My phone comes to life in the early dark of our bedroom and I swim from sleep to chase it around the nightstand one clumsy hand outstretched fingers trying to work that goddamned slider eyes adjusting mini-camera shutters opening wide in the gloom and here is what I’m supposed to do, I’m supposed to get up pull on running tights scrape oily hair under my battered Nike hat clip on my iPod lace up my shoes and the thought of all that sends me falling into the pillow dropping back into a drowsy fugue and no, I guess there will be no running this morning. Ten hours later I think how if I’d gone ten hours ago I’d have been done for ten hours now.

A year and a half ago I ran 26.2 miles, today I’ve forgotten all the machinations of running and after one solitary mile my brain pulls itself up to a glowing keyboard, cracks its knuckles, begins composing an increasingly agitated message to my body that ends with an all-caps instruction to STOP RIGHT FUCKING NOW and so I do, I walk and pant and I cannot remember how I managed to keep going, once upon a time. I have lost a sense of momentum. The less I move the harder it is to begin moving the more it makes me want to be still. I am pulling inwards while my body expands outwards and I know where this goes, it goes nowhere good, and I am trying to stop it but shh, shh, right now I just want to be still.

Shh I say shh baby I’ll play with you in a minute right now I have to finish my work and this is how it goes all morning long while the TV burbles and chirps and my son learns to amuse himself and the couch forms a deep curve under me as my laptop burns through my legs and the hours days weeks months pass tick tock tick tock.

Where are you going?

I am going nowhere.

Are you okay with that?

Not really.

What are you going to do about it?


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10 years ago

Hey there. Sorry for the late comment but all the SEXCHUAL CONTENT on this site means I have to wait till weekends to comment :)

ANYWAY, not to completely miss the point of this entry, which I do recognize is not entirely about fitness, but: run/walk.

Wait, COME BACK! Hear me out:

Whenever I go through periods of getting back into running, I do 8:2 run/walk religiously. Run 8 minutes. Walk briskly for 2. Repeat as often as desired.

Here’s why it’s awesome:
1. Starting with run/walk at the first mile (so not running until you can’t and THEN walking, but running, and taking a walk break before you really “need” it, and then running again) ensures you’re not maxing out your heart and setting yourself up for failure (basically: rest before you’re tired, not after. Once you’re in the after, you’re probably done)
2. Mentally I do better with smaller intervals. I can’t always run more miles, but at the end of the two minute walk I find I can almost always run 8 more minutes.
3. Yeah, you feel like a huge pussy walking. It’s an ego hit. I remember running a half marathon on a Marine Corps base and taking my 2 minute walk break at that first mile made me feel Suuuuuuper lame. I remember spending that entire race yo-yoing with this group of 18 year Marines; I’d pass them when I was running, they’d pass me when I was walking, and on and on for miles… until mile 10, when I passed their asses for good and never saw them again. Suck it, Marines! You got chicked by a girl AND a walker, ha! (Sorry, reliving the moment, which was sweet)

Anyway. When I saw your tweet last week about running one mile and then dying, I remember wanting to mention this to you. Be nice to yourself and give yourself regular intervals to slow your heart rate and regroup…in all areas of your life.

10 years ago

My god, woman. You just typed out my life. Word for word. And in that, you have also inspired me to get off my ass. My best friend wants me to run a 1/2 marathon with her in February. The training started last week. I’ve blown it off so far because, are you kidding me? It’s running. My body hates running. I tried to run just a mile at the gym recently and I tasted that burning blood-lung taste and I had to walk. But my word, when I move, my body and my brain LOVE me.

I’m going to start moving. I want to love myself again. Thanks for this post.

10 years ago

A late comment but I know your love of zombies so maybe this app will be a good motivator/trainer for you. Or, fun at least ;)

Al Lowe
Al Lowe
10 years ago

Linda, thanks for this post. My husband and I were just talking last night about how we’re sleeping SO poorly lately, and I was like, “remember when we did C25K and were running for those several months and talking about how we slept like logs?” And he was like, “yeah…” And then we sat there in silence like idiots. It’s got to be done, but Lord, getting up to do it is a punch in the face.

10 years ago

I still love your old post you did-the “Three Months” one because it inspires me still. It’s positive without being annoying. I know it’s a super old post but I believe it. I did it before, and I’m doing it again after two babies. I always thought, it just takes a couple months for things to become a (good) habit, if you stick with it. It takes about that long to notice change.
I am around 155 lbs now and while that may seem like a lot to many, I feel like I’ve come so far after having two boys and losing 80 lbs since February. I don’t dodge the camera like I had been. I left a job where I felt like I wasn’t getting much out of it, and the people there were just awful, for lack of better word. I finally feel like I am getting my confidence back.
I ran a 15K last weekend, and even lost both my middle toenails! Gah! I know, I have to get fitted for shoes. I’m not stopping, but I will take it easy. I work out at night, or I’ll take my kids (the daycare at the Y aren’t bad) and my husband goes as well.
Anyway, I like the saying, “The longest stride is the first step.” Not to give up, and just pick up where you left off then next day.

10 years ago

I have no advice to give with regards to getting back into the exercise grind (lord knows I’m one of the lazier ones) but every time I read one of your deeper posts, I wonder if you’ll ever get around to writing that book. Cause lady, you are such a wonderful wonderful writer.

10 years ago

Update: You and a friend of mine (who just completed a half-marathon) have inspired. God, I hope I can do this but the hubs and I are signing up for a half-marathon in April.


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