Running Challenged

I say it every year. Running makes me sneeze. I have only been a “runner” for 3 years, and I say “runner,” because snails move faster than me. I’m pretty sure I walk faster than I run.

In previous years, even treadmill running made me sneeze. Weird, I know. This year, it’s exclusively when I run outside. Which makes sense–seasonal allergies in Kentucky are awful! Word on the street is this area is actually one of the worst for allergies. Of course, for anyone who has lived in Columbus, GA, where the world is covered in yellow pollen powder for a good chunk of spring, they will tell you it’s much worse there. That place made my face feel constantly swollen.

But there I go again.

So, it’s spring in Kentucky, and while I don’t appreciate all the sneezing that follows, I do appreciate being able to run outside without turning into a popsicle.

Also, this past week, Terry the Torturous (which would be my trainer’s Viking name) told me I run weird. My legs swing out to the sides? In my head, I’m picturing some slinky-limbed muppet, with limbs going everywhere. Because I’m sure that’s probably what it looks like. He then told me nothing I did looked natural. Running doesn’t feel natural! It feels like a torture technique, used to specifically make me feel out of shape. Can’t I just throw heavy things around?!

Terry is using his fabulous skills as a track coach and trying to assist in turning me into a runner. Like, a real life runner, not a goofy muppet whose limbs are going to get seriously tangled if I get going too fast. By the end of our “run” on Thursday he told me I looked like I actually knew what I was doing.

Of course then he used his ninja powers and appeared next to me yesterday while I was attempting to do everything he told me only 2 days prior. He was shaking his head and giving me the “I’m not mad–I’m just disappointed,” look.  I’m swinging my arms across my body, I guess? So, I am moments away from getting tangled in myself.

Once again today, I went out and ran, trying to put everything he’s been telling me into practice. I feel like something between a leaping gazelle and a muppet whose limbs are on the verge of getting tangled. But, I was faster on my first mile than I normally am. A 10 minute mile?! Did you think I was kidding when I said snails are faster?

My desire to continue to run is strongly tied to my stubbornness. I strongly dislike running, but I dislike NOT being able to do things much more. Justin tells me about his 8min mile “jog pace,” and I respond with a strong, “jog?! THAT is a sprint!” Our 5k date went like this: Justin ran it in 22:39, took a lap of the parking lot and then ran back to find me. I was about 27min in when he caught up and said, “I didn’t think you’d be this far back!” I threatened to twist his nipple off. Of course then he made me run to the end. “Stop looking at your watch, put your head down and just push through it.” I died. But not really. My time was 33:49. By the end of it all, Justin had run about a 7k. I was WORLDS sweatier, and much more out of breath.

This week, my kids are on spring break, so my goofy leaping gazelle muppet runs will be taking place evenings. If you see me, and I look confused, or as if I’m seriously concentrating, I am. Nothing about this “running” thing feels natural! But I refuse to give up!!! Maybe someday I will be able to make this looks natural.