Tuesday, 22 May 2012

I'm not a quitter

So, I've started running.  More accurately, I decided I liked the idea of "going for a run", with a mental picture of a super-fit me, running comfortably for kilometres, in practical and effortlessly stylish running gear, arriving home feeling energised, de-stressed and ready to tackle anything.  Somehow in this vision I'm also taller and have perfect skin.  Romanticised much?!?!  However, the block between me 'now' and me 'there' is unfitness (but the height and skin isn't going to change, sadly).  I don't know how to run and had never run further than it took to catch the train.

Enter Couch to 5k (www.c25k.com), which basically takes couch potatoes (zero fitness) through a 9-week training program to get them running 5km (non-stop) by the end.  Hey presto!  Here I go!

Week 1 was a bit of a struggle, but mostly due to running on wet grass and the gross sensation of cold, squelchy feet.  Eeew!  And also reminding my body that is was actually made to move!  Fancy that!  Now, mind you, I have been a gym junkie at a few points in my life, but I haven't been super-fit since before I met my husband.  Then along comes wedded bliss (don't they say everyone gains weight during the first years of marriage?  I sure did!), then pregnancy (I had planned to exercise and be active all through my pregnancy but with blood pressure issues, I felt like fainting most of the time and came to the realisation while laying on the couch watching my pregnancy yoga DVD, that perhaps my baby and body had other plans for me during her occupation!), then new baby, then work, then no time, then too hard.

I think most people are inherently lazy - well, our bodies are.  I know my body is much more comfortable on the couch, under a blanket, watching TV, than pounding the footpath at 6am in the 5 degree pre-dawn!  I'm now in Week 2 of the Couch to 5k - Day 2 coming tomorrow morning.  I've shocked my body back into activity and, like an old machine, it's grinding, groaning and squealing its way back up to speed.  What's the human equivalent of WD40, I wonder?  Anyone?

Now, I don't know about you, but I'm great at setting goals (see my bucket list blog), but not the best at seeing them through.  So I asked some friends to help me out here, and keep me accountable on my running goal.  Now enter, the Bridge to Brisbane (www.bridgetobrisbane.com.au/event-info/) - a fun run event with a 5km section, and a 10km section.  The aforementioned friends are enlisting with me, and are meeting me at the starting line to run the whole 5km section.  (The always-ambitious side of me wants to do the 10km run, but my body and common sense says 'easy does it, sister!')  I can't back out if I know there are people expecting me!  I hate letting people down - I refuse and will not.  I will RUN the whole way!  And the friendly little counter on the Bridge to Brisbane homepage reminds me I've got 101 days to get my ageing act together!  YES.  I.  CAN!

This is the beginning of my journey to the Boston Marathon (again, see bucket list blog).  I have a vision I'm holding onto to spur me on, of my husband and daughter at the finishing line, watching me coming down the home stretch, cheering me on.  The smiles I see on their faces is either going to make me burst into tears (entirely likely), or give me that last surge to get over the line when my lead-like legs want to pack it up and go home.  Who'm I kidding!  Of course I'll burst into tears AND get the extra surge to cross the line!  Hec, if I've run 40km, I'm not about to stop in the last 2km!

We all need something to spur us on - a reason to meet our goal, to keep us focused when it gets hard - whether it's a mental picture of your awesome self achieving your goal (promotion, getting the corner office, being made partner, buying a business, running a marathon...), a mantra, a weight target, an event or a person.

I've read so many 'positive poster' messages lately, I can't credit this to the right person or website, so forgive me, but chew on this one today if you're like me, in trying to reach a goal that seems laughable - "Pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever."  Say it with me - I. Won't.  Quit.

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