Since I’m one of the two students who took a cab for the grade 12 12k run in 1988 (I’m not ratting out my companion) the real shock this weekend was that I went for a run and I had a great time.
I’m not exaggerating to say I had the most fun running of my life — and I repeat, I really do not enjoy running. I would not be running at all if I weren’t starting to train for a triathlon for the summer after I turn 45 (2016 – I need the time!) So what made the difference? Three things:
1. The Zombies, Run! app.
Here’s the deal: Plug in your headphones and you’re part of a game. It’s after the Zombie Apocalypse and you’re Runner Five. You have to go out and run missions for your base (like running to the abandoned hospital to get supplies). There might be a novelty factor but I just found the whole idea and narrative fun enough to get over my own inertia — and I kept going further than I would have otherwise.
Sadly, if my base were depending on me for food they would have starved, but you know, details…maybe tomorrow night. This might be a life-changing app. It’s available for the Android and the iPhone.
2. Fila Skele-Toes
Dear Fila: I owe you an apology. I quite honestly thought these shoes were a bit of a fad. But since I was going to run anyway on dirt, grass and concrete I thought I would try them out. In the park particularly I felt more stable and through the whole run my feet felt lightweight and natural but protected. These shoes actually do feel different than regular shoes – closer to barefoot.
I did get a blister, which was not fun (and I’d've had to buy toe socks to prevent that), but regardless they upped my fun factor by quite a bit. I also got a few double-takes at the coffee shop. People in my ‘hood are just not used to shoes that look like gloves. (Disclosure: Fila provided a pair to try out.)
3. Taking it slow
Despite the zombie music and lightweight shoes, I ran incredibly slowly thanks to Doctor Mama’s advice: “Everyone makes the same mistake when starting out: going too fast. When you start, you need to go SLOWLY. So slowly that you could probably walk faster. So slowly that you will feel humiliated if you see anyone you know.” As a result, I felt better after I ran and not worse.
Reporting back: I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I am also trying out the 100 pushups app. I am still on week one (on my toes – I had to do a few “pre-weeks” on my knees), but I am getting stronger.
What are you doing this summer to shake up your fitness routine? Got any tips for those of us who struggle to stay motivated?