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Pop singer Britney Spears gained her second U....

I'll run to Britney Spears' whole catalog for abs like this...seriously. Image via Wikipedia

The Reincarnation of a Runner

As many of you who follow me on twitter or follow my personal blog know, I finally figured out what was wrong with my running shoes and decided to get back out there and try to pick up running again. What you may not know is that, except for several attempts in the interim, I haven’t actually ran since maybe freshman year of college. I’ve never been a distance runner. In the past five years, my personal best has been 45 minutes on the treadmill at a pace of 3.8 miles/hour, which is slightly more than 2.65 miles, which I did nearly everyday in late 2006/early 2007. I’ve been jogging/walking three times, once for two miles and twice for three miles, including today. After logging five miles last week and three so far this week, these are my confessions about running:

  • I am not eighteen anymore. I don’t mean this in a literal sense. It’s just that I noticed myself beating myself up over the numbers on the stopwatch, how long I could sustain a jogging pace, how bad my form had become. The thing is, at eighteen, like many of the lithe young girls that were out today, I ran every day. I had built up endurance. I was thirty pounds lighter, too. I never timed myself or tried to judge my distance. I didn’t have great form then, either, until a track coach saw me and gave me some pointers.  It will come back to me the more I go, the more I actually learn about form, and the more weight I get off my poor joints.
  • Skinny little runners drive me crazy. They just do. Everything about them, from their happily bouncing ponytail to the way they glow rather than sweat, makes me mad. I hate how they seem to not even be trying. I hate how they have perfect form. I hate how they pass me three and four times during the course of one of my circuits around the mile course. They make me feel out of shape and old, which, I suppose, compared to them I am. Doesn’t mean they have to make me feel that way.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with feeling the fat on my waist flop as I jog. One the one hand, I know its moving and sweating is a good thing; I’m working it off. On the other hand, it feels gross and heavy and it makes me feel ashamed of my fat self. There shouldn’t be any fat there in the first place.
  • I get easily frustrated with a lack of progress. I expect that each run I have will be better than the last, that I will be able to jog that much longer or go that much further. If I can only do exactly what I did the time before, I get frustrated. I don’t want to hear that I’m just starting out; I should only be getting better. (Obviously, I’m uber competitve and hard on myself)
  • I only jog on the parts of the trail with few people and plenty of shading trees. I don’t want people watching all the jiggling, poor form, hard breathing, and possible limping. I wait until I’ve cleared the soccer fields to jog, then wait until I’ve cleared the tennis courts (at least the part they can see me from) before I start running. I have gotten to where I can jog past the back part of one soccer field, however.
  • I think sweat is disgusting. It’s one of the myriad complaints I have about cardio of any kind. Luckily, I’m not much of a face sweat-er, or I would probably refuse to ever go running again, needing to lose weight and find a fit passion or not.
  • I didn’t hydrate enough/ properly fuel before my run today, result= “bad” run. So apparently a chicken quesadilla (chicken, cheese and tortilla), while having complex carbs and protein, wasn’t sufficient. Neither was a can of soda. I know, I know! You aren’t telling me anything my body didn’t tell me loved and clear several times today.
  • When I run, I sometimes listen to music I’d never otherwise listen to. Chief among these running guilty pleasures is a plethora of Britney Spears tracks, the song Party Like a Rock Star, Turn My Swag on (Remix), and Pretty Girl Rock (Don’t judge me). I listen to “good” music, too, like Prince and Beyoncé/Destiny’s Child; let’s not get crazy, now.

There, now, I feel better, don’t you?

What are your running/exercising dirty secrets? Any funny beginner stories? When did you realize you weren’t eighteen anymore?