Running: Not an Afternoon Delight


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“Hot, sticky shitty run.” was my Facebook status yesterday. I ran around five in the afternoon, and the temperature was about eighty four degrees. It seems like a dumb time to run, but due to scheduling issues I am running or biking in the afternoons this week. Also, as I told myself over and over again, by the time I get to the running leg of the challenge it will most likely already be hot. I wanted to see how I would do. I thought for my first afternoon run I would run around the middle school track, it is flat and I can track my progress by counting rotations.

So obviously it was not a great experience. First, I twisted my ankle a teeny amount when I was walking in the door. I don’t know exactly how, but since it wasn’t killing me, I went anyway. Second, I was starving. Okay, I am always some form of starving, but I really was hungry. And here is one of the ways I set myself up for failure. I grabbed a small piece of cheese, and figured that would hold me. I wasn’t hungry the whole time but I felt sluggish.

When I got to the track, Iron Man was already there. Iron Man, a twenty or thirty something year old physical specimen, was doing laps, running up and down the bleachers, and pausing from time to time to do push ups and mountain climbers. At first, I envied his fitness, a couple of times around the track and I just envied the fact that he could run without a shirt. I was sweating rivers and let’s face it, I’m never going to one of those girls that chugs around the track in a running bra.

Running around a track sucks. Look, even the picture is boring.

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And the run was so much harder. Whenever I run, my thighs and hips feel tight in the beginning, the first long run is always hard and I know I will have to be about twenty minutes into my workout before I really feel as though I can do it without dying.Some mornings are easier but most start the same way.  I am accustomed to waiting that part out. This run never got easier. I did not do a mile. I did keep up with four minutes on and two minutes off for the about forty five minutes, well forty two to be exact. I just couldn’t get started. I tried at first to run around the track four times, figuring that would be about a mile, but after two was done. I then tried walking around the track and running twice around. Then I thought maybe I was putting too much time in between running and that was why my hips and quads weren’t getting loose, so I ran twice around and put a two minute walk time in. This worked out to be about twice around the track. But my thighs and hips stayed tight. Maybe I was getting dehydrated, maybe I didn’t warm up enough, maybe the piece of cheese just wasn’t enough. Maybe, maybe, maybe….

By the last fifteen minutes or so, my ankle throbbed, my whole right leg ached, and it felt as though my thighs and hips were just one tight bunch. I even looked at them to see if they had suddenly transformed into some type of muscle madness like you see on those protein shake bottles. Nope! Whatever muscles were there, were safely tucked under layers and I mean LAYERS of thigh squish.

So how do I change that for next time? I am thinking of running around the neighborhood later this afternoon, and I mean later, like when the heat starts to recede. I chose the track because I thought it would be empty, and basically except for Iron Man it was. But I will take the hills over the boring flat I think. And I will go after dinner, if need be. The reason I run in the morning is because that is when I can fit it in. Let’s face it, the hardest part, okay one of the hardest parts of getting back in shape is the time aspect. Most people my age have full lives, and can’t just take an hour out to exercise. So it has to be created out of nothing. For me that nothing was five in the morning. When I don’t go that early, something is getting pushed aside. Also, the later in the day it gets, the more apt I am to push it aside. Maybe, if it isn’t raining, I will bike tonight instead.

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