Running for Pancakes

I'm in a book club with my friends Mary Katherine & Melissa & some other women that I've gotten to know over the past year. They're all runners, most are also cyclists, & some are triathletes. Ever since the great hip injury of '06, I stopped running. Over the past 6-ish months, I've ran a few 5Ks & realized that my body can tolerate running 3 miles, albeit very slowly. As word spread throughout book club that I was running 5Ks, the ladies started pushing me to run again. Ehhhh, I said. But then Carrie came along with the one thing I can't turn down: pancakes.

Carrie started an unofficial running group to meet in Hillsboro Village every Friday at 5:30am, run the 3 mile West End/Vandy loop, then eat breakfast at Pancake Pantry. Sold! I've done it twice now & I kind of love it. The only problem is my speed, or lack thereof. Carrie assured me that this run was more for fun than speed & that they wouldn't leave me behind (it's still dark at 5:30am).

Carrie, bless it, stayed back with me & helped me stay at a steady pace. She also talked to me the whole time, which helped take my mind off the running. There's no way I would have ran that whole 3 mile loop if she hadn't been with me. Last week, Carrie couldn't come, but another fellow slow-runner came along & stayed back with me. We ended walking a lot more than we ran, but it was still nice to have someone to talk to. Plus, pancakes.

I talked to my friend Jaime, who's trained beginning runners in the past, & she said 2 things: 1) don't be embarrassed about speed -start slow, then finish fast; & 2) start trying to get in at least 3 runs a week. Carrie had pretty much told me the same thing. She said to work on getting my heart & lungs up to speed, then my legs will follow. My legs are strong as shit. Have you seen these tree trunks? So I know Carrie's right, once my heart is ready, my legs will be there.

I've been running 2-3 times a week, depending on the week. The hard part has been finding places to run. I keep defaulting to the Belmont Blvd loop, but I'm getting bored with it. My neighborhood works in a pinch, but it's hilly as shit. I ran in Centennial Park once & I liked it, aside from all the people, dogs, etc. that I had to work around. I tried running on the treadmill this week & hated it. Apparently all this running outside has turned me off to my old friend, the treadmill. I so wish there was a West Nashville version of East Nasty. God, that would be awesome. Do no runners live on the West Side?

So yeah, I'm running again. So far, no hip pain. My knees bother me a little, but nothing substantial. Honestly, the hardest part for me is mental. The entire first 10-15 minutes of the run, my brain is screaming, "Walk! Walk! Walk! This sucks! Walk!", but once I get past that, it's smooth sailing. I've also found that if I walk first, for about 5 minutes, then go into a slow jog, I can actually run by the end & finish somewhat fast. It's a work in progress, but I'm getting there.

Lastly, weight. I quit weighing myself weeks ago because it was pissing me off, so I have no idea what I weigh right now or if all this running has caused me to lose any weight. I don't even care that much honestly. I will say this, my pants are all starting to get roomy in the thigh area. I've actually taken 2 pairs of work pants in for alterations. I can tell I'm stronger & I can tell my legs are tightening up, but other than that, who knows. We shall see......

Garden Drum

Wasabi Panko Coated Halibut