I run. But I’ve never considered myself a runner.
I don’t always like the act of running but I’ve never finished even a short completely-distracted 1/2 mile jog and thought, “That was a waste of my time.” It’s getting to the start of that 1/2 mile that I find to be the hard part.
In my very early 20s, I ran 5 miles a day. Every single day – and sometimes, twice a day. I’d slap on some music, grab a stack of magazines, pick a treadmill in front of ESPN News and then knock it out in 60 minutes flat, like I had nothing better to do.
Because I didn’t. Even back then, I didn’t consider myself a runner.
Since then? There are lunches and snacks. Laundry and dirty dishes. A couple of blogs, a couple of rental houses, and a couple of other tasks that always seem like a good excuse to put off running.
But that was before I ran 5.65 miles yesterday. And I’m now ready to call myself a runner. A real runner. Because week 2 of marathon training is in the books and I ran for a longer distance than I’ve ever run in my life. And I liked it.
Before the 5.65 miles. After it. And even during it. (Although, I’d have never gotten through it without all that Nelly and Eminem.)
Week 2 consisted of two 30-minute “maintenance runs” and a “big run” of 4 miles… which ended up being 5.65 miles. And since it was 99 degrees outside, that 5.65 miles was done at 78-degrees on a treadmill.
The beginner’s training plan I’m using advocates a run-walk method – you run comfortably for a portion of 1 minute and walk the rest (say 10 seconds running, 50 seconds walking). And then you increase the run:walk ratio as you go.
Logistically, it’s a bit of a pain to keep up with manually if you’re trying to strictly stick to the minute-schedule so I simply set up a custom workout online and loaded it to my watch (I use this one) – everytime my watch vibrated, I ran… or walked… or was jamming to Lose Yourself so hard, that I just ignored it and kept running.
After a bit, I was jogging for up to 5 minutes up a time before making myself take a 30-60 second walk break. All the way to 5.65 miles.
And then within 2 hours of finishing, I was hungry like I hadn’t eaten in a week. All I could think about were steaks. And burgers. And more burgers. My friends call that “runger.”
Since I’m completely motivated by numbers and love looking at data and stats, my Garmin comes in handy. It was completely awesome to see (and feel!) improvement from last week to this week. But there’s still 26 weeks to go.
And I still want that burger.