The summer going in to the fourth or fifth grade, I played softball. I was on the Sunflower team, sponsored by Sunflower grocery store. We wore yellow t-shirts. There were three teams in our league. We can in third.
Here’s what I remember about it: It was hot. It was very hot. Then it got hotter. That other time, at practice? It was hot. During the games? Hot. Hot. Hot.
I played outfield. Right field, left field, I have no idea. I probably couldn’t have told you then. It was someplace way out in the field where nothing ever happened, which suited me fine.
I got one (1) hit the entire summer. It was a double, but still.
One afternoon after practice when it was what? Hot! That’s right! I staggered inside and drank a ton of cold water before gingerly sitting down. My mother studied me for a moment and said, “You know, your brother came in from practice a little while ago, grabbed something to drink, picked up his glove and went back outside to play.” I remember thinking, “Well, YIPPEE for him. WHATEVER.”
I have long wanted to play tennis. I like the IDEA of tennis, although I’ve never actually played or anything, which is generally as far as my athletic aspirations go. (Except ballet. That I love and it is actually a very good workout. I’ve tried, to no avail, to find a class around these here parts.)
Last month, we celebrated Independence Day at the Future Sister in Law’s house. She was telling me about her cousin (who I also know because in Mississippi, everybody knows everybody) and her husband who were doing this training program wherein they start gradually, work hard, and by the end can run a marathon. Hmm, I though. Hmm.
I asked the Google and came across this. I was intrigued. The Fiancé and I decided to go for it. Five kilometers is a long way from 26 miles, but five kilometers is also a long way from sitting on the couch.
We decided we’d start Monday the 4th. Five thirty in the a.m. A few days later, no joke, Mrs. G announced her Couch to 5K. I signed up, although I did not volunteer to take and post a photograph of my ass. My gosh.
Monday morning, five twenty five. My cell phone alarm cheerfully chimed. I sat up, and, no kidding, reset it for 5:28. Because those three additional minutes of rest could make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Couch to 5K starts out with a brisk five-minute walk. Then you jog for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, jog for 60 seconds, and on and on for 20 minutes.
Now. I am going on the assumption that the brisk five-minute walk counts toward the 20 minutes. What? It’s brisk! And don’t tell me otherwise. No, I will not listen. I will put my hands over my ears and say LALALALALALALALA. It does so count toward the 20 minutes. It’s brisk.
The first 60-second stint of jogging was not so bad. The minute went by darn quickly. I was surprised that we’d made one complete lap of the outside perimeter of the walking track. The next minute of jogging wasn’t quite as much fun.
The third one pretty much sucked. The 90-second walk part in between went by really really fast. Like the wind fast.
The Fiancé looked at the stopwatch and told me that the good news was we didn’t have much more to go, probably just one more cycle of the jogging and the walking. That was good news indeed. We jogged another sixty seconds and that was one of the longest sixty seconds ever. My gosh. I noticed that we were not getting quite (or anywhere near) as close to making one lap around in sixty seconds. It was easier getting out of the bed at 5:30 that morning than finishing that one minute of jogging. I was having trouble pushing to finish. Either he was, too, or he was being courteous and slowing his jogging pace to match my tortoise-like jog.
Whew! Last one. Woo hoo! Would do the happy dance but was too busy trying to catch my breath. The Fiancé looked at the stopwatch and said, Hmmm. Well. It seems as though we have one more jogging circuit. I swear, my lungs were burning just thinking about it. I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I jogged those last sixty seconds. Very slowly and if anyone were out and about on the road at 6:00 a.m. this morning they were probably pointing and laughing but by golly I jogged those last sixty seconds and walked back home on legs of jelly.
Yesterday morning when I got out of bed, I had a hitch in my getalong. I hobbled to the den, where we lifted cute little orange dumbbell weights (five pounds – woo hoo!) and did a few ab crunches.
My calf muscles are not speaking to me. They’re hardly working at all. My stomach is puzzled. “What is this? Crunches? Wha..?”
I hoped that this morning would be better, not quite as challenging. I was nervous all day yesterday and went to sleep apprehensive. The Child woke me at three this morning for something and when I got out of bed, walking was a struggle - a big one - that's how tight and sore my calf muscles were.
We stretched for a bit longer this morning before starting out. It was easier to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. again this morning than it was to jog the third time, the fourth time, the fifth time.
BUT. We did it.
Next week, the jogging time increases to 90 seconds. I know that doesn't sound like much but I'm afraid it will feel like a very long time. I feel like I'm already in way over my head and we've just gotten started.