Having done it now a minimum of 4 times a week for the last three weeks and being at the point where I'm jogging 3/4 of whatever distance I'm exercising for, I think I can safely say it out loud. It's anyone's guess how long I'll keep it up, though.
But at least the vultures and ravens have finally given up hope that I'll pass out.
I didn't really want to start running. All my life, I've loathed running with a passion that burns like a thousand suns.
Back in the days when periodic running was required for phys ed class, I was a sprinter. Did fairly well until about the high school level, too. The 100m sprint and 60m hurdles were always my specialty. Distance running? Not so much. Heck, I couldn't even do 200m.
Two months ago, I wanted to get in a three mile walk in 45 minutes and I discovered I had to run 3 hydro pole-lengths per mile to make it happen. I almost died.
A week or so later, I tried again, slowing my pace considerably and I discovered something else: there's a distinct difference between running and jogging. (At least when I do them!!) When I run, my front leg is lifting high and pounding the road, driving me, pushing hard. My quads are screaming.
When I jog, my front leg merely straightens beneath ~ and only very slightly in front of ~ me. It's almost more my arms than anything else that propel me forward. There is WAY less work for the quad muscles. I was surprised how much easier jogging was than running, and even more surprised that I'd never really known there was a difference. (My husband laughs at me and tells me I overthink things way too much. He might be right, but hey, it's made a big difference in my success here!!)
So I started pushing myself to go "just one hydro pole further" each time, or at least each week. I've jogged half-mile lengths at the longest, but have toned it back a little now in favour of getting a better interval workout. Instead of jogging three half-mile distances with a quarter-mile walk in between each one, I've switched to four 3/8-mile distances, each followed by only a 1/8-mile walk (that's just two hydro poles). I actually find this pattern more difficult; likely because I get less of a walking break between jogs.
But I do it. At least four times a week. And it's gotten to the point where I can't seem to go for a walk without it. Just today, when it felt like the vultures might actually have good cause to circle overhead, I told myself, "Tammi, you don't need to run that last 3/8-mile stretch if you don't want to. You never set out to prove anything to anyone; you never made this an actual goal, so it's not like you're failing." My after-market insoles have suddenly decided to rub my arches raw in the last couple of outings and I could tell I wasn't far off from broken skin. I was hurtin'.
But I knew it would hurt my pride more to have to admit I hadn't been able to do it when I had managed the same pattern the day before. So I allowed one extra hydro pole in my last walking break and then jogged the last 3/8-mile stretch. Nasty in-step blisters and all.
Because I'm a jogger now, dang it.
Well, that might be pushin' it. Let's just say I've taken up jogging.