Saturday morning I woke up and decided I was going to attempt running. Yes, I said it, running. Oh, and as if running wasn’t hard enough on a treadmill indoors (not that I do that or would know), I decided I was going to run outside.
The sun was shining through my bedroom window and I felt like the angst of winter had finally washed away. Unfortunately, when I checked the Weather Channel app on my phone, a huge 35° popped up with some animated wind flowing behind it. Delightful.
On any other day I would’ve bagged the idea all together, but for some reason I still had high hopes for this whole “running” adventure. So I texted all of my friends who run outside regularly, and wrote, “I’m thinking of attempting to run outside. Is it too cold out for a first timer? I hate the burny lung feeling…” The responses I got ran the gammet of, “I just ran outside and it was GREAT!” to, “The burning lung feeling means it’s working. Go for it girlfriend!” Not one response included anything negative enough to stop me from going for it. Thank goodness, otherwise the following story would not have been possible…
So I put on some long spandex and a sweatshirt, popped in my ear buds, and went for it. I live right near the East River in New York City, and there’s a nice path that runs along the river that is amazing for running, walking, biking, or being homeless on a nice day. So I headed east from my apartment in (what some would call) a light jog with Lady Gaga blaring in my ears.
“It’s not as cold out as I thought it would be, and this doesn’t feel as awful as it should,” I thought to myself as I made it the 2 blocks from my apartment to the river…
Just as I cross over onto the other side of the FDR drive, this guy sticks his hand out and waves to me to get my attention. Grateful for the opportunity to stop (I’m already pretty winded, let’s be honest), I take my earphones out and he says, in a British accent, “I’m making a documentary about running, can I interview you?” He gestures to his video camera…
Let me repeat that for effect: “I’m making a documentary about running, can I interview you?”
(Insert sound of a screeching record). IS THIS FOR REAL? You want to do WHAT? I’m standing there trying not to laugh in this poor guy’s face, wishing that I was with someone so they could experience the absurdity of this situation with me, and be in on the secret that I haven’t run since highschool (when it was mandatory for a grade) and here I am being asked to be interviewed about my “running career.” It’s even funnier to me that it’s not only the first run of what feels like my life, but it’s only 2 blocks into that run. It feels slightly premature to be discussing the ins and outs of my experiences with running. Only slightly though.
I’m tempted to let him in on the joke, but being the asshole that I am, I say with a straight face, “sure, what do you want to know?” I mean, what was I supposed to do? Pass up the opportunity to be in a documentary? No siree. Plus, it gets better. He directs me towards a sunnier patch of gravel, and says, “Just say your name, how long you’ve been running, how long you go for when you do run…” This is too good to be true. Once he signals that the camera is rolling, I go, “I’m Julie and I’ve been running for about 6 months. I only run for about 20 minutes a day, and I probably go about 2 and half miles because that’s all I really have time for….”
As I’m telling all of this to my mother last night, this is the part of the story when she slaps her hand down on the table, spilling her wine, and shouts “WHAT?!? 2.5 miles in 20 minutes? Julie I’ve been running for 35 years and I don’t even run 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. That’s like (she does the math in her head) 8 minute miles. I mean it’s not impossible but… but….” she proceeds to literally hunch over laughing hysterically, pointing and knee slapping, while trying to replay the story outloud, barely able to get it out over her laughter, saying things like “Oh sure, I just bust out 2.5 miles in 20 minutes, no big deal!” She swears she’s laughing with me and not at me…
I decide not to get mad at her, because I suddenly remember running “the mile” in elementary school and never getting better than a 9 minute mile. At 10 YEARS OLD. The peak of my ahtletic prowess… “Oh. I guess I overshot that number a little bit.”
Shane comes in the room to see what all the commotion is and my mom tells him what she’s just heard. Shane’s eyes open wide, “you never told me THAT part of the story!” I stop laughing for a second and with the most serious and earnest face I can put on I say, “you guys just wouldn’t understand. I take running really seriously…” An explosion of laughter ensues.
I told you that story to tell you this story. After my interview of a lifetime, I actually did go for a
run jog and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! I think I’m actually in better shape than I thought which is awesome. I mean, I was out for a total of about 50 minutes doing a mixture of jogging and walking, and I was able to jog trot for about 20 minutes straight, although I probably went 1 mile, not 2.5, in that span of time. And hey, I’m OK with that! It’s a step in the right direction. And it was nice being outside using a whole new set of muscles and really going out of my comfort zone. It was like exercising for the first time! I may start doing it regularly. Some pictures:
And for good measure (and tradition), my post-workout crazy person look:
Have a nice day!