So after working my way up gradually to running 8 miles or so without too much fatigue, I went home for the holidays and ate turkey and rugelah and drank Wassail until I couldn’t feel my face anymore. Granted, it was an excellent week. But now I’m having a hell of a time getting back into the game.
Today on the treadmill I thought I was going to pass out at mile 2. I made it to 8 miles but only after some serious self-bargaining. I hate to bargain. I ran 6 miles at more or less my normal pace, and then did the last 2 at a slightly slower pace. And I feel like face-planting into a bowl of buttered egg-noodles. Just because that might feel nice.
I’m starting to realize that I may have lost some ground here, which Brian confirmed. “Sometimes when you stop exercising for a little while and then get back into it, it’s harder to get back where you were than it was to get there the first time,” he said. I wish I’d realized that while I was double-fisting eggnog and pumpkin tartlets. But I guess sometimes you have to live and learn. At least the living part was delicious.
Today I ran 7.5 miles on the treadmill in 70 minutes.
Granted, I was watching VH1’s “Best Songs of the 80s” during that time (and got through approximately songs 45-28, to be exact). So that helped the time go by. But still. That was a lot of miles to run (the most I’ve run ever!) and a lot of minutes to keep running during. Now my legs really hurt. I am worried that I am turning into one of those people who runs a lot and trains to run more and is always saying things like, ‘I am training to run a half marathon’ because I sort of am. Maybe. I might do that.
The dog has a cone on his head right now from a minor surgery he had last week, and he’s bashing it into everything in our apartment multiple times a day, especially my legs. There is nothing quite so irritating as having a cone bashed into your legs every thirty-seven seconds that you are at home. Even though it’s by the dog, so it’s being done with love.
Sad Coneheaded Dog.
Oh, and Happy Halloween everyone! Can you guess who I went as?
No fair if I already told you. =)
As per the usual with my new running schedule, my long run took me to the park this afternoon. I know that the South has a reputation for being full of people who are out of shape and lazy and hate to exercise, but every time I visit this park on my Sunday afternoon run, it is full of people of all shapes and sizes and ages frolicking with their kids, riding bikes, walking dogs, and generally being sickeningly wholesome and outdoorsy. So take that, popular misconceptions!
So I’ve been training to run this 10k race in November for a few weeks now, and several things are becoming clear:
1) I can now understand how people end up training to run ridiculous distances. The human body is really good at getting used to things, so, just like with drugs or alcohol (I assume), once you’ve been indulging in something for awhile, you have to up the dosage, because the same old amount just doesn’t do it for you any more. In any event, on Tuesday I ran 5 miles during my lunch break, which would have been unheard of even a couple of weeks ago. So I’m becoming one of those people! At least my pants fit better now.
2) A 10k race is less impressive than I once might have assumed. I’ve deduced this after talking to several friends who are also training to run races—half marathons. Their big races are all much sooner than my big (or small) race. This makes me feel kind of lame, but I’m trying not to let it dissuade me. I’ll get there someday.
3) When I’m running considerably more than usual, I also want to eat more, and I also also want to eat more crap. This came as a surprise to me. I thought I’d be craving leafy greens and carrot sticks. But I’m craving chocolate chip muffins. It’s as though my body recognizes that it is now theoretically possible for me to be eating more, so it may as well be more donuts. And how can I say no to my body for something like that? Especially when it’s stepped up and begun to log way more miles and work harder when I’ve asked it to? I kind of owe it.
Big news! I’ve started training to run a 10k race.
Those of you who know me personally probably know that I like to run a little. I did cross country in college, which involved 5k races. Since then I’ve done a smattering of 5ks here and there, mostly through the jobs I was doing at the time. But this time I’ll be doing twice that amount of running in a race!
It feels good to be training for something. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually ‘trained’ to do any sort of ‘physical’ ‘activity’ before. Yesterday I ran for 40 minutes! In a row! This was big for me. I haven’t done that kind of running in awhile. I usually stop after 20 or so, because I’m sweaty and tired. But not yesterday!
During my last year or so Boston, I used to occasionally run home from work, which did take about an hour. Yes, I am crazy. On certain days I’d bring running gear to work, and then at the end of the day I’d pack a little sport backpack with my necessities and run from my office in downtown Boston to my home in Somerville. It was just so damn convenient; and with the public transportation in Boston, it was actually quicker than taking the T. Plus, I had the extra motivation of ‘the faster you run, the sooner you will be home.’ So that helped. But I haven’t done anything like that in awhile.
So wish me luck! I’m hoping to run this 10k sometime in November. From what I understand, training for races like this is a slippery slope. You start out doing just one and then you keep doing them because you don’t know how to stop. I guess we’ll see what happens.
I had almost forgotten this, until I did it yesterday.
I whine a lot about the weather here in NC (it’s like a toothless northern winter, without the glory or the snow-days) etc etc, but it’s pretty great being able to go for a run in shorts in February.
It was a cool 55 degrees out that kind of felt like Fall, what with all the crunchy dead leaves and the bleak white sky, and I was reminded of the four years I served on the Cross Country team at Bard. Once again I experienced the strange tightness I get in my shoulders when I am about halfway through an outdoor run, coupled with rubbery legs and a feeling of joy and despair having it out in the pit of my stomach. Also, possibly in response to the sharpness of the air, my mouth waters, as if I am running after a plate of Oreos. Anyone else ever have that happen?
Ahh, running outdoors. There is nothing like it. It returns me to my masochistic roots.