Saturday, April 11, 2009

Running for my life

I just got back from an 8 mile run, at an average pace of about an 8 minute/mile. I just noticed that today is my one year running anniversary. Exciting, huh? You probably feel bad not having gotten me a gift.

I was looking back today trying to figure out when I started running and came across this post one year ago today:
On Wednesday I ran about 1 1/2 miles in 12 minutes and it was miserable. Today I ran about 3 1/4 miles in about 30 minutes and it wasn't quite as bad (not quite as good as my Nephew). Apparently if you run really hard for a mile and half and you're not in shape, things don't go so well. If you pace yourself, you can go a bit further I guess. It was sunny, I had the right music on and took my brother-in-law Kevin's advice to go into it with a good additude.
When I started running, I hated it. Despised it really. Kinda like my friend Kirk. After Kevin's advice to "fake it 'til you make it" we set the goal to run a half marathon together at the end of last year, which we did. Running is now a part of my routine which I really enjoy as both a form of exercise and a stress-reliever. I ran through this past winter which kept me in good enough shape to start this year in good enough shape to run 7 or 8 miles without much effort at a pace that took me most of last year to work up to.

I don't have any race goals in mind this year except doing a triathlon. I can bike and run without a problem. My big fear is the swimming. After having minor panic attacks when I tried distance swimming in the lake water where I couldn't touch, I need to take some kind of lessons.

After last year's half-marathon, I had no desire to do another one. I may sign up for one this year, though, just to have a goal. I'd like to beat my time last year of 1h 57m. I'd like to do a race with Nate now that he's running with me starting with a 5k.

I bought last year's running shoes at New Balance, where they really know what they're talking about. I put a slew of miles on them and this year thought I'd save a few bucks and buy them at Dick's sporting goods, because I figured I knew what I needed. What an dumb move. I bought a very nice pair of Asics, but obviously the wrong ones. I'm having problems with numbness and soreness. The soreness is just due to changing to a new style of shoe, but I just can't get these to fit right as I run. They feel fine until I get about a mile into it.

In my post a year ago, I joked:
I'm thinking I can somehow turn this into a reason (excuse?) to get the new 3G iPhone and the Nike GPS connector.

One year later, i've got an iPhone with the built in GPS connectivity and the RunKeeper app. It's an amazing app that tracks your speed, route, elevation and talks to you periodically to tell you how you're doing. I typically listen to NPR Podcasts (This American Life, Planet Money) or Noel or Rob Bell's messages, or the occasional book on tape.

My friend Kirk likens new-found runners to new ex-smokers. Kirk hates running as much as I did, but has signed up for a marathon at the end of this year to motivate himself. He has run once since then. He hates the fact that a lot of the guys who work out together have started running and have far better cardiovascular endurance than him. He may die as he runs the marathon, but he'll have gone out with a bang.

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