Tag Archives: running

Mile 2250: A Running Experiment


“I’m not running. I’m not running.
I’m not running. No, I’m not running.”
–30 Seconds to Mars, “The Race”

Miles Last Week: 62
Total Miles: 2250

I did it. I caved. I ran. I ran not so far away.

But before I can adequately describe the experience, let me first explain my personal three-part aversion to running.

  • Good old-fashioned childhood torture. It is not an exaggeration to say that I was, without fail, always the slowest kid in my P.E. class in middle school. Every time. Whenever our coach would say something like “Okay, we’re gonna run back and forth until you can all do it in thirty seconds,” I would seriously consider pretending to throw up in the bathroom to get out of it because I knew that everyone else was going to pay for my slowness. Who wants to revisit that?
  • A very real fear of breaking a treadmill. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Come on, Amanda. Treadmills are made to withstand much larger people than you. Well, I didn’t say this was a rational fear. I just feel that if a treadmill is going to break, it is going to be while I am on it. My fragile psyche would probably not survive that scenario.
  • Another very real fear of wearing myself out running outside and not being able to get back to my car or wherever. Again, I know what you’re thinking. Just go in a circle. But what if I lose all of my energy at the point farthest from the starting point? WHAT ABOUT THEN?

Okay, now that you understand my deep-seated anxiety, you’re probably wondering what in the world could have convinced me to give running another try. Well…

Maybe I’m just afraid of hitting a plateau. Or my friend told me a lot of things I should already know about stepping it up. Or I finally accepted that running is the inevitable next step, despite my (very well-justified) aversion. Or maybe I just wanted to know if I could do it.

I don’t totally know why, but Saturday morning, I found myself jogging for two-minute intervals on a very small mile-and-a-half route I mapped out. Here are the results:

  • I didn’t die. OKAY FINE. I admit it. Jogging didn’t kill me.
  • R.I.P. R. Killy.

    R.I.P., R. Killy.

    Not everyone is so lucky. About three-quarters of the way through, I found a poor, dead snake that I have since named R. Killy (the “R” stands for “Road,” obviously). It’s probably good that I didn’t see him until I was in the home stretch. Dead bodies are not a good sign.

  • Low impact is WAY different from high impact. The elliptical may have spoiled me. I’m pretty sure I jostled my spleen. And I think I sprained an apparently unstretchable muscle in my calf.
  • I’m embarrassingly sore. Seriously. I went to visit some family this weekend, and I don’t know who had more trouble getting out of a chair–me or my eight-months-pregnant cousin.

So, running nearly killed my muscles, but it didn’t kill me (which was another very real concern no matter what anyone tells me)–that’s the sign of a good workout, right? I guess I should keep doing it or something. I guess, or whatever.

She said begrudgingly.

Mile 1103.5: There’s Something Wrong With Me


“At least we would know that the sparks didn’t glow,
But we owe it to ourselves to try
So we aim and ignite!”
–fun., “Light a Roman Candle with Me”

Miles since last time: 103.5
Total Miles: 1103.5

I think there’s something wrong with my brain.

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate running–I mean in a super-ultra-mega-mortal-enemy sort of way. Even more than planking.

I trace these very strong feelings back to my middle school days, when I was always, always, the slowest girl in P.E. You may think I’m exaggerating when I say always, but I am not. Every single day, I would see a line of girls waiting on the sidelines of the gym while I wheezed my way across the finish line a solid twenty seconds behind everyone else.

Even when I started taking a cardio-kickboxing class in high school and the instructor would say, “Hey, let’s jog a few laps around the block,” I was still always the last person to come back into the building.

I’m just slow, I’ve never really found much joy in running, and I’ve never had any desire to do it if someone wasn’t forcing me.

I realize that I am probably being unreasonable and that running is supposed to be one of the best exercises you can do, but I really haven’t cared about that for a while. It’s hard and stuff.

Not sure if I should start running, or if I should avoid the whole wheezy mess.

Not sure if I should start running, or if I should avoid the whole wheezy mess.

But lately…hmmm…

Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about my most hated exercise.

I’ve been thinking, I wonder how long I would last now.

As much as I hate to admit it, I am more than a little curious as to how far I could go if I just started jogging. Probably not more than a few feet–we’re certainly not talking Forrest Gump mileage, here–but I do wonder.

My mind keeps fluctuating between “How bad could it be?” and “Are you crazy? RUNNING IS NOT ENJOYABLE!”

Someone please tell me what is wrong with my brain. I probably have a tumor, right? That’s the only explanation. Or some sort of delusion of fitness grandeur. I can’t help but feel that the urge to run is either really good or really bad. Am I being masochistic, or trying to improve? I’m quite torn about it.

Here’s the thing: I may be increasingly intrigued by the prospect of testing myself, but I can’t exactly ignore the strong inclination to avoid embarrassing myself again, either. Planking thoroughly won in that battle. Running would surely do the same.

So, will my curiosity outweigh childhood misgivings? Will any of this week’s miles be from running? The scales are slowly tipping that way. Stay tuned.