And it is kicking my butt, literally. My glutes are killing me. Why? Because for the first time in my life, I am actually doing hill and interval training. Coach Clancy would be proud. I however, am not sure if I am going to make it through 9 more weeks of it 😉
I signed up for this running class through the New York Road Runners Club because I felt like I needed to motivate myself and kick start my running program. Let’s just say that it has definitely taken my running to a new level and I have only been to two classes. I thought the class would start at a gradual pace and we would work our way up to the hard stuff. Not so, especially if you (meaning me) foolishly signed up for the intermediate class.
I arrived for the first class on Tuesday, anxious, excited and definitely nervous. I really had no idea what to expect. We met on the East Side, at P.S. 6 in the school’s auditorium. There were about 200 plus people in various outfits ready to get their run on. We were soon divided into our various levels ranging from Beginner to Advanced Competitive and headed on up to the gym to stretch. After our group stretch we made our way outside and were further divided into groups based on our 5K run time. At this point we headed out to do interval, hill training. During the interval training we were running two minutes faster than our normal 1 mile pace time. If you are not a runner this really means nothing- let me put it in perspective. For me, it was definitely a cry or puke moment. Back in the day (let’s say, in my early 20’s) when I was in really good shape and my friends and I used to work out and push ourselves for fun, we had a saying; when things got too hard that it was either a “cry or puke moment”. You were allowed to do one or the other, but not both. On Tuesday as I was finishing my last interval and dragging my butt up the hill I was sure that there were tears in my eyes and I probably could have upchucked on my sneakers.
Last night was even more fun, it was hill training. This means that in the pouring rain we got to run repeatedly up and down the “Boathouse Hill” at a fairly decent pace. Again, I contemplated a few tears, no one would have noticed, as the rain was splashing down our faces. I arrived home exhausted and soaked. A hot bath never felt so good.
Many of you may be asking yourself, why they hell do I do it? I mean I really haven’t painted a very pretty picture of the running class so far. I will tell you exactly why I do it- It makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Last night, as I finished the last hill and I was running a nice steady pace back to the school, rain dripping off my nose and socks squishing in my shoes, I felt like a rockstar. I had survived. I really do feel that running, no matter how far you do it, really is a bit about survival. It is just you against yourself and the pavement. It is a mind game. How far will you push yourself this time?
What else do I love about running? I love that good tired feeling you get after a run. I love that I sleep like a baby. I love that I don’t have to feel guilty when I go home and crash on the couch. I love that runners come in all shapes and sizes, speeds and distances. I love that last night there were first time runners and marathoners all struggling up the same hill. I love the way it makes me feel. I love the running community and how supportive of each other they are.
I LOVE RUNNING.
“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”
Now, I just have to remember that the next time I feel too lazy to lace up. Because for me, that really IS the battle. And yes, I will survive the next nine weeks and I am secretly (not anymore) excited to challenge myself. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I KNOW I can. Oh ya, and there is that last little motivational push- I get to run in Central Park and past a little building called The Metropolitan Museum of Art and that doesn’t suck 🙂