I've started jogging.
I've always thought about jogging and running and being able to go long distances without stopping, but it's never gotten past a thought. In my mind, there was no reason to run unless you were running AWAY from something - like... a bear, a crazy stalker, etc . Even though I've had numerous dreams in the past (and more numerous in the recent past) where I am running just to be running, I've never made myself get out there and "Just Do It." I think this is mostly because I "hate" running. But the more I started thinking about it, and the more I've been longing for some sort of challenge in my life, I've come to the realization that running might be the challenge I need. Since I "hate" it, and since I always stubbornly want to do what I am not naturally bent to, I think I'll be more likely to keep at this to prove a point to myself that I CAN do something and do it well, even if I dislike it.
My first week of running is now behind me. And I'll be honest, the first day... I believed I was going to pass out and die. Or at least throw up. Every muscle in my body hurt, and my insides felt like they were going to EXPLODE! I ended up having to sit down for a few minutes just to be able to make it back home. But, I did it! I ran/walked a mile in 16:56 minutes. You may look at that time and think it's an atrocious time, but I am ridiculously proud of it! That's almost 17 minutes being outside and being active and moving this body instead of sitting on the couch or at a desk or in my bed. It pushed me to keep going and push through the ache and pain. (Also, I'd like to point out that I think my route is extra hard since it's basically a trail run on a dirt road with lots of hills, uneven ground, and gravel!)
Since that first run, I've been running 4 more times, and my best time has been 14:30 for a mile. IMPROVEMENT! I ran/jogged/walked this morning, and I didn't make it as far as I wanted and had some tension in one of my ankles that made it difficult to keep going, but I still did it.
I'd like to think that I can already see some improvement in my muscle tone in my legs and hips, but that's probably just wishful thinking. And I've already learned what to eat and NOT to eat before I run. (I made the mistake of eating a bowl of cereal about 30 minutes before my very first run. BAD idea! I stick with some water and half a banana or half a granola bar now.) I know that as I keep this up, not only will I start to see changes in how my body looks, I'll also be healthier, stronger, and more determined!
A friend of mine is wanting to start walking/jogging, too, so we're going to start working together soon. And I'm setting goals for myself as well to help me stay focused. This fall, I want to be able to run a 5k, and by the end of 2013, I want to be able to seriously consider running a half marathon!
All it takes is a little motivation to get out of bed in the morning and not talk myself out of it before I even get started. ;)