OK, I just lied. : ) Technically, no, I cannot call myself a runner, as in one who runs for lengths of time. I could maybe call myself a runnette, as in one who runs for shorts of time.
A couple of posts ago I said I was going to try my hand at running, even though I swore up and down I never ever would. Because it's hard. And because my memories of sixth-grade gym class are all bad. And that's literally the last time I ran for any solid length of time.
But then a pal, Shane Frederick, forwarded me a link to the Runners World version of a couch to 5K program, and it looked manageable. It starts with walking for two minutes, running for 1, and then repeating that combo ten times. And that's the entire first week. And to make it easier, every other day the first week is just walking. It seemed like everyone could do that. Everyone!
So I was all, "I've got this." Because, if you know me even remotely well, you know I'm the absolute worst kind of human being: the kind who, in their own mind, is the expert on everything and can do absolutely everything. My only redeeming quality is that, when I make the attempt at whatever it is and then fail miserably, I become humble awfully quick. I don't try to save face in an annoyingly arrogant way. I just bow my head and apologize to my audience.
Today, this very scene played out as I tackled day one of my couch to 5K. My first running lap and a half around the track at the Y, I was all, "What's so hard about this? Excuse me, walkers, I'm on your left," with ponytail swinging in a triumphant wave as I passed with gusto.
By minute 20 of the program: (I approach a couple walking side by side, about to break into a wobbly, unsteady jog) "I'm so sorry. Can I get by? My first day of a stupid couch to 5K. (huff, puff) I'm really bad at this! I haven't run since the sixth grade! (huff, puff)" The couple half-smiles, thinking, "Can't she move this trainwreck outside?"
To make matters worse, an old high school classmate entered the track to walk. She probably flashed back to middle school, too, and thought, "She hasn't changed much."
All in all, a humbling experience. I am conditioned to do an easy 60 minutes on the elliptical or in a Step aerobics class. But running is another level. The good news, though, is that I'm usually up for a challenge.