I have been using running as therapy for about three years now. I ran Cross Country in high school, but honestly I don't really remember learning much about running, other than how to stretch, and then just to get out there and don't stop. So I showed up for practice, ran trying not to stop, and usually finsihed each 5k race somewhere in the middle. I was a member with little natural talent compared to the superstars on our team. I don't know if the Coach even knew my name...I dont remember his now. I don't have any stories about winning medals or trophies. I would just finish each race and then socialize. Cross Country was fun, running really was not. By my junior year of high school I had moved on to different social endeavors which included smoking cigarettes and pretending like I was a super creative non- conformist-ish alternative chick. Although I should note for accuracy we didn't like to actually use the word "alternative" back in those days in reference to ourselves. I was such a ridiculous brat. I stopped running. So wise beyond my years...
A little over a decade, a marriage, three kids, and a divorce later I began moving again. My divorce was devastating. In response to my subsequent insecurities, I bought a gym membership, and hired a personal trainer. Since I was falling apart mentally and emotionally I needed to compensate with physical strength. It really did help to have something to be proud of during such a down time in my life. I lifted weights, and I also ran my heart out. I would crank up my crappy little shuffle to the most angry music I could find, and just have it out with the treadmill. I had no training plan or method, or desire to read up on how to improve, I just ran because it was all I knew how to do at the gym. I ran in the Peachtree Roadrace 10k that year, and actually completed it without stopping. That was a huge accomplishment for me after years of being sedentary, and always too busy with the children to do anything for myself. I began to call myself a runner. It was my first identity outside of stay at home mom in years, and it was all mine. I participated in several 5k and 10k races here and there just to keep me active. I always finish somewhere in the middle, and still feel very proud just to complete a race.
Now my goal is to complete a marathon. I am running five days a week, with Sunday being my long run. Each Sunday I increase my mileage by one mile. My last long run was a little over 7 miles. This marks the beginning of my online journal for the three people out there that may be interested.
December 31, 2008
So far, I have stuck to my training calendar very well.
I have politely declined Saturday night cocktails and beers...and even Sunday brunch bloody marys. I opted for a latte instead. I still had a great time at brunch. I miss my cocktails, but know that this 32 year old body cannot recover from drinking like I used to, especially not if I think I am going to run long distances.
I really hate cold weather so it has been almost painful to go outside and face the brisk air, and even GASP cold drizzle. The money I spent on running tights and dry-fit shirts and jackets was well worth it.
My toenails are already hurting and breaking..so much for my French pedicure.
As predicted, I am already tired of every song on my ipod and dread learning to run without music..just me and my thoughts seems awfully scary. I suspect I will find some kind of zen in all that breathing and what not..but I am still hanging on desperately to my playlists, eventhough they cause me to go faster than I need to.
I don't like pacing myself. Going slow makes me panic because I want to show off to all the other folks outside, not actually paying attention to me that I CAN run faster.
Yesterday at the gym I actually began racing some poor dude on the indoor track. He was just minding his own business warming up for his workout..and by mile three of my scheduled leisurely 4 mile jog, I was feeling oppressed and chased down a stranger just to prove I could. I don't really know where that came from. I guess I need some inner talks with myself about humility and well, maturity.
The indoor track at the gym has these floor to ceiling windows that give me multiple views of myself nearly the whole time. I try not to look at myself, but there I am, Big Bird like lanky limbs flopping around as I chug my way around the track. Not so hot looking, but making steady progress. 9 laps= 1 mile, so as I round the laps I visualize the number of the next lap in an imaginary blinking finish line..with confetti when I get to it. Mainly that helps me keep track of the laps.
I am still very frustrated with my fancy Nike+ pedometer because it is still calibrated wrong, and cheated me out of half a mile again. Nevertheless I am tickled to post runs when I use it. I think I need a new foot sensor and new Nike sneeks, because these old shox I wear to run in the gym are not cut out for 20+ miles a week. Friday I am heading to Big Peach Running Co to ask a million questions and hopefully avoid dropping cash on gear I don't need yet.
This is an easy week with only 3 runs, and I am enjoying it. I had a beer last night and bacon and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. My diet has not been over the top strict, but I have been trying to avoid empty calories and cheese. I miss cheese.
I am giddy about all the people that are joining me doing this, it is already worth it to push myself when I would rather stay home or stay in. I am not suprised by the challenges that have popped up here in the beginning. So much of this for me is about trying to overcome character flaws. I don't like that I have used Saturday night cocktails a little too much to help me escape my stresses. I dont like that I am afraid to be alone with my thoughts. I don't like that I am so incredibly vain. I dont like that I am so impatient and cannot just do things slow and steady. I don't like that I am sitting here picking myself apart either. The good part is I did exactly what I was supposed to do this month. So far so good.
All I need, is what I want.
3 years ago