Saturday, December 5, 2009

The First Mile Is the Hardest

After running for 12 years now, I guess I can classify myself as a "runner".  But when I compare myself to "real" runners like my friend Anne, I feel like I'm not much of a runner after all.  She has stories of running in sub-freezing temperatures in Massachusetts, with her wet hair frozen to her face.  See, I don't love running THAT much.  In my mind, "real" runners really love running.  They love it for the sport itself.  They do it regardless of the weather and the sacrifices they have to make to get their run in.  I am a weenie runner.  I don't do cold/wet weather running.  In fact, right before most of my runs, I don't even want to go.

Today was such a day.  Todd and I had planned to go run five miles at Miramar Lake.  But I was not enthusiastic about it.  Even when we got to the parking lot, I sat in the car and didn't want to come out.  Even when Todd took off running, I just stood there and stared at his fading backside.  I was not in a running mood.  I took one small step forward, then another, then another.  Even as I'm a few hundred yards down the path, I was thinking to myself, "I can quit and head back now and sit in the car if I want."

I don't know if anyone ever told you this about running.  The first mile is the hardest.  You are fighting the fact that you're out there running when you could possibly be doing something else.  You are fighting the weather, whether it's too sunny, too cold, too windy, too hot, etc.  You're fighting your body, which doesn't feel quite in tune yet, because it hasn't warmed up yet.

But I'll tell you another secret.  After the first mile, you are glad you made the choice to be out there, running outside on a cold Saturday morning.  The wind that didn't suit you in the first mile suddenly becomes "fresh air" in the subsequent miles.  Your body has warmed up and it isn't fighting with you as much.  You hit your stride and you feel like nobody and nothing can stop you now.  Then you remember... this is why I make the choice to be out here, over and over again.  And nothing beats the feeling when you're done with your run.  You did it.  You did it despite fighting with yourself to get out there.  Today, the victory is just showing up.

Distance:  5.01 miles
Time:  56:30
Avg pace:  11:17/mile
Calories burned:  500

View during my second mile.

While I was at Michaels yesterday, I bought two bags of buttons and a styrofoam cone.  So I could make this.
I had seen it before somewhere. Then my friend Christina talked about doing it on her blog, so it spurred me to do it too. I got the pins at Wal-Mart a while ago. If you're thinking of doing this, just remember that it takes more buttons, more pins, and more time than you think it does! This guy is around 8 inches tall and it took me a couple of hours to make him.

Speaking of running, I finally got around to doing a layout about the Rock N Roll Seattle half marathon that I ran in June.
I used all new stuff from Lili @ The Lilypad: Fly Away Elements, Hand-Drawn Alphas, and Random Words 2. These items are on sale at The Lilypad for 20% off through Sunday! And the background paper is from the kit Believe.


  1. The view during your 2nd mile was just gorgeous. Aren't you glad you did it?

    Your little tree is so cute. I've never seen anything like it. I love that you use pins. No mess.

    Your layout is so inspiring. You are so inspiring.

    Still laughing about 'winter'. :)

  2. I love the button tree, so cute! And the lake view is gorgeous :) Way to go and keep running!

  3. Your tree turned out awesome! I love the big buttons on it! I'll have to try that next time I make year! Ha!

  4. You are so, so right, just getting out there and starting is totally the hardest part for me, too. But you always feel so good after you did.

    I made a button tree and it took way more buttons then I thought, too. lol

  5. Oh, how I wish I was as creative and 'crafty' as you are! And sometimes "real runners" have trouble psyching themselves up too....

  6. Yep, the first mile is always the hardest. I'll remind myself of that when I'm procrastinating yet again to get back out there. My friend and I used to have this saying when we were racing and got to the 3 mile mark..."Well, we can't turn back now!!"

    Love the tree!!

  7. I don't run - yet.
    But you are inspiring me to do so.
    Right now - I walk 2 miles in the morning. Yep. 5:45 am. Even in AZ it's a little cold in the morning - LOL! and for me it's the same way. I don't want to get out of bed. I don't want to go, but I do. And I'm glad I do about 1/2 way through.
    LOVE the tree and the colors you chose!!!!

  8. GOOD FOR YOU!!! That's awesome. ANY time you can win against your own self trying to hold you back, that's an awesome victory. I don't run, never will... but your story applies to so many other things in life. You did it!!!

    AND that button tree is really, really cute. The colors are just my style too. Thanx for the heads up about the time and supplies, I wouldn't have thought that.

  9. Love the tree! I would still be impressed if you ran 1/2 mile and stopped for ice cream, then went home. I wish I enjoyed running. I wish I enjoyed exercising. But..what I really wish is that exercising didn't hurt so much. :D

    Have a great Monday!

  10. Ok, if there was anything that could make me want to take up running again, it's this post. You are truly a runner!

    BTW, that little tree is TOO cute!! I need to add that to my "someday I'll make that" list, and I'll make sure I get lots more buttons and pins than I think I'll need :o)

  11. It is kind of funny; even at times when working out feels so hard to get started, it always feels good afterwards!

    Love your tree, it is so cute!! I'd love to do one for myself, but the amount of work is intimidating. There are lots of projects going on here, I shouldn't start another one right now. Think I put it in my "for future use" folder. =)

  12. wow the button tree turned out great - wonderful idea!! I´ll keep it in my mind! thanks for sharing!

    fantastic running page - love to see your special style!


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