Sunday, September 2, 2007

Once a runner...

I've never felt, said, or believed that I would always run, but here I am making yet another attempt. This time promises to be slightly different than previous efforts, primarily because this is my first time blogging about it.

I first decided to run twenty years ago, not because I really wanted to, but as a means to an unrelated get in shape for another sport. At that time, I was an incoming high school freshman seeking to avoid general P.E., but seriously wanting to play baseball. A summer worth of training told me I could run, a season of cross-country suggested I could be somewhat competitive...and, the next thing I knew, I skipped baseball for distance track.

A tennis injury between sophomore and junior years threw off my training and I never quite recovered. By high school graduation, I vowed I would never run again, but the correlation of age and weight gain has a tendency to push one not willing to alter his diet to reconsider. For the next sixteen years, I would start for various reasons and stop with similar excuses. I rarely ran more than once a week, never longer than 3 miles, and, at best, only a few months at a time. I tried orbiting my townhouse complex. I tried running on a treadmill at the gym. No matter what I tried, I simply couldn't find the motivation that kept me going every day through high school. It didn't help that my wife hates running.

A year ago, my wife and I moved to the hills above my high school...near the roads and trails I once trained upon. As both of us have become passionate snowboarders, we have been looking for an activity that will help us stay in shape between seasons...and running around our neighborhood seemed like the only thing we could do with any consistency. My wife decided to try. I decided to try harder. Unlike previous attempts, we started running more than once a week...up to every other day.

This year, I have additional motivation from a coworker who, like me, had not run for many years after high school cross-country, but recently returned to the sport with newfound enthusiasm. He has been blogging about his growing passion for trail-running, participation in half and full marathons, and ultras. I personally think he's crazy to run such distances, but I deeply respect his effort...and he has definitely encouraged me to train with more consistency.

This week, my wife gave me a Garmin Forerunner 250, the same GPS watch my coworker uses to chart his progress. Today is the first day I used a Nike sponsored training run in Brentwood. At the event, I chose to run 3 miles in the ten minute per mile group. Despite temperatures in the high 80's, I found myself comfortably maintaining pace with the leader and finishing even stronger. Here's proof:

My goal now is to run every day, improving to at least three miles every other day, with longer runs on weekends. My best friend from high school (who only just started running last month) convinced my wife and I to enter the Nike Run Hit Remix, so we have only a couple of weeks to get to the point we can survive a five mile run. I figure blogging about my progress should encourage me to push harder. I may not have marathons in my near-future, but at least I'm now considering to make one a longer term goal. Wish me luck!


Justin Monast said...

You know your coworker is crazy right! ;)


akira3d said...

Who's the more foolish: The fool, or the fool who follows him?