I Suppose We Should Recap The Last 2 1/2 Months


Picture is relevant to nothing, just enjoy it

I swear, this is going to be the last time I do this. I can remember 3 or 4 times writing that “I’m back” or “I’m motivated now!”. When I wrote those posts, I was ‘back’ or ‘motivated’ but for only a week or so, then laziness set in and it always does for me, then I would stop running for a month or 2, most likely blaming an injury  or just pulling some lame excuse out of thin air.

But this time is different. Oh yes sir. This time I have a plan. Not like those other 3 or 4 times where I declared I had a plan, nope, this time its a solid plan. Its already light years ahead of the other busted plans because, well, its already in motion and its lasted longer than the others before it.

The plan as always is simple: run. Trying to get better at something you don’t like is difficult. Its easy to quit, especially if your a lazy person (raises hand). What motivates me usually fades quickly. I’ve decided to do what I did when I stopped smoking: to just do it.

I didn’t have any real motivation to quit smoking. Picked a date and did it, mostly to just prove to myself I could. People always ask me how I did it and I have no answer. There was no secret for me, just did it. That’s what I’m doing now, shutting up, no more dumb excuses. Just doing it. I could afford to do that crap way back when, but not now. Here’s pretty much everything I’m using to run and keep somewhat motivated nowadays:

Please ignore the fact I'm an idiot and am using Feb 2011 as my June 2010 because I bought a calander without a June 2010

Shoes. Check. Running book I read 3 times but don’t really adhere to. Check.  Trusty Ipod with Nike+. Check.

The 2 new ingredients that make this plan different from the others are the scale and calendar. To kind of have that imaginary carrot dangling in front of me to keep me going, I weigh myself every morning and mark it on the calendar. I also track my running and any push ups / gym time I’m clocking. I started June 1 (picked that date a couple weeks before hand, ala the quit smoking route) and was ok during the whole month. I had a goal of running 20 times during the month but fell well short due to staying in NJ for a spell that threw me way off track.

My main focus this go around is endurance. Almost all of my previous runs had involved me walking at some point because I couldn’t maintain a pace I could maintain for a long stretch. All my runs with this plan are walk free. A lot of the June runs were tough, especially with this stupid heat. None of the runs were over 4 miles, I was using the times I did run to build a foundation, if you will.

July has been awesome. Out of nowhere, for no reason, I was getting some kick ass times (for me anyway) in my runs of 3, 3.5 and 4 miles. My pace time  was being shortened by 30 seconds. Seeing improvement did wonders for my attitude towards this. Up till now, I’ve loathed running. I’m not good at it, it sucks, its hard, its boring. Now, its different.

Paul said along time ago that he was almost addicted to running. He liked it. He couldn’t wait to run the next time. I looked at him like he was covered in boogers. That whole frame of mind was alien to me. Not anymore, not since last week.

On Monday I was pumped to keep my momentum going from the last week. Started the run thinking of maybe just doing 3, maybe 3.5 miles. I kept a slow, ginger pace. Not on purpose though, I usually run too hard but nowadays I seem to keep a pace more benefiting of going longer distances. I was feeling good at the 1.5 mark. Still feeling good at 2 miles. 2.5 miles roll along and I’m thinking I can go 4 miles. Hit 3.25 miles and the skies turn black. 1 minute later and its cats and dogs outside.

I’ve made my stance known about running in rain in previous posts; I hate it. Just hate it. I don’t know what it was about this time, but when it started raining hard, it only fueled me to want to run further. Its coming down in buckets by 4 miles. I’ve already gone further than originally planned, its raining, my shirt is now unfortunately off, I would usually want to call it a day here. I should be really tired, 4 miles is no walk in the park for me yet. But I’m not even phased right now, I’m thinking lets go 5 miles. Maybe more. Running with purpose, running with unwritten goals, running with desire. Pretty cool feeling. The sidewalks have now been upgraded from giant puddles to above ground pools.

I’m still a ways from my house but as I’m running towards it I’m mapping out a route around it to maybe bring me to 5.7 miles by all is said and done, and theres no doubt in my mind I can do it. I’m going through a ‘runners high’, something I haven’t gotten a lot and its a huge second wind. I’m not tired at all and I feel like we can venture past 5.7 miles into 6, maybe 7 mile territory.

Then without warning, the music stops and that familiar Nike+ voice rudely interrupts everything. “Run completed. Distance, 4.85 miles. Time, 51 Minutes ….. “. Aw crap, all this rain … why didn’t I think about that, with all this running through giant pools I’ve probably shorted my Nike+ sensor in my left shoe. Shit.

I desperately try to start a new run but to no avail. I start walking as, of course, the rain starts to let up. I’m not even breathing heavy. I’ve obliterated my previous personal best of farthest run without stopping and its killing me that I know I can go farther. Poop.

The next day I’m motivated to hit the 5 mile plateau that avoided me the other day. I don’t get that feeling that I can run a ton more, but I hit 5.1 miles and at a better time. I’m happy about it, but I’m wondering why I didn’t get that ‘conquer the world’ feeling. Maybe it was the rain, who knows.

Along with all the newfound positive outlook on running, I finally started going to the gym this week. So now I get to feel sore all over to go along with my left ankle that is on fire when I don’t take my pills ( I suppose that’s another story. Now taking a bunch of pills to curb pains, not the illegal kind, but they do rule) and my mile long shin splints that won’t go away.

Really hoping to keep up this wave of kickassness. But then again, if history is any indication, I should be quitting again real soon.

And for those confused about the first picture, its Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  …. but with Muppets. See, Hunter S Thompson was known as a ‘gonzo’ journalist and …. oh forget it.

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