I went back to Run/Walk for Life today …..

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I started Run/Walk for Life in October.

My theory is that running is great exercise, does not really require any organisation to get it going, and is something you can do pretty much anywhere and at any time.

I have a firmly held belief that “I can’t run.”

Back in 2010 I contacted a running coach, and he diligently worked with me to “teach me to run.”

I realise for people who “just run” that the idea of it being a skill that needs to be taught is a foreign idea, but I needed to be taught to run.

I had been doing Adventure Boot Camp in 2009 and 2010 and, it has lots of bits where you need to run.  Not far, but you need to run.  I found that I was getting stronger and fitter at Adventure Boot Camp, but I still could not run any distance easily.

I breathed and looked like I was on the verge of a heart attack or at the very least in the throes of an epileptic attack.

Runner coach started me running the distance between 2 light posts.  I thought I was going to die.  I was breathing so hard after that, that it took about 20 minutes for me to return to normal breathing.  Not a great start!

Runner coach guy worked with me and after 2 months I was able to run for about 35 minutes – which for me was unheard of.  I can’t tell you how proud of was of myself!!  We worked together two evenings a week, and we started slowly run for 1 minutes, walk for 20 minutes, run for 1 minute, walk for 20 minutes – and then slowly built on that until we got to a point where I was actually doing more running in the hour than walking!!

I was sure I was never going to run – and even though he said : “I have never met anyone who cannot run.  I have met many people who think they cannot run!”  I thought that I would be the person to change his outlook or at the very least his catch phrase.

I was still not a confident runner as each time I started to run I would tell myself  “you know, you can’t run, you know that, right?”

Even as I am busy running the voice in my head would say “okay, I see here that you are running, but best  you do not believe it, you may be running, but you know you can’t run — so this is just a fluke —– YOU CAN’T RUN!”

I know people say that running is a mental thing – cheese and rice, but can the mentally unhinged do it?

Back in 2010 Kennith entered me into the Two Oceans Marathon.

That was the equivalent of shooting me in the knee.

I  convinced myself  I could not run any distance, I would never be able to train to run any sort of event/race.

Instead of spurring me on to train, it spurred me on to sit on the couch, take off my shoes and further convince myself that I COULD NOT RUN.  I didn’t run for about a year after that.

October last year I joined and started Run/Walk for Life.  The programme is geared for everyone whether you are 10 or 80 years old.  I decided to slot in and stick with what ever they suggested I should do, and go with the flow.

I figured they must know what they are doing.  I like the idea of an organised and committed time to do something, but I like to work on my own within that range.  I like and need to spend time in my head – and exercise for me is a really a “head” thing, and I do not enjoy doing it as a group.

Run/Walk for Life felt I was not ready for road work – they had me walk around a field, and walk around a field and walk around a field.

Just at the point where I thought I had done my head in with walking around a field, the instructor suggested I start running a bit – short bits – maybe 100 metres, then walk again.  Still around the field.

Worked well – all very controlled.  I do about 40 minutes of walking interspersed with running.  I run really slowly, more of a shuffle – but my breathing is controlled. I walk, and then run when I feel I am ready, and as far as I think I can/should go – some days I push myself and play little mental “can you make it to the orange beacon” games.

I was on holiday and have not been to Run/Walk for Life since the first week of December.  I was meant to go last week, but I convinced myself of all sorts of reasons why not to.

This morning I was committed to go.  [Even though I took my book along thinking I would bail, and end up eating McDonalds breakfast in my car with my book.]

I went.  I got out of my car and I was sent walking on the field.  At a certain point I thought, okay, I will just run for 100 meters  and then carry on walking.

I knew it was going to be hard, as I just felt so “flahhhhhh” and just “gahhhhhhhh” – all the things you feel after a holiday of much lying around and too much eating.

The idea of running/walking held very little in the way of anything attractive this morning.

I put my earphones in, listened to Depeche Mode and Johnny Cash and did my 40 minutes of redemption.

I ran much more than I thought I would be able to.  I ran slowly, but I could keep my breathing more or less normal.

I did not throw up once on the field, and for that I am grateful!

When I was finished, I was sweating to the point where my back was one slick of sweat.   I did not realise I could sweat that much.  My sweat was sweating.  My face was the colour of beetroot, and not the attractive kind.  But, I was proud of myself this morning that I high-fived myself in the car.

Someone suggested this morning, I enter and commit to a 5km race now – I can already hear my voices convincing me otherwise.