Monday, November 12, 2012

A Guest Post from My Friend Amy K.

This is my friend Amy and her "Goofy" husband Chris:
They are two of our friends who've kindly endured about three years of listening to me and Kris talk nothing but running, and racing and our addiction to endorphins. They are kind and patient people. Which is just one reason why we love them.

Amy is the person who introduced me to the Zombies, Run! game. Yeah, she's the one responsible for starting my obsession!  And now she is using the Zombies, Run! 5k training app to train for her first ever 5k! WOOT! (I have the honor of running the 5k with her).

I am so excited for my friend to join the world of racing and expect her to find the same excitement I do in training for and completing an event.  It's hard and sometimes often it hurts. But we love it and it's too hard to describe why. We just tell our friends they have to do it to understand it. Amy is the first of our friends to try it.  And she's starting to understand it. Read on!

While I was out running today, I think I had an epiphany.

For those of you who don't know, I'm training for my first 5K, which I plan on doing on December 9. I am doing a training program called Zombies, 5K, that is a "couch to 5K" training mixed with zombie chases and an interesting story.

My training today started with a 10 minute warmup, followed by interevals of one minute running, one minute walking, and knee lifts. I was in the middle of the first run, and really miserable. My head was down, I was staring at the ground, gasping for breath, counting the seconds until I could stop running. In fact, I could barely lift my feet up. All I could think was "there's no way I can do this -- there's no way I can go through 5 more weeks of training, and the thought of actually RUNNING a 5K is a joke." And then I started thinking about why I was doing this. Why was I putting myself through this misery?

It's a good question. I've had people assume I was doing this to lose weight. And, while that seems to be a side benefit (as evidenced by my jeans that won't stay on without help), that wasn't my goal. It's not for the physical fitness aspect, either, although that seems to be a prerequisite. At first, I thought I was just doing this because the app was kind of cool, and I figured it would be something to do, but the more I thought about it, that really wasn't it either. And then I realized the real reason I'm out there doing this. I dream about running. Not daydreams, but dreams at night. I regularly dream of running, effortlessly. And it feels GOOD in my dreams. It doesn't hurt, I'm not gasping for air, I'm just running. It feels so good in my dreams, I want that feeling in reality, while I'm awake.

All of this passed through my mind in the time it took me to finish the run, walk for a minute, and do my knee lifts. When it was time to run again, I didn't look down, I raised my head. I didn't count the seconds, I lip-synced to the music that was playing. I didn't grimace in pain and stress, I grinned with joy. And I RAN. At the end of the 60 seconds, yes, I was gasping for air (like always). My muscles screamed at me (like always). But the difference was, I felt good.

My pace was still slow, but I'm okay with that. Approaching it with joy made me realize why there are so many crazy people who do this. I am clearly not built for running. I'm seriously overweight. I've got asthma, and some gnarly arthritis in my knees, but, damn it, I'm going to run.

I'm still not getting those elusive endorphins, though.

Don't worry Amy, the endorphins will come later. :) Run on Girl! 

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