I also did not get to make a commencement speech, because there was no ceremony. That would have been awesome, though. I mean, I have some material for a speech about overcoming adversity and also running. I have some good stuff for that sort of speech.
Instead, I have compiled a list of stuff about running I have discovered. Because reasons.
- It does not get easier. The app progressed, but I was always just as destroyed at the end. I was sweaty, I felt as though I was going to die, and did I actually die? I can't tell. I'm pretty sure I did, at least for a minute there.
- It gets easier. (See what I did there?) Today I ran with Dad, because he cannot bear to have me out there running without joining in, no matter how painful it is for him. For the record, he ran in a pair of sandals, jeans, and a t-shirt. I did not follow any app, but watched Dad as we ran took walking breaks when I thought he needed it. The resulting walk/run ratio was similar to the beginning of Couch to 5K, only without a lady talking from my iPhone. It was not even slightly strenuous to me. So yeah, maybe it does get better. You just don't notice it until you go on a run with your almost-60-year-old father.
- It makes you tired. This is an understatement. I have never been so tired in my life, except maybe for when I was a kid and Dad took us to the mountains and we climbed up and up and up thinking we were on a circular trail, only to discover, many hours later, that the trail was not a circle at all and that we had to turn around and walk the whole way back. On the way down, there were poisonous snakes.
- It works more than just your legs. Running uses your whole body, and, as a result, you will feel it everywhere the next morning when you try to get out of bed.
- Cotton is the enemy. When you sweat, cotton clothes stick to you. This is unpleasant.
- Shorts are the enemy. Heh. If you are like me, and your inner thighs touch and rub together when you walk, slowly wearing out every pair of jeans you own in an indelicate area, you probably should wear running tights, capris, or spandex instead of those adorable Nike shorts that come in all the pretty colors. Give up on your dignity and buy the skin-tight pants.
- It is possible to run in glasses. I always thought that would be a problem, and it is a bit annoying when you get very sweaty. However, for the most part, you can run in glasses without any difficulty. If it really is awful for you, guess what? There is a special company that makes very sporty looking prescription sunglasses for runners and other athletes. I'm not springing for them, but there you go.
- You will want to convert everyone you know to the glory of Couch to 5K, because it seems so miraculous that you, who never once passed a presidential physical fitness exam, could ever have done it. And if you could manage it, so can everyone else!
- It does things to your body's rhythms. Meaning you can schedule bathroom stops. That's all I'm going to say.
- You start to LIKE running. This is maybe not true while you're actually in the process of running, but after, when you realize how far you ran, how good it feels to have successfully run anywhere at all, you feel like maybe you don't suck. It's a good feeling.
Bonus: I still am not Portuguese. In case you were wondering.
All that being said, I still feel like other runners are judging me and finding me lacking every time I see one on the trail or walk into the running store. I keep telling myself that they're probably as focused on keeping their hearts from exploding as I am while running, but still. That feeling probably won't ever go away.