Thirty Days of Running

I challenged myself to run every day in September.  I started running (again) four years ago when I had made the decision to try a triathlon.  I had been given a free two week membership at a local pool, and remembered how much I liked to swim.  I’ve always liked to ride bikes, since I was six years old anyway.  And the year before that I had been in my first 5K post childbearing, though I had just walked fast, doing it with a friend for a cause we were both involved in.  So I knew I could at the very least walk through the 5K part of the triathlon, but I wanted to run it.  It has been a slow and choppy process to get back into it, and with very little improvement.  In fact, the first time I went to a track to run, I couldn’t believe how long it took me to get around it.  At first I thought it must be a longer than normal track.  No, I’m not kidding, though I quickly realized how ridiculous if was that I thought that.  I just couldn’t believe how slow I was. I was a slow runner in my twenties, with a nine or ten minute per mile pace. So in my mid-fifties apparently it was taking me about 15 minutes to run a mile.  When I started running in 5K’s, it was an effort to stay ahead of the walkers, and I only did to try to keep from being too embarrassed.  Otherwise, I would have happily run along as they walked at the same pace.  Well, as anyone who runs these days does, just about, I have taken up listening to podcasts as I run.  Through my years of hitting the gym, I downloaded Hay House Radio shows on my little mp3 player. But their website changed, and my little mp3 players all eventually broke, and I have a new phone.  Listening one day to the Rich Roll Podcast, I heard Mishka Shubaly talk about learning to run by doing a 30 day running challenge after being challenged by a friend. I wondered if that would make a difference for me.  i started a Tri Club in the spring, before I moved, and we had a Chi Running  Coach come out and give us some pointers.  I was still trying to incorporate his tips, and it was a little like patting my head and rubbing my stomach and chewing gum at the same time.  It wasn’t entirely coming together.  I ran every day for the month of September.  Often just two miles, sometimes three or four.  One day even longer, though I didn’t map it so I’m not sure how far.  Some changes happened.  After the first week it felt easier.  Less choppy.  Still I wasn’t Chi Running.  About the beginning of the fourth week though, there was some type of a breakthrough where I was leaning forward more like the running coach suggested.  I am still slow.  Yesterday was the last day.  It poured rain.  I almost talked myself out of going. Finally it stopped to a very light drizzle, and by the time I got out it had stopped.  The foliage here, by the way, is beautiful.  I’m in the Northeast.  Now that the challenge to myself is over, I plan to cut back to three days a week, with two short runs and one long.  So I didn’t go today.  And guess what. I miss it.

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