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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning New Things - writing prompt

I'm participating in an online writing group hosted by Ann Dee Ellis. She gives a prompt and encourages 8 minutes of uninterrupted writing. Here's the most recent exercise:

A few months ago I impulsively downloaded a Couch-to-5K app on my phone. I don't know what possessed me to do it... maybe that unpleasant feeling of my belly bulging slightly over the waist of my pants? Maybe being off my meds for a month and going bonkers in my head? Maybe boredom? I've never been a fan of running, and honestly I still don't much care for it all these weeks of "training" later.

Regardless, I started the program. It's super-simple and I was surprised at how I eased into it. Just a few minutes of running at a time, with walking intervals in between. Gradually those running intervals increased until I was suddenly running for 24 minutes without dying. Now I usually spend about 30 minutes on the treadmill and watch a show on the tablet. It's great me-time. Except when Aspen or Kev SNEAK UP ON ME and I nearly have a heart attack.

I didn't necessarily start with the goal to register for and run a legit 5K, but I realized I'd finish the program in the fall, and could sign up for a Turkey Trot or Santa Fun Run. The digital readout on my treadmill is broken (thanks, FLOOD) so I haven't been keeping track of my pace or distance all the weeks I've been running... but I guessed I was doing about 10-minute miles and could probably survive a 5K. I put no pressure on myself to have a certain speed, or to run every minute the app told me to, and it made me dread it less. I was just proud to be doing something new that was good for me.

This month I noticed some people sharing links on Facebook for a 5K that would benefit a family being devastated by a terminal cancer diagnosis. I chose that for my first 5K and loved knowing it was for a good cause. Not only would I be doing something for myself, but I'd be contributing in a minimal way to a family in need of support.

My friend Ashley is a serious athlete in my mind, and I was thrilled she agreed to be my running buddy. She let me set a pace at the beginning, and then came back for me a few times during the 5K. It was so encouraging to see her face coming at me, waving me on and telling me I was doing great FOR A YOGA PERSON. But honestly, she's right. I don't love intense cardio, and that's one of the many reasons I love yoga.

I did run most of the 5K, although I have no idea how long it took. It doesn't matter, though, because I'm just proud of myself for doing something hard and uncomfortable. And hopefully I'll be doing it again soon.

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