You Have To Learn To Walk Before You Can Run

So.. yesterday and today were pretty interesting as far as exercising went. Both days I covered about 3 miles roundtrip and felt pretty good afterward, but could still feel my body craving more.

On Thursday I accompanied Fen on his walk to work. On the way to his work I sprinted a couple times to see how my legs, knees, and back would respond. I was expecting one of the three to start hurting due to previous injuries I’ve had, but I felt fine afterward, except for a little burn in my calves. I walked the rest of the way home, deciding not to push myself too hard and just enjoy being outside and active.

Today I dropped Fen off, came home, grabbed my earbuds, and headed back out. I took the same path and for about a mile of it I walked and ran in intervals. I would essentially walk for one street block, then run the next street block, then walk, etc. I found that after the third or fourth interval of running I was in a lot of pain. My shins started to feel like they were tearing (yet again) and my calves started to ache. So I walked the rest of the way there and back home again.

By the time I got home I was pretty disappointed. I recognize that I won’t go from couch to 5K in a week, but I am bummed that I am having so much trouble running! I don’t understand why my legs are having such a difficult time either. My legs have always been strong and I have been a hiker for years. I am starting to suspect that I may need to shed some weight before I can start running again. The other problem is there are hills everywhere in this town and it’s pretty difficult to find some flat terrain to start out on. I am thinking about looking for a track, maybe at the local high school, that I can use after hours to practice those intervals on. We’ll see.

Part of my frustration too comes from the fact that even though I can walk 3 miles up and down hill, it’s not enough for me. I come home and feel like I haven’t even burned through half of the stress from the previous day. I need more cardio and a more intense workout. I have considered a gym membership and maybe trying something like Zumba for the time being to help me get the cardio I am craving and also help me tone up and shed some of the weight.

On the way home today, I was thinking about my body and I had to remind myself that I need to be more patient. I really am not a patient person. I don’t think I ever have been. I always want to go from A-Z faster than is practical and then I get frustrated when I can’t.. but I really do need to be patient with myself, celebrate the small victories (I did after all cover 6 miles in the last two days, not to mention all of the other walking I’ve done), and set reasonable goals along the way.

While I was thinking about being patient, I was also thinking about my sister, who has always been a (natural) runner.. and I remembered something she told me a long time ago: You have to learn to walk before you can run. Now.. when she told me this, she was talking about something unrelated to exercising (I think it was my schoolwork), but it’s something I’ve held onto all these years and remind myself of often. So yes. Perhaps my body is telling me to become an even stronger walker before I can become a runner.


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