The Beginner’s Guide to Running: Part 3
The following is the 3rd of a 4-part guest post series from from reporter, fiction writer, and 20Something Blog Author, Andrea Lynn Tyrell.
I could already tell that this will not be a good week for running.
The temperature outside is 102, and in the evenings, you’re still roasting even when running in the shade. Your clothes and your hair stick to you and all the flora and fauna you run past wilts away in the presence of your stinky sweat. You’re like Pepe le Pew.
Yeah, it’s a pretty image.
While my new job hasn’t been especially stressful, all I want to do when I get home from the office is sleep. So, I did. The only movement my body experienced was the walk from my bedroom to the bathroom (it’s only eight steps away).
But it was getting late in the week and the nagging in my head was telling me to get out and run.
If you drop one egg, do you give up and throw the whole dozen on the floor? Yes, I haven’t ran in the last four days. That doesn’t mean I should give up. I need to make that omelet.
The air smelled stale and waves of grey heat rose from the street. In the Couch to 5K (C25K) program, I’m up to jogging for almost two miles. I circle my block a couple of times, wondering how my fluids I’m sweating out. Cleary, I didn’t drink enough water despite chugging two full
33 ounces at work. When I reached my front door, I felt like I was going to pass out. This heat sucks.
I can’t wait for autumn.
I woke up not wanting to run. I came home not wanting to run.
I wasn’t sore. The heat cooled down due to a midafternoon rain shower. So, what was the issue?
I made my decision. I didn’t run.
Instead of sleeping that night, I overanalyzed my decision and gave myself an anxiety attack.
I failed. And I failed big.
I will run tomorrow.
I have to.
My freshmen year of college, I had a professor named Paul Mitchell (yes, like the haircare brand). He taught my journalism 102 class and was tough on his students, demanding their best. I coasted through journalism 101, getting an A, so I figured that Paul’s class would be a piece of cake. Nope, it wasn’t. I unfortunately learned the hard way.
At the end of each semester, Paul takes students aside to talk about their progress and accomplishments. Paul sat me down, stared straight into my eyes and said, “You’re lazy. You could be one of the best students in the entire department but. You. Are. LAZY.”
(I left the classroom, sobbing.)
I will never forget what Paul said that day. Ten years have passed and I still have nightmares about that exact moment. Paul was right. I was lazy. I was a lazy teenager then and I am a lazy adult now. This is what I told myself as I laced up my sneakers. Yes, beating myself up was the only way I was going to run. I had to make myself emotionally vulnerable.
I ran for a half hour. Normally, I feel like I can save the world after I run but I laid on the couch, feeling defeated. I hated that I needed to beat myself up into to do something beneficial like working out. Running was supposed to be fun and now, it felt like a chore.
My therapist told me that it’s not good trying to fight against something you’ve just done when you’re feeling bad about it. You need to be good to yourself. I reminded myself that I was running for my health, something I should never be bored with or take for granted. I wanted to lose weight for the health benefits (since I already think I look fine and like my curves). I needed to find some motivation.
I Googled other’s strategies for weight loss and incentives. Some women, when they lost ten pounds, would buy themselves a new outfit. Clothes are already a treat for me (I don’t buy them often) so that wouldn’t be effective. One woman wrote on Reddit that she treats herself with trips. She no longer weighed herself but kept herself in check by thinking about all travel photos she would be in- she wanted to look good. That’s the philosophy for me. I trashed the scale and looked at flights to the Maldives. I already know that I look good in a bikini but I’d look better in one on a white sand beach with a big smile and toned legs.
That was the thought that pushed me to run for the rest of the week. The beach in Maldives. The beach in Maldives. The beach in Maldives.
Looks like I need to start saving up.
Andrea Lynn Tyrell is a 29-year-old reporter, blogger, actress and fiction writer living in Reno, NV.
Tyrell has editorial, website and multimedia experience and writes about political issues, relationships and sex, entertainment and art, as well as human interest pieces. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaLTyrell and at twenty20something.wordpress.com.