We are capable of far more than we imagine.
Yesterday, for the first time, I ran six miles on the treadmill and I did it in 55:28, which works out to an average pace of 9:15/mile — not a big deal, but still, not bad for a fifty-four year old woman of no great height or running ability.
I’m not much of a motivational speaker, but I do want to say that if you’re interested in fitness, in getting in shape, in getting stronger, go for it! (Usual caveats — check with a doctor, etc. — you know yourself better than I do.) But it’s very likely that you are capable of far more than you imagine. That’s been the case for me. I was well into my forties before I started running somewhat regularly. I remember being astonished when I was able to sustain a good pace for thirty minutes. Now I’ve almost doubled that.
I think the key is to start slowly but keep it up. I started by running on the road. It’s a country road, so there are reflectors along the side. I’d run for the distance of four or five reflectors, then walk for two or three. As the days passed I’d extend the running segments and reduce the walking segments, until eventually I was running the whole thing.
My muscles were very sore when I first started. I don’t work out when I’m really sore. I let my body rest and heal. But I do workout when I’m a little sore — and usually I feel a lot better the next day. I tend to push myself pretty hard. But I also have a history of not exercising for stretches of time, sometimes because I’m traveling, or I’m sick, or I’m just so busy…but I always get back to it.