Did you know that when I started marathon training, I was not stretching before each run? How in the world did I think I could just hop up and run 4 or 5 miles without a single knee, glute, hamstring stretch… nothing. It was painful to say the least. My husband just thought I had a death wish. He told me I wasn’t a spring chicken anymore so I’d better learn some good stretches. (Come to think of it, I still owe him for that one.)
My longest run so far has been 15 miles. I ran it very early in the morning because I live in Florida and by 9am its like 10 thousand degrees outside already. You can always tell where someone is from by looking at the time of day they stop doing outdoor activities. By 10am I’m running for cover and ceasing all things even remotely related to going outside. I won’t even go out to get the mail between the hours of 9am and 5pm. But Floridians will still be outside at high noon running, bike riding, gardening. 🙂
So anyway, I went to bed early the night before and set my alarm for 5am so that I could be up and running by 6. I ate a huge bowl of pasta the night before as well to boost my energy (complex carbs ya know…). When I woke up at 5:45 (I just couldn’t make my body move at 5am), I brushed my teeth while I stretched. I drank 12 ounces of water, while I stretched. I ate a light grilled chicken sandwich for the carbs and protein, while I stretched. If you haven’t guessed, the operative word here is stretched. 🙂
I put on all the things I needed for my run. And it was a lot. I had to wear so much gear I felt like a transformer. I guess I was transforming into “Ro – The Runner!” Check out this list, from head to feet:
1. Sun visor
2. Ponytail holder – to keep my hair up
3. Sports band – to keep my glasses from falling off
4. Sports bra
5. Light-weight running top
6. Running capris – I’m not comfortable in those little tiny shorts yet
7. Knee support – to help support sensative right knee due to injury
8. Sports socks – that stay perfectly in place when I run and also stay dry
9. Running shoes with nike+ sensor to track my run
10. Fuel belt – which carries four 7 oz. water bottles to help me stay hydrated
11. Ipod – with nike+ remote
People often say if you’re going to talk the talk you better walk the walk. But has anyone ever considered how hard it can be to do that?? I mean when I started running I was so clueless I wasn’t even stretching before. Now, in addition to stretching ’til the cows come home, I have no less than 12 items I put on to run.
So how difficult is it to say you want to go back to school knowing the last time you wrote a paper, you did it on a typewriter? Now kids have laptops in class! Or you want to open your own restaurant but you’re constantly hearing how big a failure restaurants can be if you don’t know what you’re doing and all you know how to do is make a mean pesto chicken pasta with broccoli?
As I put on all 12 items for that 15 mile run I realized I probably looked like a clueless little amateur out there on my first few runs with my Target brand tennis shoes and no water. It was rough. But I learned and got better because I started running and I kept at it. If I didn’t start running I would’ve been depriving myself of going for my goals. But equally important, if I hadn’t ignored how ridiculous I felt and kept at it, someone else who aspired to be a runner might have given up because they saw me give up. That’s why you walk the talk… to give others hope that it can be done.
So as the mileage requirement (and the temperature) gets higher each week I will keep walking the talk, or “running” the talk in my case, because I want others to know that an overweight mother of four CAN run a marathon. But I tell you one thing… I may not be “Ro -The Runner” anymore. I’ll be “Ro -The-run-only-at-night-because-it’s-just-too-friggin’-hot-to-run-during-the-day-Runner!”