To tell you the truth, I don't really remember the first run that clearly. I think remember parts, but I'm not sure if it was the first run or bits and pieces of the early runs. I know that first week that I ran, it was the end of August and beginning of September 2010, and it was not fun. I got up around 6:15 a.m., got dressed, downed a granola bar and some water, and headed out the door. The sun was just starting to come up, and the weather was beautiful. I walked to the end of the street, and at the corner, I started to jog.
Things came back to me fairly quick. I used to run a couple of miles in the evenings back in 2006 and 2007 when I was trying to lose weight. This was before I got pregnant and stopped everything besides walking. It wasn't too bad. I headed down the hill by my house toward the bridge over the creek and went back up the other side. I carried my phone with me and used the stopwatch to see how long I had run. At about 10 minutes, I turned around and headed back. I got back to the corner in about the same time. Later, I would drive the route and found out I had run about a mile before I turned around. A ten minute mile for two miles. Not too far from what I used to do, and not too bad considering I hadn't run very much in a few years.
I remember thinking that I didn't enjoy one second of the runs in those first few weeks. I remember cussing in my head and my heart pounding out of my chest at times. I remember my feet and my legs not being happy with being up this early, let alone working so much harder than normal. I remember thinking that running was a means to an end, so I would have to endure the torture of it to get to the goal: a healthier, happier me.
After the run was over, now that's a whole different story. I felt awake, alive, great! I got into the shower and I was ready to face the day. Jocelyn wasn't even awake yet. I could do this, right? It works with my life, right?
That week, I got up twice to run. Some weeks I ran twice, others just once. My competitive nature compelled me to try to go a little farther or a little faster. I would mark points in my head where the one mile mark was and whether or not I hit it by the time my stopwatch got to ten minutes. The problem with that is that I wasn't running consistently enough to push ahead every time I ran. I was setting myself up for failure.
I commonly tried to push too fast, only to burn myself out to soon, and I'd have to walk part of the way back. I'd be really mad on those mornings! Walking was weakness. Walking was admitting I wasn't good enough. It took me a while to figure out how to not burn myself out in the beginning by starting slower and allowing some warm-up time.
About this time, we splurged to get the Garmin GPS watch. This helped a lot for me to learn about distance and pace. It helped me to start recognizing when I was going too fast or too slow.
When I started over-sleeping for my morning runs here and there, I decided to start running in the evenings right after work. There were still some daylight hours left, and I loved being able to sleep in. I pushed a little more distance each evening, but I stopped increasing miles when I reached three. I still cursed some runs. I thought that this was probably as good as it gets. Do I really need to run more than three?
In the meantime, Shane was running distances up to five miles on a regular basis and had even run the 10K loop by our house a couple of times. On weekends, he would call anyone and everyone to go running with him. I still wouldn't commit to the long run. While I envied his ability to run that long, it did not overcome the little voice in my head that told me that three miles was more than enough. I didn't need it. It was respectable...wasn't it?