Saturday, May 03, 2008

most people walk faster

This morning, bright and early, I met with a group of about 20 women who are training for a 10K run on the Fourth of July. A couple of the women are training for marathons - a few have run marathons - and at least two are pregnant. One of the women that was there just gave birth five weeks ago.

We stretched for a little while and then, I thought maybe they'd have us walk/run for a half-mile or so to get us non-runners acclimated to running. Instead, someone stood by with a stop watch and timed how long it took us to run two-miles.

Two miles might not seem like a far distance to run. But trust me, if you're not a runner and never ran in your life (except that one time you did a 5K run in South Carolina and collapsed on the finish line only to find yourself sitting in the back of an ambulance while a paramedic was trying to feed you a popsicle ... and then that other time when you ran a 10K, and spent the last mile debating whether or not you should load your dead-last-place-behind in to the ambulance that was trailing you on the course), two miles is a very long distance to run.

While on this two-mile run, my friend and training companion, Jessica, dropped the bomb that oh, yeah, a few years ago ... she ran a marathon in Hawaii. Here I was thinking that I was getting in to this whole gig with someone that was as pathetic on the running front as me. But no. My training companion ran a marathon in five hours. In Hawaii. Where there are steep hills, lava flows, high temperatures and humidity. And beautiful beaches where I'd much rather spend five hours, burrowing my toes in the sand and sipping on some tropical concoction that was accessorized with a tiny paper umbrella.

Today, we had a flat course and it took me 29 minutes and some odd seconds to run two-miles. At that rate, it would take me 13 hours to run a marathon. Probably longer, because I doubt I would have been able to keep up my pace for long.

Seriously. I'm convinced I can walk two miles in less time than it took me to run them. When I walk, I am at least able to carry on a conversation. Any time I tried to say something more than my name while running today, I saw stars.

I'm not giving up, though. I'm going to run 15-20 minutes twice this week as our coach suggests and then I'm going to do two other cross-training activities this week. Probably swimming one day and maybe a bike ride the next. Or, if I'm short on time, I'll pull out my jump rope. When I was a kid, I remember jump roping for hours. But when I tried jump roping a few years ago, I was able to get my feet over the rope no more than ten times before falling down in a panting heap of sweat.

Returning home from my "run" this morning, I laid on the floor and watched the kids jumping on the couch. I really thought that I was in much better shape than I am.

It seems that raising four children works a whole different muscle group.


  1. Wow! I can't even walk 2 miles, let alone run it! I inherited the bad lungs. If I smoked, I'd probably be dead. Good for you for running that far and I can't believe you got snowballed into it by Athlete Runner Triplet Mom.

    Okay, I sincerely thought YOU were the spender in the family. Every time you buy something, I have heart failure. You get a new swing set, I have heart failure. You buy sheets, I have heart failure. You get shoes, I have heart failure. So if YOU are the tightwad, then what does that make Charlie????? I can't wait until he starts posting to clear up all my misconceptions!

  2. Today, it was a new BBQ on Charlie's list. He's been wanting one for TWO years. He finally convinced me that his three burner BBQ, with only one operational burner, needed to be replaced. He wants a new television for our living room. He wants to break out the concrete on our patio and re-pour the whole thing. He wants a new tool bench. A king-sized bed. A front load washing machine. All new patio furniture. A GPS installed in his truck. New shocks, brakes, tires. A sedan. It goes on and on and on. As for me, I don't like to replace something until it is completely broken and unusable.

    In my defense, the shoes were on sale. They were normally $90.00 marked down to >$30.00. And those were the first shoes I'd bought for myself in over a year!! And the crocs I bought for kids last year (in March of 2007) STILL fit.

    I can't discuss PBK. That's one of my only shopping weaknesses. Just typing the words PBK makes me want to go check out their website and see if there is anything I must have, on sale.

  3. I would collapse if I attempted to walk around the block, so good for you! Or maybe it's "better you than me".

  4. Good job on the run!! I had never run more than 3 miles in my life and slowly trained up for a 1/2 marathon. Even though I didn't meet my goal of running 10 min miles the whole way (for a multitude of reasons) because of the whole training thing, I wasn't any sorer (is that word?) than when I did my long runs. You can totally do it! I just started running again, and tried a 3 mile run the other day. It was hard and I didn't run the whole way. You definately did better with your 2 miles than I did with my 3!

  5. keep it up jen, you'll do fine. as a former runner turned lazy couch potato i know what it's like. every time it'll get easier, even if it doesn't feel that way.

    i'm waiting to read about your non-last place finish in your 10k in july. running that distance 1 year post partum, especially after having 4 children in as many years, is a huge accomplishment.

  6. I am also training for a race and am definitely NOT a running person. I hate to run, but the last time I trained for a race (about 5 years ago) I got in really good shape and lost a lot of weight. I'm going participate in a Super Sprint Traithlon late in August. All I have to run is 1.55 miles, but after swimming .25 miles and cycling 6.2 miles. The running part will definitely be the hardest for me...I probably can't even run half a mile now! Good luck on your training!

  7. 2miles/29 MINUTES! Quit braggin.

  8. I think running feels pretty good for about, oh, 1 block or so. I love the feeling of stretching my legs for that distance. Kudos to you for running those 2 miles!

    When my girls were little I think I made at least 20 trips up and down the stairs each day, but none of the exercise you get is very aerobic, is it?

  9. I just started a running program called "couch to 5K." It really eases you into running - you do the program 3 times a week (20-30 minutes per session) for 9 weeks and by the end you should be able to run 5K. The first 3 workouts you run 60 seconds, walk 90, repeat for 20 minutes, and build up from there. Very doable. If I tried to run 2 miles right now I'd throw up and pass out, so I'm impressed you survived the experience! If you're interested you can check it out on


  10. I feel your pain...I just joined StrollerFit and I swear that women who had babies 6 weeks ago are kicking my butt (my dd is 11 months old). I was in agony the first 3 shins were killing me, every muscle in my body hurt, but I just did the class this morning (beginning of my 4th week) and I really feel like I've turned a corner. I actually made it through the whole class before I thought I was going to pass out!!! Progress! Hang in there!!!


  11. I went back to running a few weeks ago. I used to love running. Now it brings tears to my eyes. And not good tears. Man, after 2 kids and 4 years off, am I ever in BAD SHAPE!

  12. Hi Jen. Love the blog. I think it was Krissy from Two is Better than One who sent me the link.

    Anyways, we're looking for new writers over on How Do You Do It?. Any interest in joining us? Drop me an email at goddessinprogress (dot) blog (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested. Commitment can be as much as you want, from occasional to weekly.

  13. 15 minute miles sound good to me. Lol.

    At least you are making an effort! That is amazing.

    OK. Ready for some junk food?

    Here's a paper plate.

    Bring it on over to the bbq at my house. We are having faux (donut) chicken and then we are going to Wade's for chocolate cake. Come on over if you get a minute.


  14. Go for it Jen--as long as your hips do not bother you. My Dad says walking is the best exercise, however when I ran with a group, I was exhilerated and had a blast. Good luck and go slow---who cares when you come in. Remember it is the journey not the destination.
    We are thinking of moving back to Riverbend our old stomping quarters.

  15. Good for you! Everytime I start running I remember how much my body rebels against it, and how much I hate it. Until I finish my run, then I feel so good at having survied that I want to do it again! Reminds me of childbirth. . .

  16. I was gonna mention the C25k program but see someone beat me to it! I despise running & have my whole life thought it was DUMB. Well I joined the gym for the first time in my life last October & at Tgiving I started running on the treadmill....for no particular reason at all (little Forrest Gump! LOL) and i didn't stop. LOL I then started that 5k program & it gets you ready for 3 miles. Well my husband wanted to do a run in April & it was FIVE miles. I didn't think I could do it at all but at the end I said I would but I would probably have to walk some & was gonna allow myself 5 mins of walking with a goal of getting the 5 miles done in 60 mins. My normal was 11 mins 30 seconds for 1 mile. I finished that race in 51 mins, 10 mins 15 seconds/mile. I was pretty much dead at the end but I DID it! LOL Dh really pushed me & we only walked for 1 minute. YOU CAN DO IT, I highly recommend that program for getting yourself ready! GOOD LUCK!

  17. OK - one barely finished marathon in 2000 does not a "runner" make! I'm starting from scratch on this one - zippo exercise since Spring 2004! We are in it together! Now I'm going to finish my peanut butter and graham crackers and go to bed . . .

    yours in tripletness,