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

Saturday, December 25, 2010


I just registered for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Dallas, Texas on March 27th. I held my breath as I finally hit submit, signing away the next 90 days with my $100 commitment.

And, my first response was "Crap, that means I have to start running tomorrow."

Reality has struck.  Running a half marathon is one of those lingering items on my bucket list that has been pushed aside for much easier feats of visiting the Grand Canyon and reading C.S. Lewis' novels.  For years now I've been receiving the daily emails from Runner's World, which not only make me feel guilty for choosing Starbucks over exercising but also solidify how crazy I am.  I'm not exactly a "runner"-whatever that means.

In fact, I'm not even athletic.  The other day my family ran into one of the coaches at our middle school, and as Coach Gray greeted and reminisced with my siblings, he looked at me confused until I confessed, "Yes, I'm a Gear.  You just don't know me because I'm not athletic." My brother so kindly added, "She likes books more than sports." A humbling moment.

While the beasts featured in Runner's World are perfecting their strides and steps, I'm trying to simply run.

I'm a non-runner trying to run
a newbie venturing out
and hopefully proof that it can be done.

And yes, crap, I have to run tomorrow.