Last year, I was too fat to fit into my snow pants. I was too fat for a lot of my regular pants, and they’d been banished to storage in the basement.
I was in a non-exercise realm, which extended into a continent of excessive eating, and shamefully, into the ghetto of cigarette smoking.
I don’t remember what the exact tipping point was, but around this time last year, I started making tentative little efforts to get myself back into the Land of Thinness and Exercise.
In May of last year, I started the Couch to 5k training program and on the Fourth of July, I completed my first 5k race. I did it alone and no one came to watch, by my choosing. It was very slow going. I think a little over 38 minutes.
Then I did a 2nd 5k within a month, with a friend, who left me in the dust. So I ran it alone, but the running was witnessed by others.
And then I met up with a girl friend to run a few times. I ran with another friend in Seattle when I was there. Still slow. But managing to tamp down my shame enough to try and do it with other people.
In November, I ran a 10K with David. An hour and eighteen minutes. Totally exposing just how slow I am to my super fit boyfriend. He ran with me the entire time, which I appreciated immeasurably. I think some little cheater walk breaks would have interloped if he hadn’t been there to keep me honest.
In December, I registered for Bay to Breakers, a 7 mile “race” in May. David said he’d do it, too, so we’ve been doing a bit more running together lately, in vague preparation for that. And then! Very recently, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I wanted to do the Oakland half marathon coming up at the end of March. Even if it meant planning to walk some of it. And so we’ve gotten a bit more committed to doing a long weekend run together, completing 6 this past Sunday and 4.5 the weekend before that.
Which ends all the prefacing and brings me to my point.
I had a plan to go to my gym after work yesterday to do an “easy” 3 or 4 mile run on the treadmill. But then, towards the end of the work day, David says that he wants to do a quick run and that we could do it together. I agree to this plan.
He suggests that we do 2 miles. And then he asks what sort of goal should we have.
“I don’t know. What sort of goal do you think we should have?”
“Um, well… the most I’ve done at that sort of pace is 1.5 miles on the treadmill. That seems kind of a lot and fast.”
So, with no small dread, I agree to this malarky.
And then we go. David lets me set the pace. He’s got the Garmin on. I’m trying to be fast. He says we’re doing some kind of pace in the 8’s. I calm down a little bit until it’s some kind of pace in the mid to upper 9’s. It’s fine for about 3 minutes. And then it, along with my wind, just. starts. sucking.
I think about the girls who post their running stats for 10 mile runs with paces like this one for the entire duration and I think vile thoughts about them and about me.
I think about the ginormous cookie I ate from today’s free lunch.
I think, mostly, pitiful little thoughts of woe and desperation.
David, of course, is fine and able to talk to me. Which he does. Saying things like:
“You’re doing great!” (LIE)
“You look really good.” (LIE)
“You can totally catch that guy.” (Biggest lie yet)
It was rife with terribleness and a very strong desire to stop.
And then I did stop, ’cause it was over. 2 miles completed. And it was less than 20 minutes. I wish I could feel proud of this, but it was so heinous. How can you feel proud of 19 minutes of heinous?
So while not proud, I might say that I’m amazed. Amazed that I didn’t give up and start walking in a snarl of vituperativeness. Amazed that somehow David made me do it.
I’m also amazed, in a full of absolute dreadful sort of way, that this may happen again.