Run, Cicely! Run!

8 Nov

I am not an athlete. The marathons I love best involve my Netflix queue.

Somewhere in this weight-loss cycle, however, I began to enjoy running. I have no clue how that happened.

I know why it appealed to me: I’m ridiculously cheap. I come from a family of thrifty people. Savings accounts are things of beauty among my people. I’ve had three jobs in the past 10 years and my dad hates it because I’m ruining my chances for a pension. Daddy, much like his daughter, likes to think of the long-term savings.

This was my first 5K that I ran with friends in Long Island. I can't remember my time (think it was a little less than 40 minutes), but I do remember I was impressed with myself.

My first 5K in Long Island. I think my time was a little less than 40 minutes. This was also midway through my weight-loss cycle.

That’s where running comes in. It’s so damn cheap! If you’re mindful about it, all you need are shoes. Just about everyone has old sweats and T-shirts around. And if not, head to a thrift store. My only suggestion is don’t skimp on the shoes. You’re going to have to walk on these feet and with these legs for the rest of your life. Your choice of shoe will make a world of difference.

One of the other benefits about running is that it’s a great use of time. All you have to do is go outside your door. I live in New York where there are always people on the streets. But here, pedestrians have a little respect for runners and will step aside when you say, “Excuse me.” And despite the notion of New York being the concrete jungle, there are plenty of dirt paths and tracks to run here. You can run from your door to any number of parks like Central Park, Riverside Park (my personal fave) or Prospect Park (for my Brooklyn folks).

Then there’s the community of people you find when running. It’s the best way to people watch. Sure, sitting in the park and watching the world go by can be informative. But try being the world that goes by. You’ll see a variety of people on any kind of run. And watching people run can be entertaining. Later I’ll do a posting the different kinds of runners you’ll see. They’re outstanding.

These are the added benefits of burning hundreds of calories the cheap way, but it’s not easygoing the beginning. You’ll start off slow. I began only doing three miles an hour (walking). Then I started added a little jog between laps around the park. Before I knew it, I was running the entire time. I began without any training (unless you count elementary school gym classes). I was in my mid 20s and in generally good health besides being overweight.

The day I ran six miles in an hour, I almost cried. It had been a longtime goal to be able to hit the 10-minute mile. Now I’m running 5Ks and 10Ks with no problem. I always say, “I run a 10K on a Tuesday.”

I’m at the point where I want to run a half marathon. I’ve got the endurance for about eight miles, but 13 seems daunting. It’s all about setting goals for yourself and doing your damnedest to achieve them.

What goals have you set for yourself doing your favorite workout?

Also, check out these yoga poses, courtesy of Self magazine, to help you keep from putting too much strain on the body.

9 Responses to “Run, Cicely! Run!”

  1. Beth K. November 12, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    We’re doing a half together one day! Preferably one with few hills.


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