I may have mentioned before that I hate running. I have thought so for quite a number of years, and it seems to have been cemented in my mind since 9th grade track when I "ran" the half mile, and only placed if there were only three runners. I barely could keep going for two laps, and I was miserable the whole time. Then recently I found out that a friend of mine was starting to run, and had even managed to run a mile faster than ever. My very small, but still existent, competitive side thought, "If she can do it -- so can I!" So, I made a goal. I would learn to run a mile.
I found a plan online. It was supposed to help me learn to run a mile in four weeks -- running three days a week and cross training three days a week. It did say that if you had troubles with one of the weeks, you should repeat that week before going on. Off I went. Week one was a breeze. Run 1/4 of the track, walk 3/4 four times. Week two was fine. Run 1/2 track, walk 1/2 track for a mile. I've actually lost track of where I became stuck, but more than once I ended up bawling because I just couldn't make it as far as I was "supposed" to. I panic when I get too tired, and then my breathing becomes worse, and I can no longer convince myself it's possible to keep going. With time I even discovered that I had to listen to fairly relaxing music to keep me calm as I ran.
After 7 weeks of consistent working I had still not run a mile. I could torture my way through 1/2 mile, walk 1/4 track and run 3/4 track for the next two laps, but not more. I tried. I got a little farther, injured myself a bit, and started dreading running. I kept at it, but with a different plan. I would run intervals. It turns out I kind of enjoy that. I'm fine to run as long as I know I'll get to walk a little sometimes. So, finally on Monday I decided that I would run a mile -- but with a little walking every lap. There is more than one way to run a mile! Maybe one day I will actually manage to run a mile without ever walking, or maybe not, but I do not regret trying. It's hard to learn what we can do if we never try!