Pre-Covid 19, we went on a trip to Florida, and joined a gym. I would usually walk a mile on the treadmill, but it seemed wimpy. The girl next to me was running. Chris was running. So I ran a mile straight through at a very low pace (just above a walk). And I was proud!
I gradually increased my distance every few weeks and gradually increased my speed as well. I am currently running just over three miles a day. I prefer to run on a treadmill, in a temperature controlled environment, with a TV on with closed captioning while listening to music. Not surprisingly, I’m pretty pampered.
Our annual 4th of July family trip to Minnesota was approaching. I wanted to keep running, but had never done it outside, so Chris and I went for a jog on the beautiful trails in the Cedar Valley.
June 27, 2020
Sarah: “Should we run together..?”
Me: “Sure that works.”
I “jog” 6 miles a day, and she runs 3.5 miles the math works. From the very beginning I knew something was wrong ... she’s been on a treadmill for months and her muscle memory was set on 10. I have been on trail leisure￼ mode 5 for that same amount of time... no surprise to anyone who knows me my math did not work.
This picture is the closest I ever got to Sarah “FloJo” Corkery. I am positive that everyone who met us on the trail, read the look on my face as someone who was chasing her. All I wanted to say was, “Oh she’s fine - there’s no way I’m ever going to catch her...”
At one point Sarah turned back and gave me the thumbs up like this is all great and I said, “You run really fast!” It was an accusation. We finally reached the designated spot for her to turn back and me to continue on... I would be lying if I didn’t feel at that moment like when the trainer shifts attention to another person and I can go back to using my knees to do pushups.
The good news: we both made it home safe and sound and I ran the fastest two miles of my life.
Should we run together? Absolutely and I will even give you a high five when I meet you on your way back. ✌️❤️😂
PS - as I wrote this walking back up our hill Sarah popped out of the bushes and almost gave me a heart attack. “What killed him? Running? No running with his wife...”
I found when I looked too far ahead and saw the next hill, I would get discouraged. I’d run fast, then walk. Repeat. It was hard. It was not fun.
The next day Chris offered to run with me if I promised to go at his pace. I wore a hat and we went a little slower… it was nice. I intentionally only looked about six feet out ahead on the road - I didn’t look at the hills. Chris would give me notice when a car was approaching. I felt much safer.
What I learned over the last seven months:
- Don’t look too far into the future. Look only as far as you can control. Too much may cause worry and will not help you live in the moment.
- Life’s better when you go together. Alone can be hard so if you need a friend, I’m here. I’m open to socially distanced conversations outside. We can get through this together.
- Ease into new things. I didn’t start out running very fast or very long. I’ve never been out of breath during or after a jog. I took it slow.
- Listen to your body. Being over 40, menopausal and surviving cancer has been hard on my body. I don’t love running, but I don’t hate it either. And when I do it, I feel better. I have since lost the weight I put on over the last few years. I’m also eating much smarter too (www.skinnytaste.com), which I’m sure also helps.
- Some time outside with friends and family feels good. If you need a good destination to get away that’s not more than a day’s drive, we highly recommend Lake Crest Resort in Northern Minnesota.