April 02, 2012

30 Days of Running: This is not an April Fool's.

If you're like me, you're a woman. And as we all know, women are vain, selfish, and like to buy shoes.*

I'd like to talk a little about vanity, because that's what vanity's all about: at the beginning of the year, a few family members and I founded a Weight Watchers-type group to keep an eye on our overdeveloped waistlines. It has worked pretty well; members have lost between 8-25 pounds thus far, and everyone has remained focused and mostly positive.

But there are times when the weight feels overwhelming. Those crazy people, those uterus-havers, those People Like Me: we have days where we are haunted by our fat. It follows us, hangs over us and off of us, and it makes us afraid to leave the house, as if the very act of wearing a 12 will have the neighborhood grabbing their pitchforks to spear our tent-curiosity-sized jeans.

Of course, it's not true. But when it comes to self-hatred, women's brains can't be buggered with things like the truth. This spectre does not leave us, ever. The fat comes and goes, but the fear of the fat is ever-present. And that day will come every month or so where you overeat, hate yourself, and spiral ever lower until you're pricing colonics on the internet.

Yesterday, I stared that day in the face and told it to do untoward things to itself.

You see, in addition to being a woman, I'm also a runner. I'm not an athlete, but I can go a few miles for cardio and I enjoy it, which I believe are the only requirements. And yesterday, after coming back from a calorie-packed weekend, I dropped my bag, put on my shoes and ran 5 miles... and thought, "Why can't I do this every day?"

Now, I'm slow. I run an 11-min mile on average, which most websites consider to be "walking." That means if I run four miles every day, I'm spending 45 minutes getting a workout.

45 minutes is a drop in the bucket of a 24-hour day. It's less than an episode of Downton Abbey; less time than it takes to bake a potato. And after that, I can do whatever I want--even eat whatever I want, within reason. That does not seem like a high bar to clear.

Which brings me to the point: I'm going to run every day in April. A short run, a long one, it doesn't matter how far, it matters that it happens every 24 hours. And that's where I'm headed, right now.

* Kidding! I just read that in Cosmo. While I was getting my pedicure. Stereotypes: truer than we'd like.

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