This is Your Captain Speaking

Saturday, August 16, 2008
I did something this morning that I haven't done in about 15 years. I ran. And I wasn't being chased. Or trying to catch a bus. Or in danger of being in the blast range of an atomic bomb. I ran....because I can. And it helped that a group of other people were running with me.

Every now and then I get the urge to better myself, whether it's by trying to eat better, giving up Coke (I'm STILL struggling...), or exercising. About 2 months ago (roughly), the urge overcame me once again. I was out for a walk after having just watched Run, Fatboy, Run again (this time with the Admiral). Runners were whipping past me on both sides as I strolled leisurely through the River Valley enjoying the scenery. Suddenly my brain decided to rise up in revolution against it's oppressor (me) and started flashing images of me crossing the finish line of a marathon...running. There's a lot wrong with the images my brain decided to show me and I tried to ignore it. But I couldn't. They just kept getting more and more detailed, then a background story, friends and family cheering me from the sidelines, the whole thing.

I was obviously suffering some sort of heat stroke which, upon returning home, caused me to pull out my credit card, sit down with the laptop, and sign up for one of the Running Room's "Learn to Run" clinics. Apparently the brain damage I suffered is permanent as I did not, upon recovering, cancel the clinic and I went to the first session this morning.

Before anyone starts getting images of the Captain tearing through the streets like a 100m sprinter out to break the world record or running a marathon anytime soon, let me just say that it was not a pretty picture to behold. Years ago a friend watched me run on a treadmill and apparently my feet fly out behind me at weird angles. Problem #1. Problem #2...jigglage. I don't think that would be an accepted word in Scrabble but that's what happens when a big girl runs. And I'm not just talking about my breasts. While I'm not obese, I do have a few (cough cough) pounds I could lose, most of which (thanks to my defective ovaries) is sitting in my middle. Without actually drawing a picture, let's just say there was a wobbly tummy, thigh chafing and possibly a small amount of back fat (yes that DOES exist and not just on me!) that moved now and again. Best to leave it at that. Problem #3...I hate running but I'm doing it anyways to prove to myself that I can, I just don't necessarily want to. Problem #4...It's been 30C + for the past three days and it's supposed to stay that way for the next three. Imagine walking around in that for an hour, let alone running and see if you don't drop dead of heat exhaustion. There's a reason god invented treadmills.

So, essentially I'm doing this for a few reasons. As I said above, part of it is to prove to myself that Obama is right when he says yes we can. The health benefits would be great provided I don't fall into the river and drown, take a header off the High Level bridge, or get hit by a bus. All of which could happen. I looked it up. Prove me wrong. If I lost a few pounds my blood pressure would go down and clothes would fit a bit better so there's a lot of plusses. AND I feel fantastic, albeit tired and a bit sore, hours afterwards. To be truthful, I've felt fantastic since we got back to the store and started stretching. Yep, fantastic. That doesn't happen too often. I will admit, however, that my calves tightened up and my upper thighs are a tiny bit soar but guaranteed I'll be back there tomorrow morning for their 8:30 group run. Yessir.

One thing I noticed is that I sweat a lot more when I'm running. Big shocker I know. You must all think I'm a moron but let me explain. When I go walking, sometimes for an hour, I don't sweat until I'm inside and I stop. But I actually found myself sweating while running and then it just poured off of me when we stopped. WOW. I've never sweat this much in my life. It was great. Yes, there is good sweating and bad sweating. This was good. And I was happy to discover that I'm not the only one out there who's body funnels all of their sweat into their crotchal region. Gross as that sounds, for some reason it runs down my body and pools itself into my underpants. While watching Fizzy Logic the other day, Ross Noble described experiencing the exact same thing while riding his motorbike. Yay, I'm not a freak! Or at least not the only one.

And while I remained at the back of the pack for the entire run (with the fabulous Doris the assistant instructor by my side), I still ran. For six minutes. No, not all at once but rather in one minute increments (remember it's LEARN to run...). I am not ashamed to finish last. At least I finished. I'll probalby be at the back of the pack for the next 10 weeks but I don't care because I am a runner. And I run...because I can.

Unless of course I wake up tomorrow morning and my legs are so sore I can't move.


Wandering Coyote said...

Excellent for you! You go girl!

I hate running so I don't. I also hate the heat and so I prefer to exercise in a nice, air conditioned gym (though I have been lax lately...). I'd also have extreme jigglage and thigh chafing.

And butt sweat is THE WORST. I can't seem to sit anywhere in this heat without my ass getting soaking wet. Then I get up and I feel all self-conscious about it because it looks like I've peed myself. This is especially embarrassing in a social situation or at a restaurant. In fact, it happened to me yesterday, and I had to go about my after lunch errands with a wet bum. Luckily, the heat is so intense it dried out in not too long.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Good for you! I would love to run outside again some day, as I used to run in university.

But with bad feet, I stick to my elliptical and pretend that I am running through the forest like I used to. Although I have to admit I love having the fan blowing in my face.

Keep going Captain!

Heather said...

Hooray for you! I think I blame the Olympics on this sudden need to get into shape...I'm joining a gym tomorrow. I have to have a meeting with the 'membership director' first. Egads.

sp said...

You did it! That's so great. The running room has some great clinics. Good for you for going out and doing it!

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