Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 7

I haven't blogged, but that doesn't mean I've stopped running!  I'm up to 6 miles-- a feat I was intimidated by but has now been accomplished.

Here's what I've learned thus far:

  • you cannot really learn discipline.  You just have to do it.
  • is the above comment contradictory? possibly.  Here's what I mean:  there's nothing that makes running easier besides actually running.  Therefore, simply do it.
  • Be flexible.  I have a running schedule, but that doesn't mean the days cannot be rearranged.  This simple "duh" reality was incredibly helpful in my "running confidence."  If I missed a day, I was bummed and tended immediately think I was behind.  not so! Simply run on your rest day.  
  • Switch it up.  The Bear Trail- a 2.25 mile loop around campus- has become the most monotonous loop imaginable, so I've learned to explore new areas.  The newness keeps my senses focused not on the fact that I'm running but on the new scenery.  
  • biggest motivation: the fact that I'm running 13.1 miles at the end of March whether I train or not.  I. better. train.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rest for Your Souls

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, 
for I am gentle and humble in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:29

For the first time since... FOREVER... I feel the value of a rest day.  I actually realize I'm resting.  

Usually I'd pass off an "I don't want to work out" day as a rest day, but today is a genuine day of choosing to slow down and rest.  I'm almost antsy to run, but see the importance of not.

and I NEVER imagined I'd say such craziness.

Rest for your body.
Rest for your souls.

Why does running have so many spiritual implications??  I love it and am learning much :]

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Faith in the System

Day 7-14
[Week 2]

I've stayed with "The System" but to be honest, I'm worried.  Though I know little about running, training, and the ins and outs of preparing for a half marathon, I find myself telling the expert that I am the exception and his plan won't work for me.

See, Mr. Hal Higdon doesn't know that I'm not a runner.
He doesn't know that I actually don't like running
or that I'm running very very slowly
.... my lame excuses could go on...

Doesn't this tendency sound familiar?

As Christians, we're oftentimes quick to pull out Romans 8:28 amidst trials or stressful times and say, 
"yes, I trust that God does work all things for the good of those who love him"

But does that stop worry?  For me... hardly, sadly.
We add a bit to the verse and say something like
"I trust, but maybe I should help Him a little just in case..."

We keep on our plans, but in the back of our minds we start making up back-up plans in case God doesn't act in the way we've prayed He would, and in some cases, the way He's promised He would.

With the training plan, it's hard for me to imagine that in 10 weeks I'll run 13.1 miles.  I find myself thinking I must run on a rest day or go farther on a short day.  My lack of trust in the silly training plan has revealed my tendency to control what's not mine.

Time to trust in the plan and I'm right on schedule.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Where's the Pond?

Day 4-6

A friend led me to Hal Higdon's Half Training plan, and I'm committed.  Here's the link to the schedule I'll be following with the order rearranged a bit.  The plan is geared for novices, which is downright perfect.

In all honesty, the biggest battle in training is the subtle belief that I simply cannot do it.  Dwelling on the cannots quickly leads to a feeling of defeat, but a novice plan is encouraging!  It's baby-stepping me into the longer distances.  I cannot imagine running 10 miles, but then again, earlier this week I wouldn't have thought I was in enough shape to run 4 miles!  Today (Day 6), I ran the 4 miles at Sequiota Park-- only the second time in my life that I've run that far!

Amidst the endorphins and joy of knowing I pushed past the first mile that had me tired was the disturbing fact that the pond I have in so many of my childhood memories...

was mysteriously gone.
Only a ditch of gravel was left. 

Perhaps my ability to get my mind off of running came from my obsessing over why the pond was gone, where the ducks were going to meander, and if the pond were coming back to the park.  Even 4 miles of running didn't lead me to a good answer.

Day 4: 1 + strength
Day 5: 3 miles
Day 6: 4 miles

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don't Think

Day 3.

The ironic thing about running is that it requires you to undo much of the things you've been taught.  In some ways, it's almost rebellious, eh?

For example, not thinking is one of the simplest yet challenging aspects of running. You know how sometimes you drive by default somewhere? If only running were like that.  Growing up you're taught "use your brain" and "focus on what you're doing," yet in running that's the last thing you want to do-- you must get your mind off what you're doing.

Another example is how we're taught to stay close to home and away from busy streets.  Instead of running in a loop in my neighborhood, I decided to run out towards the main road.  Running away from my finish line was at first depressing, but it kept me going.  I ran alongside a larger street in Springfield, and though it's shallow, running where people can see you makes you give it your all.  It's roadside accountability.

I might change my opinion in a few days, but somehow I'm having fun. I never thought I'd say such craziness.  

Distance: 3.5 miles.

Moving on up.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Money and Smack

Day 2.

Author Tim Ferriss says the best strategies for meeting goals are to put money down and talk smack.

By registering for the half, I certainly put my share of money forward for a worthy cause, and the mere presence of the blog is me talking smack  If I quit now, you all will be after me.  Yikes.

I didn't see Jean Girl today, which I think was a good thing because I'm pretty sure she was in my dream last night-- why would someone choose jeans?? Mind blowing.  I ran just over 2 miles of hills in my neighborhood, which already seemed easier than yesterday.  I guess this means I must pick up my game-- a game that needs to be 11 miles longer.

Distance: 2.1 Miles

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Girl in the Jeans, I've Got You

Day 1.

I'm home in Missouri for Christmas break, and the frigid winters have always been a perfect excuse for hibernating inside guilt-free.  Now that I'm a pseudo-runner, such excuses are void-- the daunting machine known as the treadmill knows no such excuses.

Also, being a planner, I've been on the search for the perfect training plan.  It was tempting to replace actual running with planning to run.  However, the 90 days are ticking away so off to the gym I went with the meager goal of running a mile (and not getting depressed that it would wipe me out).  After all, you must start somewhere, right?

I am proud to say I ran 2.25 miles.  My sheer motivation to push past the first mile was a lady in front of me running in jeans.  She had her shirt tucked into her skinny jeans with messy hair poking out from her massive headphones.  She kept running, so I kept running.

Day 1 was a success due to Jean Girl.  I hope she's at the gym tomorrow.

Distance: 2.25 Running + 1.5 Walking