Someone told me I could do it.
“How hard can it be?” I smile when I hear those words, because they changed my life. I’d begun a new job. It’s summer. I walk a lot. And I mean it. My colleague and I raised the bar from 17,000 steps to 20,000. That is a LOT of steps. A lot of walking. Since I couldn’t do any lunch walks I’d started walk in the morning. Before work. My alarm clock went off at 5 am and I was out 20 minutes later. I live in a beautiful area of south Sweden. I watch the sun set in the sea every night. Most of the area is labeled as national park, with some villages chattered here and there. It’s popular for trail running but the wild life is dictating the orders here, making it even more attractive, of course.
The walk I used to take was about 3 k and half of it was zig-zaging cows… very spiritual way to start the morning I’d say. After work I used to take a longer walk with my husband. We’d talk about the day and planning ahead. All positive!
“How hard can it be?” “Of course you can run” After hearing this for two weeks I took a deep breath and ran. Well, maybe 10 meters or 15 seconds. But I’d run. On June 27 2014 I started my 5K Runner app. The first training session was a total of 25 minutes and included 6 minutes of running. Starting with 5 minutes of warmup and the 1 minute running, 1,5 minute walking 6 times ending with 5 minutes cool down, I was hurt afterwards. It didn’t come easy. But I was on a high. I was glowing! I overcome something I didn’t think was possible. I was running.
But, since I was surrounded by runners at work they quickly let me know I needed real shoes, running shoes. I needed to know my pronation. I needed to know if I was a Nike or Asics persona. I went to the best shop in Sweden (Löplabbet.se) where they made me walk and run on a treadmill. I wasn’t convincing as a runner and the very young woman kept asking me if I was ok. I left with a pair of Nike’s. Then I needed clothes. No way can you run with bulky clothes. Especially not those comfy trousers that flap around your ankles. I bought a purple tanktop and equally purple tights + a hoodie for the chilly mornings. Best runners bra is the Shock absorber I was told. I ordered it from Amazon.co.uk. After a while I needed one of those iPhone holders you put around your arm. And headphones that sat put and resisted sweat. I got it all.
I’d made a soundtrack to my running and walking, and my main song was “Burn It to the Ground” by Nickelback. My goal was to be able to run the entire song. 3 minutes and 37 seconds if I remember correctly. The day came when I managed to do it. I called my best friend and he was as thrilled as me. He said I was a runner now. I didn’t believe him. But in August, when the 5kRunner app told me to run 5K I did. And not log after, in September I ran 10K (after reading “Run Like a Girl”, check the book reviews for details).
In October 2014 I ran 21K. Again, because someone told me I could do it. I obviously don’t trust myself anymore. The very same person then told me AFTERWARDS I shouldn’t have pushed it, I should have done 12K, 14K, 16K etc not going from 10 to 21 in a matter of three weeks. Basically, what I did was running 4-5 K three times a week (mornings, before job) and then on Saturday or Sunday I’d take a 10K route. I did this twice and on the third weekend I’d made a route in Runkeeper that would make me run 21K.