Jogging has always been a point of contention for me, even though at times, I love it. Since 8th grade, when I was twelve years old and joined the cross country/track team at my middle school, jogging has been a way for me to exercise my body and mind. Yet, over the years, with weight gain, injuries, and thyroid issues, it’s been more and more discouraging to find motivation to run. With my extra weight, my time is slower and my lungs are labored within a mile, even though years ago, a mile was a warm up to longer stretches of runs. Currently, my pace is about a 13+ minute mile, compared to 9 minute miles a few year ago.
When I look at my running pace when I trained for the SF ½ marathon, my average pace was about 10-12 minute miles, which at the time I thought was very slow. Yet, I didn’t consider that I had only been training for 8 months and I had no previous ½ marathon training. Actually, after I completed the ½ marathon, I thought I would compete in more. But that was about 9 years ago, and I haven’t competed in one since.
When I saw that former Ms. Universe Pia Wurtzbach competed in the NY Marathon last year, I was very inspired. She confessed that she was never a runner and often doubted herself and her abilities. When she had COVID, she thought that it was the end of her training. Yet, with the support of her running coach and fiance, she decided to get back to training and dedicated herself to an even more rigorous training schedule. In the end, she completed the NY Marathon and set a new goal- London and Boston marathons, but would take a year off to plan her wedding.
Something about her intentional break struck me. Here I was, pitying myself for taking an almost decade long break and now it was harder for me to even run a mile down the street. I think breaks are necessary, but in my case, I took a much longer break than necessary and now I’m struggling to get back. Yet, I remember the time I attempted to run my first mile when I trained for the ½ marathon. I couldn’t even get through my first mile without stopping. But I tried the next day, and the next. Pretty soon, I was up to three miles, then 4, then 5, then 6, then 7 and so on.
I don’t have a lofty goal of running a ½ marathon, at least not this year. My running goal is to run 1 mile, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5 and who knows after that. Like Pia, the beauty queen, I’ll decide what’s best for me and be ok with it.