Proud (in an embarrassed sort of way)

I debated whether to even write this post — I’m not looking for atta girls or anything. But it’s big deal for me, so I wanted to capture it…for me.

I actually accomplished something (well, two things) that I never could before and believed I never would. I jogged a mile (plus) and then 2 days later — last night — I jogged 2 miles (plus a smidge).

This is embarrassing because I know it’s not a big deal — or shouldn’t be — for someone like me. For most people, it’s about as remarkable as taking the training wheels off the bike. I’m not “challenged” physically or mentally. I have the use of all my limbs and always have. I’m not (much) overweight. I’m in decent shape. But jogging has been something I never, ever could get the hang of. Even when I was 17. Even when routinely walking 3 to 5 miles a pop, several times a week. Even when Nordic Tracking regularly; or doing yoga; or blasting through workout videos. Last year I tried following the Couch to 5K program (basically, interval training) and failed miserably. I couldn’t breathe, my shins hurt like crazy, I couldn’t muster more than 5 minutes or so at once, and then would need to rest (just walking) for a long time.

My niece the marathon runner tried to give me some tips — “Are you running too fast?” she asked. My answer, “I don’t think I could run any slower.”

Well, turns out I can run slower! And it apparently makes all the difference. I happened on the concept of Chi Running through a mention on a blog I follow. I didn’t buy the video or the book (yet), but just the couple of tips I gleaned from the website really helped. The fact that it’s based on Tai Chi principles and using the strength of your core (like yoga, Pilates) is really appealing.

So, definitely S L O W is my way to go. In fact, my pace is about the same as when I walk, which I think is hilarious. Although I walk fast (about a 14-minute mile, maybe a smidge faster, supposedly great for someone my age), I know that  pace at a jog has to look like Tim Conway playing The Old Man (google it, youngsters).

But you know what — I DON’T CARE! I’m so tickled that I actually did this…jogged 2.08 miles in 27.08 minutes…especially on a hot (mid-80s), humid evening…without my shins hurting or my lungs exploding, I can hardly believe it. (My first ever in my life mile+ jog a couple days earlier was in perfect conditions — cool, no humidity. That same night my niece ran 12 miles…so yeah, I have perspective.)

The best part…as I was walking up our steep driveway afterward, anxious to tell Mike what I’d finally done, the random song that came up on my MP3 player was O Bless the Lord — one of my favorites from Godspell (not Jesus Christ Superstar ha!) Perfect lyrics…all about prolonging feeble breath, healing infirmities, renewing the vigor of youth. And, thankfulness, definitely thankfulness. Oohhh yeaaaaah!    (And wow!…just learned via Wikipedia that Godspell originated as a Master’s thesis from a student at CMU and was first performed at CMU! How cool!)

“Random” coincidence?

After 30 years of trying, no (frickin’) way!

O bless the Lord my soul
His mercies bear in mind
Forget not all his benefits
The Lord to thee is kind


  1. facie said,

    Sunday, September 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Awesome! Running IS hard. I can walk up a hill fairly easily and at a good pace, but yet running, even slowly, is so much more difficult.

    Maybe I should try this slow stuff. It would be nice to run pain-free for a change…

  2. WritingbyEar said,

    Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Again, not bragging, just rather amazed — last night I (slowly) jogged 2.6 miles…couldn’t be more surprised. Shooting for the elusive 3.1/5K milestone. Maybe before the snow flies (or I’ll have to start all over again next spring).

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