Lazy Girl Trains for a Half Marathon: Week 1 of 22
Why am I doing this? Am I crazy?
-April Daniels Hussar
Ok. I’m really doing it. I signed up with Team in Training to train for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco on October 16, 2011. That means I need to be able to both run 13.1 miles in a row (ack!!) AND raise at least $3,200 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), which has raised over a billion dollars so far for life-saving blood cancer research — my personal goal is to raise $4K because that sounds ambitious but not as daunting as $5K.
As I’m typing this, I am thinking to myself how nuts this is because I am SO NOT A RUNNER. I’m like, the opposite of a runner. There are about 800 things I can think of that I’d rather be doing than running, the first being “laying on the couch reading a novel whilst eating chocolate” — a close second being “getting a manicure and then drinking a dirty martini”. To be fair to myself, I’m really not “lazy” — I work full time, volunteer at my daughter’s school, and just generally do a lot of stuff … but exercise really isn’t up there on my priority list. So, hmmm. I guess when it comes to exercise I am kind of lazy. Crap. I will say, up until about 8 years ago, I was a dancer, so I never really thought about “working out” as a separate activity that I needed to pay attention to — I was in great shape. Then I graduated from college, became a mother, ended up with a career that finds me parked behind a computer most of the time … well, you get the picture.
I have, over the years, attempted to be a runner — “attempt” being the key word here. I’ve never been able to make myself stick with it, never been able to get past the initial few weeks of torture and experience that so called “runner’s high”. My father was a runner for many, many years, and he used to try to get me to run with him when I went to visit (he lived in a different state) and I hated it — hated feeling slow and lame and just generally unworthy … so I blame him for the strong aversion to running I had for most of my life. (Nice, right, Dad? Mwahaha.)
So why am I doing this? To be honest, it’s mainly because I want to prove to myself that I can. It’s in support of a really great cause, so I’m hoping that will really inspire me to stick with it.
Also, I want to set an example for my daughter Isabella. My husband is so good about working out — he’s in great shape and super healthy. Me? Not so much. (See: novels, martinis, above). I want to show Isabella that it’s possible to change bad habits, to make a big shift and become healthier and more fit. And I want to inspire her by showing her, rather than telling, that we can all make a difference not just in our own lives, but in the lives of other people. Isabella never got to meet her paternal grandmother, because Margaret died right before my husband and I went on our first date … of lymphoma.
So! I’m inspired!
And totally intimidated and afraid of failing, which is why I decided to blog about my progress, because it’ll be one more motivation not to quit, right? Fear of public humiliation is a great kick in the pants!
Right now, I’m nearing the end of my first official week of training (which is really my second week, because I “unofficially” started training two weeks ago — I wanted to give myself a little boost before I went public with this baby). I have 22 weeks total. And trust me when I tell you I am literally starting from ZERO. So far, I’ve been sticking with the treadmill at the gym … I alternate running and walking fast. I fear actually hitting the pavement, alongside other people who can actually run (when my husband and I tried to go running together once, he had to actually walk because he literally couldn’t run as slow as me), so I’m building up a little stamina first.
Here’s how I looked and felt after my third “run” at the gym … hold on to your hats and prepare for some glamour!
I’ll be keeping you posted on my progress here at BettyConfidential once a week, and in the meantime, if you’d like to see me gasping and wheezing some more, you can visit me at aprilhussar.tumblr.com — and, of course you can make a tax deductible donation to LLS via my runner’s page here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nj/nikesf11/ahussar.
I’d love to hear from any of you who’ve done something like this, or re thinking of doing something like this … runners and runner wannabes alike!
April Daniels Hussar is BettyConfidential’s Executive Editor.