W1D3... D2 had been a disaster. Rest day brought out aches in muscles I didn't know I had. What on earth would today bring? Thankfully, it was as though D2 had never happened. I could put one foot in front of the other without thinking about it... much. Breathing - check. Speed, (or lack thereof), - check. I made it. I even managed to go a notch faster for the last 30 seconds of the last run. Week 1 in the books & clearly I had a LOT to learn.
And I spent a few days trying to cram every bit of running wisdom into my fevered brain I could. Negative splits, intervals, tempo runs, 10k long runs. Diet, cross training, shoes, Garmin, podcasts... I ended up scaring myself half to death & almost wanting to quit. I'd NEVER be good enough for all of that! Clearly, I wasn't meant to be a runner. I was asking too much. A book I'd reserved at the library came in & I rusghed down to get it. I read most of it in one sitting. Then I took myself to a quiet place, with the book & went over much of it more slowly & it dawned on me.
I wasn't asking too much of running. I was asking too much of myself too quickly. No runner authoring a book or mentioned in one came out of the womb wearing the latest high end Asics, magic training formulas memorized & a guaranteed entry to Boston. They all had had to start where I did - with the First Run. I wasn't looking to beat the world. I was looking to just do my sessions & week by week get a little better. I'd figure the rest out later, if I needed it. Right now & for the foreseeable future - just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Day 2 of Week 1. Yeah, I was a bit achy & stiff on rest day but rolled out of bed eager to get at it. Warm up walk at dawn. I'm smiling at the pretty birdies & admiring the glistening dew & quiet roads... finish my warm up walk & blithely launch into what I expect to be a happy little trot for a minute, then some walking - rinse & repeat. Except somewhere around the third stridde, I realized nothing was working right. I'm 49 - when did I forget to run, to breathe? Who was shoving that hot dagger into my left butt cheek, then my right? Why was this suddenly so complicated? It's just... running. Chin was down, shoulders up past my ears, legs like jellified logs, not sure where my feet were...It was a surreal nightmare. I gained a new appreciation for dawn 'running' - there was no one out to watch me make a fool of myself.
I somehow staggered through the session, twice losing track of how many intervals I'd done. I think I ended up adding one or maybe two but finally, thankfully, I finished & managed the humiliating walk home. I was crushed. I think I might have snivelled a little. Two year olds run better. A diabetic, blind 93 year old could have done better. My running career was doomed, before it got started even. I KNEW it - all that chirpy talk about a gradual program being doable, being EASY in the first stages was so much hooey Not what was I supposed to do? A shower first, then maybe unceremoniously retire my running shoes. Sigh.
I did something smart for once. I hit the C25K rofums. After 20 minutes, I was heartily ashamed of myself. Maybe I'd run like an intoxicated, three legged rat but I HAD been able to finish. I wasn't dead - just wishing I was. Others seem to have had a tougher time on their second day. Some could barely manage Day 1, then did fine Day 2. Experiences seemed to be all over the place. I didn't have to run tomorrow. I had time to think about it.