I'm walking gingerly today, but I'm not nearly as bad as yesterday. I was hobbling through the house, barely able to do so without yelling, "OW!" with every step. Getting up and down the stairs required me to cling for dear life to the railing, like a frail old lady. My back hurt, my shins hurt, my butt hurt, and my thighs. . . .Oh my goodness, they were painful to the touch.
So, what on earth caused this agony? My ridiculous decision to start running. Yes, me! A runner. The idea seems ludicrous, even to me, but I've been contemplating it for a while now. Actually, craving is a better word. I've had this inexplicable desire to run for quite some time, and it only took me a year and a half to work up the courage to start.
Of course, I had to find a way to ease into it without injuring myself. (This, for the woman who, in college, ended up in a cervical collar from an injury sustained while getting out of bed - seriously!) So I did a search on the web and came across a site called Cool Running (http://www.coolrunning.com/), and found their beginner's workout, called "The Couch to 5K Running Plan" (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml).
It's a very reasonable workout designed to help you gradually build up your strength and endurance over 8 weeks (or more if you need to take it more slowly). I began with 2 children at my side - partly because they really wanted to come and I KNEW they could keep up with me, and partly because I would feel less embarrassed with kids accompanying me. That way, if I had a really hard time, I could just call out to the kids, in a voice loud enough for the neighbors to hear, "OK, honey, if you're too tired, we can stop!" It turns out, 15 minutes into the 20-minute workout, I went staggering back into the house, with the kids yelling after me, "Mom, why are you quitting?" So much for saving face.
So, I think I got one of the best workouts of my life, as evidenced by a kind of soreness I haven't felt since I pushed a baby out of my body.
I can only pray and hope I will have the physical AND mental fortitude to continue on this journey I've begun. I HAVE to - mainly so my children won't humiliate me.