Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ahh running- why do you hate me so...

I hate running.  Or maybe running just hates me – the roads, the trails, the treadmills, the tracks… it’s all a conspiracy to test my will and determination.  I don't think I've always hated it.  I've grown to respect it as a physical activity, but I still hate it.  I used to play soccer in high school.  I hated running then.  I particularly loved playing fullback because I didn’t have to run as much as when I played left wing.  Then I came into the Army in 1997.  I started running and have looked for every ethical excuse in the world to stop.   
My dislike of running really started at Fort Gordon during my advanced individual training from 1997-1998.  I used to get THE WORST shin splints.  Eventually I ended up with a stress fracture in one of my femurs of all places and was placed on a profile to do the swim event for my PT test.  After having to do that event, I swore I would never get a profile for an alternate event again.  The only thing worse then running for time is swimming for time.
 I think my true hatred of the activity began when I was at Fort Drum, assigned to the 10th Signal Battalion.  We fell under the 18th Airborne Corps, and under that regime, all Soldiers were required to complete a 4 mile run in less than 36 minutes IN ADDITION to the passing the Army Physical Fitness Test required of all Soldiers.  That meant we all ran… a lot.  I was always the one that fell out of formation and fell behind.  I was the one that some poor NCO would have to fall back to the rear with to “police me up” and make sure I finished.  I am the reason they have “fall-out NCOs” for formation runs.
In any case, I had a baby in 1999 and then again in 2000… both at Fort Drum.   Followed by another in 2005 and then again in 2007 in Colorado Springs (the altitude adding a whole other dimension to running).  Every single time, it was so hard to get back into shape- progressively getting harder with each baby.  Now I’m wise enough to understand that I had to retrain my new “post-baby body” how to run.  But, without fail, with every child I’ve had, it’s been harder and harder to get back into the swing of things. 

Here we are now- 2012… post baby Elijah… Baby #5.  I’ve been in the Army just under 15 years.  I’m older, I’m slower, I’m heavier, and I’m not anywhere near as energetic as I used to be.  It’s been 6 months since I’ve had Elijah and I’m now supposed to be able to pass an Army Physical Fitness Test.  Passing would require me to complete 15 pushups in 2 minutes, 42 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and run 2 miles in under 21:42.  Where do I stand?  Well, let’s just say I’m not there. 
But I’m determined.  I’m not going to let those roads, trails, treadmills or tracks beat me.  The only way to get better at running is to … well… run.  And so that’s what I’ve started doing.  I’ve started running.  Haven’t really set any goals for myself yet.  I’m just running.  Getting out there and doing it, I’m convinced, is half the battle.  I have my iPod, my headphones and my handy-dandy Nike+GPS app;  and then I run.  Slowly, but surely, I run.  I post my runs on Facebook to hold myself accountable.  Something about sharing my weakness with the world makes me want to try just a little bit harder. 
So, watch my progress and feel inspired.  Feel inspired to confront something you hate and not let it beat you.  My screen name on Nike+ is mwaychoff77.  I always post a start and end message on Facebook when I run.  I don’t mind displaying my awful stats for the world to see.  At some point, I’ll be embarrassed enough by them to kick my butt into high gear.  Feel free to cheer me along, have a good laugh, or even join me in my challenge to beat those pesky roads, trails, tracks and treadmills.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle,

    I appreciate this post and admire your resolve. I'm in the same PT test hell. Thanks for the Nike tip and your honesty. Loved this.

    Amanda Giroux