Note To Self: Running is Still Hard

by

runningangry

Today I received a friendly reminder that running is evil. I’ve stood by my position that running is a horrible activity and a “running high” is a myth that skinny people tell fat people to get them to run – much like parents telling you that the Easter Bunny exists, Peter Angelos telling Orioles fans that the Birds will compete for a title soon, or Lady GaGa tricking people into thinking she’s talented.

To be honest, I enjoy my running routine. I pretty much have been running 6 miles per day, every day. I don’t plan out rest days in advance, but allow myself one per week – so I can skip a day if I’m not feeling too well, am too busy or just don’t feel like hitting the trail. It’s become a daily habit, like bathing, brushing my teeth and heading into work in the morning like rolling out of bed.

The problem is – a marathon isn’t six miles. It’s considerably farther. Like a 1,000 miles farther, or something (shaddup, I was an english major). So, while six miles per day is a considerable accomplishment for someone that never ran more than 2 miles at one time before this May, I need to continue to up my daily dosage of running.

Let’s set this up. When I first started running, my path was about 3.5 miles. When I was finally physically able to run the entire way, that path became part of my daily routine. Eventually, running that far became easy(ish). So, once a week, I would run a 10K (6.2 miles) by randomly turning down streets to extend my running path. This led me on crazy adventures, as I would often get lost.

Cut to two months later, and I discovered that, instead of turning left onto my running trail, if I hung a right, I would be able to run on a trail that was exactly 3.1 miles from my house. Run there and run back and I would have run 43 miles, or something (again, not good with math). So by mid-August, I was taking the longer path every day.

Much like the 3.5 mile trail, my new 6.2 mile trail has started to get a little too easy. Just another one of my daily tasks.

A few weeks ago, Mike made a play at running 10 miles. At first I thought, “He’s crazy! Why is he even thinking about running that distance?” This line of thought lead me to think, “Why have I not thought about running 10 miles?”

Ten mile? I wouldn't run that for all the bananas in Ecuador!

Ten miles? I wouldn't run that for all the bananas in Ecuador!

Doing some quick math in my head (which was tough, as we’ve learned) I discovered that if I first ran my 6.2 trail and then, instead of running home, jumped on my 3.5 trail, I would be very close to achieving 10 miles. All I had to do was add a little extra loop around my house at the end. That’s been in the back of my mind for the last couple of days, but I never had the willpower to get on that shorter trail after running 6.2 miles. I’d always have an excuse, like “It’s too hot”, “It’s too cold”, “It looks like it’s about to rain”, “My feet hurt”, “That dog I just passed gave me the stink eye and I think it’s following me”, etc.

Today I finally ran the full 10 miles.

WOW! That was not fun at all. I really thought I was going to die. I actually started writing out my will on a large leaf that I picked up during one of my many trips to ground while gasping for air.

But I did it and I guess that’s what important. At this point, a 10 mile run will not be a regular thing for me. I’ll probably mix one in every other week or so with the goal, of course, to make it part of my daily routine. I’m in no rush. I’ve still got 12 months until I have to run the marathon. I’m gonna take this one slow. I think when I actually do end up running 10 miles on the regular, I’m going to cut back my running to about 5 times per week, maybe 4. Again, still about a month away to seriously considering it.

Still, before today I couldn’t say that I’ve run 10 miles. Now I can. So good for me.

Hey, have you donated to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America yet? Click here to find out how to sponsor me for the 2010 Marine Corp Marathon. I’ve currently raised $55.oo. My goal is $2,000. Yikes!

One Response to “Note To Self: Running is Still Hard”

  1. Ashleigh Tullar Says:

    Great job Paul! That is really impressive! I am super proud of u and I am definitely going to donate to your charity. Keep up the good work. Good luck with the holiday season/coldness!

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