My attempts to start running again after a 28-year recovery period has not gone as I expected. By now, I expected to be running 1-2 miles a day, maybe with a longer run on weekends.
I’ve been working on intervals, starting with a six minute walk followed by a 1 minute run. Each week, I add a minute to the run and subtract a minute from the walk. I started this in April. Somewhere around Memorial Day, I got sidetracked after working up to my first four-minute run. I’d lost so much time I had to start over with one-minute intervals.
I’m back up to four minutes again. During the two- and three-minute intervals, I actually would get seriously winded and pray for the end of the run to come. My run is about 30 minutes, which means three intervals. After the end of the second run, I would dread the third.
Not the four-minute intervals. By the end of the first interval, I was falling into a rhythm. It would still be exhausting, but the recovery came faster, and my breathing would normalize during the run.
Of course, I’ve been cheating. During our recent heatwave, I didn’t run on days when the temperature topped 100 degrees. I suppose that’s not dedicated, but I am starting out again. I kind of wish I’d done something like this when I was fifteen and joining the cross country team. Completely clueless about running, but willing to learn, my first run ever was while wearing jeans and a pair of sneakers not designed for anything more than saving mom money when she bought me school clothes. I ran two miles in street clothes. My next run shocked my mother. After 15 years of refusing to wear shorts, I wore shorts.
Since I only run three times a week for now, I’m not to worried about dodging bad weather. Last week’s challenge was the late-day storms that pelted Cincinnati. In a few weeks, the challenge will be school. I start my bachelor’s degree at Wilmington College’s Cincinnati campuses. Unlike Cincinnati State, a technical college, Wilmington has no online classes. Once I adjust for that, I have to deal with the shortening days. I could run before work, but it’s dark then, too. And of course, cold weather. By then, I should be running about 2 miles a day, and the weather – unless it’s extremely cold or it’s a deep snow – is not going to be an excuse.
But I’m running again. And despite tightness in my hip the day after a run, it feels good.