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Training Day 1

August 16, 2006

These are my new running shoes. They arrived yesterday, which coincidently was the day I’d targeted to start the 5K Walking & Jogging Program, also known as the first phase of my marathon training. (My marathon training. That cracks me up.) I know it might seem premature to have bought new shoes before I actually did any running. Surely some of my walking shoes would have worked just fine for the little bits of jogging I’ll be doing in the early weeks of this program, but my hope is that having actual running shoes will motivate me to use them to actually run. I bought these online because I didn’t want to face the conversation I imagined I’d have at the shoe store. Salesperson: “So how many miles a week do you run?” Me: “Um, none.” I’ll wait to get fitted until I have something real to talk about; until then these shoes will be fine–they’re the wide width I need, weren’t too expensive, are a brand I recognize, and they’re pretty.

Since I was still feeling the effects of the cold that kept me home on Monday, I had thought about putting off starting, but when the shoes showed up I took it as a sign I needed get moving. As soon as I got home from work I changed into shorts and a tee shirt and my pretty new shoes and headed out for Day 1: four minutes of walking followed by one minute of jogging, repeat until 20 minutes have elapsed. The walking was fine, of course, but the when I got to the jogging it got hard. I was on a somewhat busy street when the time came for the first minute, and I felt incredibly conspicuous. I imagined that the people in the cars driving by were staring at me, watching my flab jiggle. To solve that problem, I headed over to the elementary school and did laps around it for the rest of my time–no cars driving through the playground, at least. The people in the houses surrounding the school may have been looking out their windows and exclaiming about how red my face was getting, though.

And my face sure did get red. Nothing surprising there, since that’s its normal reaction when faced with heat or exertion, much less both. Even just the measly single minutes of jogging got me breathing hard, but I’ve got to start somewhere. I’m hoping that because I was still congested from the cold germs last night that next time will be easier. I am also hoping that my right knee will get more used to the idea; it wasn’t entirely happy with the new regime but feels okay today.

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