Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Wanna Be Runner

Since I posted just eight days ago, I've been stuck. For the life of me, I cannot consistently run more than a quarter mile. I simply cannot do it. After every run my shins hurt and I'm tired. Here are the top ten negative thoughts running through my head regarding running (hehe...see what I did there?):

1) Maybe almost 38 is too old to start running.
2) It's because I'm running alone. I can't do this by myself.
3) This is a terrible idea.
4) I can't do this.
5) I should lose 25 pounds and then try again.
6) Do I have asthma?
7) Do I have some kind of weird syndrome that makes my feet land funny when I walk?
8) Stress fractures are a thing. Maybe I have one in my shin. Will my leg eventually just break in half if I keep going on it? I bet that really hurts.
9) What if I'm some kind of medical freak that is incapable of running and as a result running will kill me?
10) I need one of those full body medical scan things before I run again.

Here are the top ten positive things I've thought about running in the last week:
1) It's raining!  I have an excuse not to run today!
2) Praise God that run is over.

(turns out I could only come up with two)

A friend (and marathon runner) has gently reminded me several times that I may be trying to do too much. True to form, I've thought "What? ME?? Do too much? Take things to the extreme? You must be out of your mind!  I would NEVER do that!"

She's probably at least a little bit right. I sometimes think I'm known for my patience professionally, but it's not something I can claim personally. I like to call it "task oriented" because that sounds better that "ridiculously impatient."

Last night I decided I needed to do something different.  What I'm doing worked well a month ago, but I'm stuck and it doesn't work anymore. I needed to change my instructional strategy, if you will. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K app, found a starting point that was a little behind where I felt like I was in my training, and started there. I used it today for the first time (week three, day one), and it felt good.

So I don't know if this will really make me runner, and if it works I have no idea how long it will work, but I'm giving it shot.

And now 2 school related thoughts:
Sidebar: Do engineers and dentists and bus drivers relate everything in their lives to their profession like educators do?

1) All learners begin with different skill levels. Some of them, like me as a runner, start out behind. An instructional strategy may work for them for a while, and they may make great strides, but when a kid is stuck it's our job to recognize it and make a change. Do something different. Try something else. There's no guarantee that the something else will work, but we have to be willing to keep trying until something does work.

2) As a learner, I have two speeds where I'm comfortable: fast and stop. When I felt myself moving too slowly or getting stuck, I just wanted to quit. I made excuses. I thought of rational arguments about why this isn't good for me. A part of me started to believe that this task is impossible for someone like me. Some of our kids will feel this way, and we have to help them see that slow and stuck are okay speeds, too, for a little while. We have to help them find success even if it means backing up -- like today's workout that felt good enough to make me want to run again tomorrow. They need to see progress, and we need to find ways to show it to them.

I'm still a wanna be runner. And maybe when I can finally call myself a runner I'll decide I'd rather be a cyclist or a swimmer or a great nap-taker (that one sounds good!). But at least I'll know I can do it!


Angie DeWeese said...

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." John Bingham
Keep at it! The C25K is a great program. I know marathoners who started there. :-)

StormyHickman said...

Great quote! Thanks so much!

Steph said...

Woow....nice article man...