I’m terrible at running.

I’m really bad at running, guys. Last week I finally hit Week 5 of the Couch to 5K program. I started last fall and got to about week 3 or 4 before the snow hit the ground and running felt unsafe. I restarted in the spring and basically had to start all over again. I went back to week 2 and started again back in April. I haven’t gotten into a rhythm yet where I’m doing the three runs religiously each week yet. Part of it is because it’s not fun anymore. I keep thinking back to last fall when I loved my runs. Back when they were easy and I felt great.

Last week I did the beginning of Week 5. Week 5 is walk 3 minutes, run 5, walk 3, run 5, walk 3, run 5, walk 3. I felt sick to my stomach at the end of the first 5 minutes. I couldn’t make it through the second without major consequences. Last time I ran so hard I felt sick to my stomach I had a gargantuan headache the rest of the day. No amount of water, salt, protein, carbs, Advil or anything would make it go away. It was awful. So I walked and ran my way home, ignoring the cues of the C25K podcast.

I decided to hit the treadmill instead, since my in-laws have one and that’s where we’re staying right now. The treadmill feels like a cop-out because it’s so much easier, so I ramped up the speed. Again, I couldn’t finish the second 5 minute running set. So again, I walked and ran as I saw fit until 30 minutes was over.

The third set of Week 5, I just found a slower pace and stuck to that. I completed the whole thing!

Today, I started Week 6. I kept that same slower running pace (my husband would probably call it an almost-walking pace) and I managed to finish the whole set. I’ve decided that I will keep going even if it means I’m “running” really slowly. Once I’m able to run for 30 minutes straight at that pace, then I’ll aim for 5k total. Or something.

At this rate, I will never make it to my marathon. Like, ever. Although it’s frustrating, it’s nothing new. My body doesn’t seem to be made like other people’s bodies. Last week I ate a brownie full of real sugar and it gave me fever in the night and a vomiting spell. I’m not normal (though my doctor seems to think I’m fine. ugh.) and that’s OK. It just might take me twice as long to train for a 5k and I’ve decided that I’m OK with that.

I want to reach my goals my way, not your way or her way. I basically just want to get there. Getting there is more important to me than how, although it wasn’t always that way. I used to want to do it and be among the best. My pride hung on the fact that I arrived in decent standing compared to the best. Now, I’m at a place where I just want to arrive. I don’t want to give up because it’s hard or because it’s embarrassing that I’m kind of an athletic loser. I want to say I did because I wanted to, and I did it on my own terms. That’s more of a medal to me than any Olympic standing.

I’m growing up, people.

To the things that scare us into inaction

keep calm

“Do not fear what is frightening.”

I’ve been thinking about this statement a lot this past week. It comes from a passage in the Bible the encourages women to trust God. What I deeply appreciate about this sentence is that it doesn’t say “don’t fear because it’s not all that bad” or “you’ll be fine so stop being afraid.” It acknowledges that sometimes things are legitimately frightening and that a decently normal response would be to be afraid.

Sometimes good things are frightening. Things like:

  • giving your spouse the blessing to make a financially risky business decision, one that you know also know will breathe life into their weary soul.
  • going back to school for something you love at the cost of a big fat student loan you’re not sure you’ll actually succeed at it.
  • getting married or having kids.
  • signing your fat self up for your first marathon and going public with the news.

In most cases, the reason to fear real and palatable but somehow we need to move past the actual fearing and lean into the fact that maybe we’re meant to move forward on This Scary Thing if we’ve come this far and we should just trust God who knows all and is perfect.

So I made this print as a reminder to myself to not let fear rule my heart.

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