Today's post really isn't funny, so if it helps, imagine me on the treadmill while you read this. Honestly, I run like Velma on Scooby Do.
I hate running. I really do. I hate the pounding of my feet; I hate being out of breath, and I hate the monotony of it. I would rather do 10 minutes of sit-ups than a 10-minute run. My knees hate it, too. So it's probably no surprise that once I left the Air Force and it's mandatory mile-and-a-half run, I never jogged or sped off unless it was after a wayward Fabian child.
Guess what's an integral part of circuit torture? At least it's only one to three minutes on the treadmill. Not a lot of time to get seriously discouraged by the panting and the monotony. However, over the past 20 years, everything associated with running has deteriorated, including my knees. I discovered to my dismay (but not surprise) that I could barely manage 30 seconds at a 4.5 level on the treadmill my first week. (That's about a 15-minute mile rate. To compare, in the Air Force, I ran the mile and a half in 13:45. And that's not a great score.)
Still, I kept doing as best I can, and my personal torturer, Ryion, kept pushing me and kept things varied--sprints one day, slow jog on a high incline the next, straight run after that. One minute today, three tomorrow, two the next day... I got shin splints (remember those from my military career, too), so I went to the elliptical for a couple of weeks, again pushing myself, trying the treadmill a day before going back tot he elliptical. Basically just not stopping.
Today, I ran at an 8:13 mile pace for two minutes after having worked out for an entire hour, including running at slower paces.
I feel pretty good about that, and I've discovered when it's only for a minute or two at a time, I kind of like running.
The moral of the story, of course, is that you shouldn't let a discouraging beginning deter you. With slow and steady progress, you can make great strides.