Young Hearts, Run Free (or How NOT to Train for a 5K)

YoungHearts

I started running a few weeks ago.  I figured why not try to start moving seeing as my job of parenting J.R. & Jackson requires me to stay in tip-top shape.  Not that NEVER EVER getting to sit down isn’t a workout in itself.

Okay let’s be honest.  The only reason why I started running is that I just learned I am the only person I know who doesn’t run marathons.  I am serious. Suddenly my friends are throwing around the terms 5K, Runner’s Depot, toenail loss, chafing, and incontinence as freely as I would Starbucks, vodka, or tuna tartare.  All I can think is that they must be drinking the same Kool Aid as my own family.  My father, who turns 70 next week, looks like a 40 year old Jack LaLanne. My sister? A former bodybuilder.  Other sister? Well she asked if I would join her for her boot camp class on THANKGIVING DAY! How, do I ask, am I not supposed to feel like a total waste of space?  It’s a conspiracy. I’m convinced! Seeing as I couldn’t beat them (or certainly any of their fit their asses), maybe I’d join them.

I think what sealed the deal for me was a conversation I had with my good friend Cory.  She told me that running was the ONLY time she has away from her kids, and it allowed her much needed time to clear hear head.  Time away from the kids? A whole hour of NOT THINKING about autism? Sign me up!

Keeping in mind that I get shin splints purely from walking the aisles of Publix (NO I AM NOT KIDDING), I call on my friend who just so happens to be certified to teach pose running.  See what I mean?  Total conspiracy.

Pose running is a style of running that has you landing on the balls of your feet.  This takes all the pressure off the areas that could cause shin splints.  I was just hoping not to land flat on my face, putting pressure on my twice broken nose.

Mind you the actual pose of pose running makes you look like a complete fool.  Go on YouTube and you can watch countess hours of people who appear they are auditioning for Toni Basil’s Hey Mickey video.  Aside from looking like you are cheering on your tippy toes while acting as if  your saddle shoes are on fire, you look perfectly normal.  Then there are the parakeets.  More on them in a minute.

Lesson one in pose running took place in my driveway.  In order for Jennifer to explain pose running in terms I could understand, she had to call out (okay scream out) a few simple commands.  For starters, I was supposed to hold my hands out close to my boobs, making soft fists.  Pretend I have a parakeet in each hand.  Then, I’d need to slightly lean forward while thrusting my legs backward.  Like I was scraping dogshit off of my shoes.  Did I mention I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time?

“You’re STRANGLING your parakeets Kristi!” yelled Jenn.

“Scrape the shit!  Scrape the shit! Scraaaaaaaape the shit!” SCREAMED Jenn.

I am telling you right now that if I find out that peeing in your pants a tiny bit while running isn’t a naturally occurring event for women our age, I am going to beat the TAR out of Jenn next time I see her.  She swore up and down she wasn’t peeing from laughing at me.  Jenn if you are reading this, watch your back.  Just sayin.

DETERMINED to follow through with something for once in my life, I was going to become a shit kicking, parakeet taming pose runner.  And it had better make me piss myself.

When I started running on my own, I got winded after four feet.  There was no way on God’s green earth I would make it an entire mile.  It actually took me nearly a week of running to reach that milestone.  And something amazing happened- no shin splints.  A bit less amazing?  My calves hurt so frigging bad that I had to strap ten pound bags of Redi Ice to them night and day.  I actually allowed myself to collapse on the ground one day because I couldn’t take the pain of walking another step.  Problem was that I happened to be at Target at the time.  Big scene.

But today I reached a milestone.  Two miles. And because you are a fan, I will let you in on my secrets to success- how I was able to get into a groove, so to speak. Read this blog entry within a blog entry and judge for yourself…….

Runner’s Log- Sunday, November 21, 2010.  I am determined to reach two miles (or two hours, whichever comes first).  Twenty-year-old shorts, engage.  Fashion sneakers purchased at Marshall’s and meant for anything but running, don’t fail me now.  Remember, Kristi, slow and steady wins the race. Let go of that old adage friends don’t let friends exercise. Let’s hit the track running. Go GO GO!

Okay the 80-year-old “walkers” just lapped me.  Screw them.  I’ve got a technique. I repeat my mantra that reminds me to land on my balls, kick away the shit, and mind my ‘keets.  Balls. Shit. And don’t choke the chicken.  I repeat:

Balls. Shit. No chooooooke the chickens.

Balls. Shit. No chooooooke the chickens. 

Finally I am in a rhythm. Oh my God I think I am talking out loud. Time for some tunes to drown out my own voice.  Extended versions of StompShame, & Boogie Shoes…play!

Remember Kristi, a great way to keep your mind off of the excruuuuuuuuciating pain I you feel in your calves is to pretend you are pursuing your heart’s desire of becoming a professional (1970’s era) roller skating queen.  So determined, you’ve managed to “shuffle” around each corner of the track.  No easy task to transition from thinking kick shit off of your heels to shit off of your wheels…but you’ve got this!

Ain’t no stopping me now.  Others around me are obviously intimidated by my perfect runskating form and Dove brand shorts because even the non-walkers are dropping like flies.  One by one they exit the track, except for a few who feel the need to run RIGHT UP TO ME for some strange reason.  Maybe it’s because I am belting out “Don’t, don’t, don’t, DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY BABY, DON’T LEAVE!!!!!” Hmmm….not a clue.

For some reason they recoil upon “My heart is full of love and it’s OUT FOR YOU…some come on and do what you’ve GOT TO DO!!!!!”  Maybe the size of my calves had them retreating in jealousy?

Either way, with a clean path ahead of me toward mile two, I am cleared to have my choice of I Like Big ButtsShake What Your Mama Gave Ya, or Scrub the Ground to carry me home.  Hey, a girl can’t live by Disco alone.

To switch things up, I trade humming explicit lyrics for a bit of visualization.  This genre of music reminds me of my carefree days as a college girl, whose biggest worry was what she’d wear to the next fraternity mixer.  Light years from the dog days of autism.

And lo and behold those two miles flew by!  I walk an additional lap to Peanut Butter Jelly Time! Okay I danced it.

And that is how I managed to work my way up to two miles.  I hope you were able to take something from my generous narrative.  I on the other hand just learned that conveniently, “boot camp sister” requests that in lieu of birthday gifts, all of her family and friends run in her church’s upcoming 5K.  A 5K is a half a mile, right?  Then I’ve got it in the bag!

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