So, here at Scoot, we’re not just a running blog. We talk about all sorts of things. It’s right there in the tag line : Fitness, Food, Friends, Fun. That is part of what we consider to be awesome about having seven of us around; there’s always something different to chat about! That being said, we also talk about running. Because, well, we run.
And by we, I mean everyone who is not the person writing this post. I…don’t run. I…kind of, sort of, used to run, once upon a time.
All my fellow chicks have run half marathons or marathons. I…signed up for a half marathon once, but I didn’t actually do it.
So, while we fully celebrate our differences, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes feel like those old ‘one of these things is not like the others’ bits on Sesame Street. But, most of the time, I’m fine with being the non runner in the group. I know it won’t always be that way. I want to run. I dream of running. A half marathon is fully in my someday plan.
If you don’t know my backstory, the quick and dirty version is that I started running three years ago, using Couch to 5K, because I was most def acquainted with the couch, but not so much the 5K. I was making good progress, building up my endurance and working on going faster. I was doing well during training, but every time I did an actual race, I would freak myself out and wind up walking instead of running. Still, everything was moving in the right direction.
And then, July. And heat. And humidity. And no.
Fast forward through the next three years, and you’ll see a few half-hearted (re)attempts at Couch to 5K, one ridiculously last minute training attempt for a half marathon (not because I decided last minute, but because I procrastinate like it’s my job) which resulted in eight months of recovery from a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, and a whole lot of not doing much in the way of exercise.
I want to tell you that wasn’t representative of a typical day. I want to tell you I wasn’t averaging 2500-3000 steps a day. I want to tell you that I was bedridden with the plague that day, because holy moly, it looks like I never left my couch. But, if I’m being honest with you, and with myself, those kind of numbers had been my norm for quite some time. There would be small spurts of days with more activity, but really, inactivity had become my new activity.
So, when I saw this 30 Day Walking Challenge as I was scrolling through Facebook (on my couch, of course), I thought “Huh… well that looks doable… it’s just walking.”
The challenge is based off a number of steps, and since day one was 2000 steps, which was below my already unimpressive daily average, I would count only the steps I got during ‘activity’ toward the daily goal. Each 500 steps is roughly equivalent to 1/4 mile, so day one is a mile, day two is 1.25 miles, and so on. And there are rest days. In the increase slows down after the first week. The idea is that on the last day, you do 10,000 steps, which is 5 miles.
The first couple days were no big deal, but the increase of 1/4 mile each day was no joke. I mean, I wasn’t dying out there or anything, even though July… hot… humid, but still, I could definitely feel the increase. But, in a good way. In a proving to myself that I am capable way. In a nice to be out there way.
We headed out of town for a few days, and I thought “I’ll be able to stay on track… it’s just walking.”
Most days, I was still able to get my steps in. A couple days, I didn’t. One day it rained allllll day long, and we sat around playing cards. And then one day, I climbed a mountain (I’M JUST SAYING).
And now we’re back home. I could use the fact that I missed a few days of the challenge as a reason to quit, or start over next month. I could say that I’m still on vacation, and that Friday is supposed to be the ‘rest day.’ Or I could sit here and think “What difference does it make anyway? It’s just walking.”
But really, there’s no such thing as just walking. And when you’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing for a while, there is really no such thing as just walking. In addition to walking being great exercise in and of itself, it’s a place to start. It’s a beginning. For me, it’s the first step (pun totally intended) in getting back to running, to seeing those half marathon dreams come true, to joining my fellow chicks in the ranks of runners.
So, I’m off to the park. I’ve got 5500 steps with my name on them today. Sure, it’s hot and humid and August out there. But, I can do it.
After all, it’s just walking.