I have tried running off and on since 2002. At my "peak", I could do a ten-minute mile and a little over 3 miles per excursion. I currently average about 11 minutes per mile and the farthest I've ran in the past year is probably about 2.5 miles.
I get frustrated that I'm not very good at running. Then I remind myself that I've never stuck with it enough. And then I question how much does one have to stick with it because even if I get pretty good about going out 2-3 times a week for a month or more, I don't feel like I really see much improvement.
Toward the end of the summer I decided to say goodbye to running and started going to the apartment's gym. As it got colder and darker in the morning, I exchanged that for the 30 Day Shred. My hate for push-ups and my growing dislike for the sound of Jillian's voice and wretched workout video phrases like, "Abs like this don't come for free." or "That is fear leaving the body!" are making me feel like I need a new workout alternative.
And oddly enough, I find that I miss running.
I feel strong when I run. Even when old men pass me on the sidewalk (and they do), I love the feeling of the pavement passing away underneath my shoes. Feeling that I'm strong enough to carry myself this distance on my own. Sometimes there's an uncomfortable pain (at which point I start power walking and trying not to feel too ridiculous), but sometimes there's the amazing feeling of tension in my muscles, knowing that they're working and getting stronger.
Lee got up and went running with me Thursday morning. I appreciate it so much because I don't want to run alone in the dark, and Lee, being a long-time runner, could easily run MUCH faster (like a seven-minute mile). But he runs at my slow pace, extra early so I can still wash and style my hair for work, because he is awesome.
My first mile time? 12:20. But it felt amazing.