 14: The day the shin splits came to visit. I acquired another jogging stroller so our neighbors can stop judging us, on that front at least and I limped through the mile. My muscles felt like they couldn’t give an inch, it was miserable.
  • Day 15: I snuck away for a lunchtime run at the Y. Shin splits still very much a problem, but I’m doing all the things the internet has informed me will heal them. You know what they say, the internet has all the answers and you should always trust it. I watched Orange is the New Black, which by the way is a little awkward when someone else jumps on the machine next to you.

And that’s where we are. September 5th seems like it is 400 years away. I think what has surprised me is 1. how something that really isn’t that physically challenging really can be a true challenge when your head isn’t in it. 2. how much stronger my heart is than my fear.

But real talk, feel free to speak up at ANY time and let me know that x amount of days is plenty. If the spirit moves you to tell me on the 27th day that I’ve really impressed you and it’s okay to bow out, FOLLOW YOUR HEART and tell me. Because this punk I’m married to is all, “You can do this!” and “I’m so proud of you!” and “We aren’t quitting!” and “Cross country in the 90s was so challenging!” *eye roll emoji*

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