No lamb, no garden, no immaculate conception but there IS something about me.


Running, Day 1: Back in the Saddle

About a month and a half ago I tried to jump right back into running cold turkey. My running store has runs in the winter called the Cold Feet runs (in the summer it's the Hot Feet runs, natch) that start out at the store and pretty much go any distance you want. The guy who heads it up, Fred, is amazing and actually won the New Orleans Rock and Roll Half Marathon last year and is heading to the Olympic Qualifiers in a few weeks. He usually laps us all several times over to make sure we're doing ok and give encouragement and it's a great time to get some mileage in with some friends. They're held on Sunday mornings for most of the year.

Anyway, about a month and a half ago the Cold Feet runs started up again and one of my running friends texted me to see if I wanted to go. Of course I did because I was dying to get back into running but mentally didn't know how. I am now going to give you the synopsis of how the day went:
-I arrived
-I was nervous but felt I could do ok if I walked some of it if I felt like I needed a break.
-I made it the first half mile and felt better than I thought I would.
-The second half mile I wanted to die so I slowed down, then walked, then eventually turned around and cried all the way back to the store, got in my car and drove home never to return.
-The end.

What I did was fall into the trap that every new runner does: to push right out of the gate too hard and too fast. I KNEW I wasn't conditioned for it and had an extra 50lb to contend with but my pride got the better of me. The best advice I have ever been given (and continue to give) is to start out slow and then slow down. You may think you're in decent shape but running (especially outside) will humble you in a way that not much else can. You need to give yourself time to adjust and build up your endurance which I didn't do and I was essentially bitch slapped in the face by my own inability to recognize my shortcomings.

Today I started out with a different approach. I have never used the Couch to 5k program but have recommended it several times so I decided to download it onto my phone and see how it did with pacing me. And truth be told it did great. It kept me from pushing too hard too fast because it starts out at a 5 minute warm up walk then alternates 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. I kind of screwed it up because I didn't know I was closing the app every time I hit a button on my phone so I ended up running more than I needed to and did 3 miles instead of the 2 that the app would have taken me through (I was planning on doing 3 miles anyway, I need to start out at a decent distance and build up) but it worked out great in the end. I felt great, my head started to clear and I finally got some of the much needed clarity that I have been so desperately seeking for the last year. I can't explain what running does to me but it somehow grounds me in a way that nothing else can which is why I love it. And today was an amazing day for living in the snow capitol of the country: 40 degrees and not a flake on the ground.

There are some things that came from the run though:

1) There is a snowball's chance in hell that I won't hurt like a mother tomorrow. I already do, my sedentary body is screaming for the couch and my back is beyond ticked at me. I think there is a little man with a pitchfork in there jabbing me every 30 seconds or so to remind me of his displeasure at my wanting to exercise and NOT sit around eating pretzels and watching Top Chef.

2) I don't know how long I will actually follow the app. It's going to be great to get me started again but I can see myself getting annoyed in another week or so at having to only run in short bursts. Who knows though, I may stick with it however I have a half marathon on 11 weeks (oh yes, you read that correctly) and while I don't know how much I will be able to run of it I am determined to do my very best possible (more on that in another post).

3) I broke 2 cardinal rules today. First, I ran wearing all cotton. Cotton and running combined are the devil. Usually there is absolutely nothing cotton that I am willing to wear running right down to my socks. I have the most sensitive skin known to man kind and cotton just gets wet when you sweat and then it's trapped creating all sorts of chafing and coldness and overall unhappiness. My discovery of wickable material and Smartwool socks are one of the greatest things to ever happen to me but sadly, I don't fit into any of my running clothes right now as they are all a size small and I refuse to buy larger gear. Therefore, for the time being, I suffer. And second, I ran with my phone. Normally I won't even run with an ipod let alone my phone which gives people the ability to text me and send Words with Friends requests and all that business that distracts me and breaks my stride but I needed to do it for the app (another reason I will probably abandon it sooner rather than later). Sure enough, someone played a word against me right in the middle of a point when I was running and I cursed the fact that I had my phone.

Overall today was a great first day back. My heart feels a tiny bit lighter than it did this morning and the world is a little bit clearer which is how I know I'm doing the right thing. And honestly, with running around with views like this how could I feel any differently?


  1. If you don't bring your phone how could you take awesome photos on your run?
    Way to get back in the saddle! I used to run, lost 40lbs. Got pregnant, gained 40lbs. Started running again, lost 40lbs.

  2. Turn your phone onto airplane mode. You'll get the benefit of the app but it won't get texts or other updates.

    1. Thank you! I actually notices after a few runs that it doesn't let texts or anything else (not sure about calls) through so I like it a lot better.