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As I lay prostrate on the floor for a good five minutes after my run this morning, I turned to Eric and said, “I have a long way to go.”

I admit I’ve been a little cocky about this whole I’m-going-to-be-a-runner thing.  You see, I can already run one whole mile without even stopping (three if I walk a little!) … on the treadmill.  So clearly I’ll just need to do a few practice runs in the mornings and I’ll be ready to start racing.  Right?

As it turns out, running outside on the concrete in Oklahoma summer heat (even at 6am), is a lot harder than running on a cushy treadmill with a fan blowing on your face.

This morning was only the third time I’ve run outdoors.  I used to be too self-conscious – worried people would notice my slow pace or that I had to stop to walk (or, let’s face it, that my butt jiggled).  I’m not sure how I got over that fear, but signing up for a race (um, that happens outside) meant I had to get over it.  So now I’m a three-time-outdoor-running-veteran … and it’s been a cold wake-up call to how out of shape I am!

The plan was for me to run two miles this morning.  I started out strong, purposefully running the route the opposite direction from last time so that I would run around a nearby park early on (rather than be tempted to cut through it at the end).  I felt pretty strong, but just couldn’t get out of my head.  For some reason, it’s easier for me to zone out when I’m on a treadmill.  Just 8 minutes in, I was feeling it, so I started taking more frequent walking breaks.  Bummer, but okay, I can handle that.  Then about 15 minutes in I realized I’d taken a turn one street earlier than I’d intended, which ended up cutting my route by a quarter-mile.  Fine, I thought, I’ll just run past the house a couple of blocks and back to make up for it.

Yeah.  I had to change my route so I wouldn’t cut through the park.  Did I really think I was going to run past my house?

Then the heat started getting to me.  I was dizzy and, even worse, really nauseated.  I tried slowing to a jog until finally I just had to walk the last two blocks home.

I was really disappointed in myself (and really mad to find out it was actually only 77° outside, WTH?!  It seriously felt like 97°).

I know I’m just starting out, and that if I stick with it I will get better.  I know that I still have a lot to learn.  I’m sure part of the problem is that I haven’t really figured out how to fuel properly.  And I should find a way to carry water since I know I’m sensitive to the heat.  But dammit, sometimes it sucks being a beginner!

   …   …   …   …

So, I was pretty bummed this morning.  Then I read Caitlin’s post about not getting so caught up in your goals that you don’t appreciate where you are.  Thank you, Caitlin!  That message couldn’t have come at a better time for me!

So, here is what I’m going to do … I’m going to appreciate that I’m no longer just saying I’m going to start running, but actually doing it.  I’m going to be happy that I didn’t let the comfort of my bed keep me from getting outside and active this morning.  And I’m going to do my yoga tomorrow and my run on Wednesday and so on, and just enjoy each day’s workout until the day comes that I can truly and confidently say that I’m a runner.

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