Dear Person Running Next To Me On The Treadmill,
I see you staring at me. You’re not very discreet. I might not be looking directly at you, but my peripheral vision has yet to fail me.
I get it. You’re competitive. You like the thrill of racing next to someone. Trying to run faster than them. It gets your blood pumping, your energy racing. You know what gets my blood pumping?
Running at this pace. Consistently. For several minutes. Without stopping. It makes me feel unstoppable. Even when my breath is waning and sweat is pouring down my back and I’m swearing that I will never step back on a treadmill again. Even when my side starts to cramp. Even when my calves burn like the Fourth of July. You know what doesn’t get my blood pumping?
Competing with you. Just because we’re next to each other doesn’t mean we’re in a running club. And if we were in a running club, I wouldn’t be competing against you: I’m competing against myself. I’m beating my own records, I’m out-timing myself. I’m not tempted to creep my pace up to meet your neck breaking pace (which you can’t seem to maintain for more than a few seconds, but that’s neither here nor there.)
You see, a couple of months ago, running for one minute felt like it would be the end of me. This week, I’m mentally preparing myself to run 20 minutes without walking. That mental preparation is more important to me than any mini-race you want the two of us to engage in.
So keep your eyes to the front, listen to your own breathing, and stop looking at me- I’m not your competition. You are your competition.
(By the way, for the sake of your personal safety, I’m going to assume you’re staring at me for the fun of competition and not because you can’t believe a fat girl can run for so long. If that’s the case, your real concern should be whether or not I’m going to yank out your treadmill power cord when you’re mid-sprint.)
Since we’re on the topic of running:
I’ve learned quite a few things about running in the past couple of months. Since I haven’t been doing this my whole life, my learning curve is pretty intense. However, since my personal racing season is about to begin, I’m thinking about a number of things I need to do in order to maintain this hobby after I finish the Couch to 5K Challenge.
1. New Shoes- I’ll admit it, I never thought shoes made that much of a difference. I’ve read countless articles and blog entries where people swear by the importance of proper shoe fittings. I’ve rolled my eyes and thought, “ I can run in these kicks, so what’s the problem? Yeah, it hurts a little, but I can’t afford to buy news ones and certainly not from a running store.”
Don’t get me wrong- I am very grateful for these shoes. Without them, I would be running in old converses or even older kangeroo sneakers. But after a few months of running, I’ve started to think that I need shoes which actively accommodate for my foot arch. Also, the backs of these shoes rub against my heels in a way that is not very pleasant. And every time I start to think my calves are feeling the burn more than any other part of my body? That could be directly related to my shoe choice. Basically, new running shoes are fairly high on my list of priorities. They might not happen before summer, but I need to meet up with a running shoe specialist ASAP.
2. Road Running Accessories- Another confession: I am scared to run outdoors. As in, I’m truly afraid. I love walking- I could walk to California and back. But running outdoors freaks me out. I’ve developed an unhealthy dependency to the treadmill. I know it probably sounds weird, but the treadmill comforts me. It might be really boring, but I find comfort in the fact that as long as it is moving, I can’t stop moving. I’m scared to run outdoors because I can just stop running whenever I “feel tired”. If I stopped running every time I “felt tired” on the treadmill, I would never accomplish any of my daily goals. I don’t have a problem participating in outdoor races (probably because there other people present to motivate me), but running alone makes me nervous. In short, I haven’t conquered the mental aspect of running at all. However, I know that the time for me to focus on road running is near- the weather is brightening up, and I can’t stay indoors forever. Plus, if I really want to take my running seriously, I need to take it outside and try out different types of terrain. Therefore, I need to get a couple of accessories to make things easier. For instance, I am always saddled with too many handheld objects– cell phone, keys, etc. I’ve been eyeballing the go-belt for some time now (pictured above), because it’s an obtrusive way to carry all my stuff without causing problems.
3. New Clothes- I’m pretty happy with my sports bras, and I own about 308710821 tops which are appropriate for most running weather (though I should probably find a good under armour long sleeved top). However, I need to invest in new running bottoms (pants/shorts). Since I’m losing weight and my butt is (and probably always will be) larger than my stomach, I’m constantly dealing with droopy pants waistbands. Further more, I ( like most people who are blessed with hefty inner thighs) have a problem running in shorts because they always rise up into my crotch and I spend the entire run thinking about readjusting the crotch of my shorts. Therefore, I primarily enjoy running in capri pants.
But it would be nice to have a solid pair of running shorts, especially since it’s getting warmer. But if I’m going to run in capri pants, I need pants that don’t droop down under my belly. Actually, part of the problem (probably) is that the shorts I run in are the same shorts I use for biking– but they’re not even really tight enough to be great biking shorts. However, when I’m biking I don’t have to deal with them riding up in my crotch. Hmm. Maybe I should get some shorts that are already short enough to be in my crotch so I don’t have to think about pulling them down? I know a lot of people think Fat girls can’t/shouldn’t wear shorty shorts, but I’ve never really cared what other people think about my wardrobe- why start now?
Bottom line? If I’m going to get serious about running, I need to get serious about my gear. Any ideas?
Also, speaking of suggestions, I think this is the week I’ll work on transitioning to my self-hosted domain. Basially, any and all words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.