INSPIRED! - Days 1 - 7
On May 1st when I left the house still in my pajamas, since running merely one minute didn’t seem to warrant proper workout attire, I thought, maybe since this will be such a breeze, I’ll do a one minute sprint. Unfortunately, after about 10 seconds I realized sprinting would not be necessary for the day’s one minute to count as challenging. I finished the 60 seconds at a moderately slow run speed, out of breath and tight-chested.
Days 2-4 were not any easier, but surprisingly they weren’t any harder either! Amazingly, each day left me just as tired as the previous day but no more. If this phenomenon continues throughout the month, I should be golden. On Day 3, I decided not to do this in secret. Despite no knowledge of whether or not I’d actually end the month having accomplished this goal or not, I made a public post on Facebook. After finishing my run on day 4, it occurred to me that the hardest part of running from a tactical standpoint so far has been the feeling of breathlessness. Maybe if I can figure out how to actually breath and run at the same time I can actually do this without passing out. After some google research, I realized that I had been breathing in the least possible productive way while running. Go figure.
I woke up this morning feeling a bit anxious after having been contacted by Danny Pagan at Charlotte Athlete after Steve Wagner forwarded my Facebook post to him. My little experiment just went from my own little secret to possible mass publication in one day. No pressure. I also have an appointment with Orthocarolina to have an ankle tendon/foot swelling issue I’ve been dealing with since January looked at. (Yep, I knew I had something weird going on with my foot and ankle-both very essential to running when I decided to do this.) The possibility of the doctor finding something serious and telling me I can’t run are making me nauseous. I began my run, trying as hard as I could to breathe the way the articles I read yesterday demonstrate. This turned out to feel something like the first time you try to pat your head and rub your tummy. As a result, I ended up feeling more out of breath than I if I hadn’t been trying to control my breathing at all. By the last minute, my legs felt like they weighed 50 lbs each and I may have run the last 30 seconds in slow motion, but nevertheless, the day's run was complete and another snapshot of my sneakers stored in my phone. If I had needed to run another minute today, I couldn’t have. However, there is power in forgetting about how far I’ll need to run tomorrow or next week. Realizing that every day, I only need to run the time allotted for that day and that the minutes I ran the previous days have prepared me for this, teach me a valuable lesson in staying present.
P.S. The doctor doesn’t think my ankle issues are anything serious, just a strained tendon. He’s totally fine with this running project, since I have no pain at all.
After the less than enjoyable experience of yesterday’s 5 minute run, I woke up dreading today’s extra minute. However, this was the verse of the day in my Bible app: “Jesus looked hard at them and said, ‘No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.’” Point taken, I set off on my run. I gave proper breath control another shot, this time thanking God for every bit of oxygen He pumped into my lungs. I noticed the smell of the honeysuckle bushes alongside the path as well. I forgot about myself for a few minutes and focused on the nature around me instead. When the alarm on my phone went off it actually surprised me. Had I needed to do another minute or even two today, I could have.
Okay, there’s no point in doing this journal if it’s not going to be 100% real so this is gonna be some real life stuff: I’m a woman. Therefore, I experience the same one week hormonal event every month that most all women do. Today is the start of that week. Typically, my goal is to get through the day with as little effort and or movement as possible on this day. I most definitely do NOT exercise in any way. Guess how grateful I am that this is coming on May 7th and not May 31st? IMMENSELY grateful. As I ran today, I ran in gratitude for a properly functioning reproductive system and for the ability to run on this day, whether or not the desire to run matches that or not. Finally, rather than stagger through the last minute of my run like I had the previous days, as my timer neared that final minute I decided instead to “finish strong”, running as fast as I could with the best form I naively know how to create until the alarm signaled the completion of day 7. It’s amazing how much more willing we are to go “full-out” when we know there is an endpoint and it’s not far off.