To run or not to run, that is the question.
I used to like running.
I’m not sure where memory ends and nostalgia kicks in about running, but when I was a kid there was nothing better than a full out sprint through a field or cutting through yards to get to a friend’s house. Running so hard it felt like your chest would pop, and then to keep going knowing it wouldn’t. Playing games in your head: How fast can I get from streetlight to streetlight? How many seconds to the end of the street. The next block. The park. Back home. Can I go faster than last time? It was exhilarating.
I don’t know where the thread was lost or what made running seem like an absurd thing to do unless I was being chased by something way bigger than I was and could hurt me. Maybe it was in gym class or at soccer practice where running was used as a punishment that built the negative connection. Maybe it was a matter of practicality, knowing a bike was faster and I could go farther. No matter the reason, it is certainly there. The thought of running is exhausting. I think it’s because it has been so long since I’ve actually been able to run. Having been out of shape for the better part of two decades certainly has provided ample evidence that running is hard. Running steals my breath. Running makes me panic. All of this said, the time has come for these feelings and reservations to be put aside.
My plan is to use the Lenten season to kick start my running goals, which will ultimately find me running at least 5k a day, every day. From everything I’ve read, 5k is actually a moderate distance and I should be able to get to a point where I can wrap things up in about 30-40 minutes. For the overall health benefits running provides, this seems like a no-brainer.
Starting on Ash Wednesday (February 26, 2020) I will run/walk/crawl a 5k. I have no idea how long it will take me to do, but I’ll finish. I’ll do another 5k each day of Lent, wrapping up on Saturday, April 11, 2020.
I know I can run.
If I’ve learned nothing else over the last few months, I’ve learned that I can do a hell of a lot more than I thought I could. I can wake up at 5:00 every day to go to the gym. I can lift more than I thought I could. I can eat responsibly. I can learn new things… I can run.