Life List: Run a Mile

One. Mile.

This is a modest goal, at least for normal people. I, however, don’t exercise. I’ve flirted with it, but only in that I’m-backpacking-through-Europe-and-you-don’t-speak-English kind of way. I never meant it for more than a few days.

When I was a pre-teen I had exercise-induced asthma. It’s easy to recall all the fine details of an asthma attack I had in a health-club bathroom, alone and laying on the floor like a landed fish. Thus ended my Jazzercise period.

Bopping around to music can be a little bit fun, until it is miserable. Running starts miserable for me. I feel awkward and graceless, like maybe I’m doing it wrong. Not in the sense of imperfect technique, but in the sense that I might be putting my feet down out of order. My arms huddle in by my sides and my shoulders scrunch up around my neck. It’s less like an adorably gangly Bambi on the ice and more like a duffle bag full of laundry falling down the stairs.

Which is why I want to run one mile. I’m so far below average. I just want to rise to a place that isn’t quite so ridiculous. And if I’m a little fitter at the end of the process then that’s a nice bonus.

I think I’m going to try a beginner running plan I found on the Women’s Health site, but I remain open to suggestions. I plan to start, and now it’s in writing, the third week in September.

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50 responses to this post.

  1. The one upside to having a metal pelvis is that I don’t have to make resolutions about running. 😉
    I know several people who have had good luck with the Couch-to-5-K system. One of them now manages half-marathons with ease.

    Reply

  2. The one upside to having a metal pelvis is that I don’t have to make resolutions about running. 😉
    I know several people who have had good luck with the Couch-to-5-K system. One of them now manages half-marathons with ease.

    Reply

  3. Couch To 5K, or C25k.
    I’ll start it then, too, and we can be accountable to each other. There are podcasts and everything. One even overlays your own music.

    Reply

  4. Couch To 5K, or C25k.
    I’ll start it then, too, and we can be accountable to each other. There are podcasts and everything. One even overlays your own music.

    Reply

    • Fantastic! I’d like to start 9/20. Would that work for you?

      Reply

      • That would be perfect for me. If you have an iPhone or some such, threes an app that I Think is free. Want me to find it for you?
        Get yourself a really good sports bra. Title 9 Sports is a good place to get one.

      • I have an iPad, but no iPhone. But I’ll poke around and see what I can find on iTunes. At the least I want the podcast.
        Oh right, nursing bras probably aren’t the best choice.

      • IPod? Or some other mp3 player? I have a Shuffle lying about the place doing nothing.

  5. One piece of advice: go to a good running store, one that specializes in runners–not a sporting store, not a mall store, something like Roadrunner. Avail yourself of the gait analysis, the measurements, all of that, and come out with a seriously good pair of shoes. This will prevent injuries and make the whole experience of running–which is not a lot of fun when you start out–less painful.
    I did this when I started, some 30 odd lbs and 8 years, and I have had only one injury related more to my biomechanics than my running practice.

    Reply

  6. One piece of advice: go to a good running store, one that specializes in runners–not a sporting store, not a mall store, something like Roadrunner. Avail yourself of the gait analysis, the measurements, all of that, and come out with a seriously good pair of shoes. This will prevent injuries and make the whole experience of running–which is not a lot of fun when you start out–less painful.
    I did this when I started, some 30 odd lbs and 8 years, and I have had only one injury related more to my biomechanics than my running practice.

    Reply

  7. When it feels really hard, like you’re gasping for air…slow down. A lot of people try to run a mile and crap out too soon because they are just trying to do it too quickly.

    Reply

  8. When it feels really hard, like you’re gasping for air…slow down. A lot of people try to run a mile and crap out too soon because they are just trying to do it too quickly.

    Reply

  9. I ran a bit over 2.5 miles today.
    At the beginning of July I joined a health club. Walked ten minutes on the treadmill and felt like death. Walked a little more and more every day or two for the rest of the month until 30 minutes was pretty easy.
    About two weeks ago something was going to cut short my time (I exercise at lunch, downstairs from my office.) So I decided to try to run for twelve minutes. I survived and started adding a minute each time I ran instead of the walking. Got up to 20 minutes this past Tuesday. So I tried for 25 yesterday, it was kind of rough but ok. Today I did 27. And I am hurting. Probably should have done 26 or even 25 a second day.
    But I did 27 minutes running at 5 mph. Plus a three minute warm up and a five minute cooldown. (all this is on a treadmill, so it forces me to go a specific paces.) Per the machine measures my total mileage was a bit more than 2.5 miles.
    If I can do it in two months. (Me= Fat 250lb couch potato.) You can.
    My goal is to get up to 30 minutes at 5mph. (Which is why I started pushing my time too much, I got excited about reaching that goal) Next week I expect to reach it.
    Then my next goal is to speed up to 6.2 mph. I plan to do that .1 or .2 mph more at a time. After I do a couple of 30 minute 5 mph, I will try one at 5.1, then 5.2 and so on. After a few weeks I should be at 6.2 mph for 30 minutes. Which is a thirty minute 5k run. Respectable. Then I can find a new goal.
    Again, if I can do this, pretty much anyone can.
    Start by walking, then short running, then extend gradually. Listen to your body. If you push it, it will complain, give it a rest and go a bit more slowly.

    Reply

  10. I ran a bit over 2.5 miles today.
    At the beginning of July I joined a health club. Walked ten minutes on the treadmill and felt like death. Walked a little more and more every day or two for the rest of the month until 30 minutes was pretty easy.
    About two weeks ago something was going to cut short my time (I exercise at lunch, downstairs from my office.) So I decided to try to run for twelve minutes. I survived and started adding a minute each time I ran instead of the walking. Got up to 20 minutes this past Tuesday. So I tried for 25 yesterday, it was kind of rough but ok. Today I did 27. And I am hurting. Probably should have done 26 or even 25 a second day.
    But I did 27 minutes running at 5 mph. Plus a three minute warm up and a five minute cooldown. (all this is on a treadmill, so it forces me to go a specific paces.) Per the machine measures my total mileage was a bit more than 2.5 miles.
    If I can do it in two months. (Me= Fat 250lb couch potato.) You can.
    My goal is to get up to 30 minutes at 5mph. (Which is why I started pushing my time too much, I got excited about reaching that goal) Next week I expect to reach it.
    Then my next goal is to speed up to 6.2 mph. I plan to do that .1 or .2 mph more at a time. After I do a couple of 30 minute 5 mph, I will try one at 5.1, then 5.2 and so on. After a few weeks I should be at 6.2 mph for 30 minutes. Which is a thirty minute 5k run. Respectable. Then I can find a new goal.
    Again, if I can do this, pretty much anyone can.
    Start by walking, then short running, then extend gradually. Listen to your body. If you push it, it will complain, give it a rest and go a bit more slowly.

    Reply

  11. We (my husband and I) did C25K with much success. Don’t forget you can repeat the weeks if you aren’t ready to move on to the next week.
    I also have asthma and found the first couple of weeks simply exhilarating (in sort of a staggering bag-of-potatoes way, of course) because they did not trigger my asthma. Starting around week 4 this was no longer true. I found to my frustration that I had to do week 4 several times, but by week 6 (probably more than a month later) my asthma stopped bothering me during exercise. And by the time I made it through all the weeks, my asthma was gone. Gone!
    Getting back to that state is the single biggest reason I try to make exercise a regular part of my life.

    Reply

  12. We (my husband and I) did C25K with much success. Don’t forget you can repeat the weeks if you aren’t ready to move on to the next week.
    I also have asthma and found the first couple of weeks simply exhilarating (in sort of a staggering bag-of-potatoes way, of course) because they did not trigger my asthma. Starting around week 4 this was no longer true. I found to my frustration that I had to do week 4 several times, but by week 6 (probably more than a month later) my asthma stopped bothering me during exercise. And by the time I made it through all the weeks, my asthma was gone. Gone!
    Getting back to that state is the single biggest reason I try to make exercise a regular part of my life.

    Reply

    • So great! I will remind myself to be patient. I’m going to use C25K too. Are you still running?

      Reply

      • No… Since Sabrina was born I don’t think you’d call what I’m doing “running”. We recently did our first triathlon which included a 2-mile run, but I probably only actually ran a mile of it, and certainly not a consecutive mile. The problem is that I have to train all three of the sports, and I’m finding I don’t have enough time in the week to train all three fully. Running gets left out because it’s the last sport in a triathlon, and you can always just walk if you’re worn out.

      • Triathlon! Wow. How long of a ride/swim is that?

      • The one we just did was a very short one – 1/4 mile swim, 8 mile bike, 2 mile run. The winner of this race completed these three events in less than 40 minutes. We, on the other hand, completed in an hour and a half. 🙂 But at least we finished.

  13. until a year ago, i had never exercised regularly either. and i mean never. but for several reasons, i decided to give running a try. i think the advice someone else gave to get good shoes and go slow is excellent. i started out walking a block and then very slowly jogging a block, then walking a block etc for 45 minutes. then gradually work up to running two blocks, walk a block etc. and when you are running, take it slow, don’t try to go too quickly. you will gradually be able to go farther and faster.
    now, a year later, i can run almost 5 miles without stopping, granted i am still pretty slow. but that is ok! i feel great about the accomplishment. i KNOW you can do it too!

    Reply

  14. until a year ago, i had never exercised regularly either. and i mean never. but for several reasons, i decided to give running a try. i think the advice someone else gave to get good shoes and go slow is excellent. i started out walking a block and then very slowly jogging a block, then walking a block etc for 45 minutes. then gradually work up to running two blocks, walk a block etc. and when you are running, take it slow, don’t try to go too quickly. you will gradually be able to go farther and faster.
    now, a year later, i can run almost 5 miles without stopping, granted i am still pretty slow. but that is ok! i feel great about the accomplishment. i KNOW you can do it too!

    Reply

    • Thank you! I am definitely not worried about winning any races. If I can maintain any pace above flat-out walking for the length of a mile then it will go into the “success” column.

      Reply

  15. That’s great to know. I wasn’t sure if it would be worth $20 since so many programs are free. But it seems to be the program of choice and I need the best help out there!

    Reply

  16. Fantastic! I’d like to start 9/20. Would that work for you?

    Reply

  17. This is really valuable advice. I would not have thought to do that. You saved my shins!

    Reply

  18. Thanks for this. I’m a pusher by nature, so maybe there are several valuable personal development opportunities here. 🙂

    Reply

  19. Natural athletes have no idea how daunting running can sound. I appreicate you sharing all that with me. It’s definitely encouraging that a fellow bookworm type is doing so well!

    Reply

  20. So great! I will remind myself to be patient. I’m going to use C25K too. Are you still running?

    Reply

  21. Thank you! I am definitely not worried about winning any races. If I can maintain any pace above flat-out walking for the length of a mile then it will go into the “success” column.

    Reply

  22. That would be perfect for me. If you have an iPhone or some such, threes an app that I Think is free. Want me to find it for you?
    Get yourself a really good sports bra. Title 9 Sports is a good place to get one.

    Reply

  23. Natural Athlete? We have met haven’t we?

    Reply

  24. I don’t know who’s charging money for C25K but here’s the link I used:
    http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

    Reply

  25. No… Since Sabrina was born I don’t think you’d call what I’m doing “running”. We recently did our first triathlon which included a 2-mile run, but I probably only actually ran a mile of it, and certainly not a consecutive mile. The problem is that I have to train all three of the sports, and I’m finding I don’t have enough time in the week to train all three fully. Running gets left out because it’s the last sport in a triathlon, and you can always just walk if you’re worn out.

    Reply

  26. Thank you. I think I was confused by the Active Trainer download part, but a second read reveals that is a bunch of tools rather than the actual plan.

    Reply

  27. I have an iPad, but no iPhone. But I’ll poke around and see what I can find on iTunes. At the least I want the podcast.
    Oh right, nursing bras probably aren’t the best choice.

    Reply

  28. No, no… We are the bookworm types. I was saying that I appreciate that you can understand, since neither of us were seemingly born to marathon.

    Reply

  29. Triathlon! Wow. How long of a ride/swim is that?

    Reply

  30. Ah, ok. Thanks. Funny that a bookwork type failed to read the entire two sentences of the reply before responding. I will hang my head in shame now.

    Reply

  31. IPod? Or some other mp3 player? I have a Shuffle lying about the place doing nothing.

    Reply

  32. The one we just did was a very short one – 1/4 mile swim, 8 mile bike, 2 mile run. The winner of this race completed these three events in less than 40 minutes. We, on the other hand, completed in an hour and a half. 🙂 But at least we finished.

    Reply

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