Born to run

This past Thursday, Ted and I planned on hitting the Portsmouth Brewery for dinner, as it was rumored that the elusive Kate the Great would make a guest appearance that night. Not to miss another tapping of this excellent beer, we set out to the Brewery just before 6, hoping we hadn’t missed it.

As we walked, Ted received a text from a friend already there: “Was just tapped. If I were you, I’d run.”

So we did run, for roughly 1000 feet, before I, out of breath and already tired, had to stop and rest for a few seconds. We still made it to the Brewery on time, walking quickly, but when we arrived, I had to take a few deep breaths and regain my composure from just that little bit of activity.

I woke up the next morning with sore legs. From ONE THOUSAND FEET of running.

See, my friends, I am horribly out of shape.

. . . . .

I loved to run when I was a kid. I spent much of my time outdoors, running around, playing tag, and throwing a Frisbee with my brother. We spent two weeks at the Cape each summer, on an island with dirt roads and no cable tv or internet. I spent all my time barefoot outdoors, riding bikes, running along the beach, and boogie boarding in the Atlantic.

When I was in middle school, everyone took a cross country gym unit for a month in the fall, and at the end, the entire school would run a mile together. Medals were given to the first, second, and third place winners for each grade. In 6th grade, I came in third place, running a mile in 6 minutes and 44 seconds. Bear in mind that even back then, I didn’t consider myself athletic and gym was a place of embarassment for me. (NEVER force me to play basketball. Just don’t.) I felt pretty proud of myself, at the age of 11, for doing so well for supposedly being so unathletic.

Unfortunately, I never pursued it; for one, my school did not have a cross country team until right before I graduated, and two, I felt that since I was the stereotypical nerdy kid, I couldn’t also be an athlete. It just didn’t jive.

So, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to start doing something athletic. I’m going to start running. I’m going to start out with the Couch to 5K program, and I’d like to get through it soon enough to run at least one 5K later on in the summer or early in the fall.

I am so out of shape, it’s ridiculous. When I volunteered a week and a half ago for the United Way Day of Caring, I spent the morning raking rocks off grass into the ocean. It was very difficult work, and I felt it in my upper body for days. When I moved, my muscles were sore for days as well. I had a difficult time riding my bike up hills when we were in Portland last weekend. I’m living proof that thin does not necessarily equal in shape.

I’m going to change this. What advice would you give to a would-be runner who is just starting out?

8 thoughts on “Born to run”

  1. Joshua Cyr

    The Couch to 5k seems to work for lots of people.  I think it is also important to do upper body workouts and not just run.  Then again I am very bad at doing this regularly so probably shouldn’t listen to me :-)

    We have decided to do lots of mountain hiking.  It is a summer only thing for us, but they are epic workouts.    We are doing all the 4k in NH.  http://www.amc4000footer.org/

    1. Yeah, I should get in the habit of doing upper body stuff as well… I just don’t want to go to a gym! If there are other ways I can go about it, I’d be all about it :). As you can see, I know barely anything about fitness, but I want that to change!

      1. sarah

        Yoga!  Three Bridges Studio is having a special – 90 dollars for the entire summer.  Or you could try one of the many many other studios in town.  Also, on Tuesdays at noon starting in June (I believe) Prescott Park has free Yoga in the Park and you can try a bunch of different types for free.

  2. Laura

     Good luck, Aubrey!  Yeah, Couch to 5K is an awesome way to do this!  Running a 5K isn’t easy when you’re like me, but you CAN finish!  And it’s awesome!

    1. I just need to be more active a lot more often than I am now. I think that will make a ton of difference!

  3. yay! It’s ok to run and walk until the walking starts to become less and less, and it’s neat to see the improvement. 6 min 44 is impressive!! I know we’re naturally in better shape when we’re younger but even still. Too bad you didn’t pursue that because of stupid highschool labels.. We know in our older age that that shit doesn’t matter. But it was such a BIG DEAL then. 

  4. Jaime

    GET GOOD SNEAKERS. I’m starting a Couch to 5k myself, and I’m more in shape than I used to be – I’ve been going to the gym and going 45 minutes of cardio plus weights for 3 days a week for the last two years – and I need better shoes. I actually stopped running because something is either up with my shoes or I need better stretches, because I got horrible shin splits. So…yeah. Shoes and stretch. :) Good luck!

  5. Jo

    I’m living proof that thin does not necessarily equal in shape.

    YOU AND ME BOTH, SISTER.  What’s worse is that since I have a bum leg that still needs strengthening, I can’t even do a running thing, or even lots of walking.  My new goal is an exercise bike, because I know that I can do.  I just can’t afford one right now.

    /eating healthy as best she can instead

    GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR RUNNING!  I’m rooting for you!

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