Born to run.

This past Thursday, Ted and I planned on hitting the Portsmouth Brewery for dinner, as it was rumored that the elusive Kate the Great would make a guest appearance that night. Not to miss another tapping of this excellent beer, we set out to the Brewery just before 6, hoping we hadn't missed it.

As we walked, Ted received a text from a friend already there: "Was just tapped. If I were you, I'd run."

So we did run, for roughly 1000 feet, before I, out of breath and already tired, had to stop and rest for a few seconds. We still made it to the Brewery on time, walking quickly, but when we arrived, I had to take a few deep breaths and regain my composure from just that little bit of activity.

I woke up the next morning with sore legs. From ONE THOUSAND FEET of running.

See, my friends, I am horribly out of shape.

I loved to run when I was a kid. I spent much of my time outdoors, running around, playing tag, and throwing a Frisbee with my brother. We spent two weeks at the Cape each summer, on an island with dirt roads and no cable tv or internet. I spent all my time barefoot outdoors, riding bikes, running along the beach, and boogie boarding in the Atlantic.

When I was in middle school, everyone took a cross country gym unit for a month in the fall, and at the end, the entire school would run a mile together. Medals were given to the first, second, and third place winners for each grade. In 6th grade, I came in third place, running a mile in 6 minutes and 44 seconds. Bear in mind that even back then, I didn't consider myself athletic and gym was a place of embarassment for me. (NEVER force me to play basketball. Just don't.) I felt pretty proud of myself, at the age of 11, for doing so well for supposedly being so unathletic.

Unfortunately, I never pursued it; for one, my school did not have a cross country team until right before I graduated, and two, I felt that since I was the stereotypical nerdy kid, I couldn't also be an athlete. In my mind, it just didn't make sense.

So, I've made a decision. I'm going to start doing something athletic. I'm going to start running. I'm going to start out with the Couch to 5K program, and I'd like to get through it soon enough to run at least one 5K later on in the summer or early in the fall.

I am so out of shape, it's ridiculous. When I did some volunteer work a week and a half ago, I spent the morning raking rocks off grass into the ocean. It was very difficult work, and I felt it in my upper body for days. When I moved, my muscles were sore for days as well. I had a difficult time riding my bike up hills when we were in Portland last weekend. I'd like to get in SOME sort of shape so I'm not hurting for days after even a little bit of activity!

I'm going to change this. What advice would you give to a would-be runner who is just starting out?