The Stride

One interesting thing about the heat…the local park is a lot more crowded at 6am.  Hell, today I got there just before 6 for my run, and there were two guys there who had clearly just finished and were about to leave.

I’ve been running for, oh, six weeks now – after swearing I’d never do such a thing unless violent death was threatened for myself or my loved ones.  Now, I can’t say I’m exactly a nut about it…I haven’t made the telltale subscription to Runner’s World or created logins for running forums or anything like that…but I’m liking it.

What I’ve found is that I respond much better to a distance-goal than a time-goal.  Running for 45 minutes seems a lot less boring than it was watching the timer count down from 30 minutes on the cross-trainer.  And on the cross-trainer, I not only had my iPod, but also a TV and usually a book to boot.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s still damned hard to drag my ass out of bed at 5:30 in the morning, even on days like today when it has been four…five?…days since I last ran.  Days in which I may or may not have ordered a Large combo cheeseburger at a fast food joint, for example, and relished every last bite of those peppered fries.

But I’m almost to the point of being able to run that full 3.5 miles without stopping to walk.  And these being some significantly hilly miles, I think that’s pretty cool.  In talking to a former-runner coworker on Friday, she encouraged me to think about the local Triple Crown next year – a 5k, 5-mile, and 10-mile package.  She was thoroughly convinced that by the spring I’d be ready to rock.

I told her I’d decide on that when I could run the 5k without stopping.  But I have to admit – as a goal, it’s good motivation.

As is putting on my pants this morning and noticing, wow, these really are pretty loose!

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5 Responses to The Stride

  1. Kimmothy says:

    YOU sir, are my hero.
    I have managed to get out of bed a few times now though and I give you all the credit. Well you, and the fact that sometimes the smells in that room in the morning force me to be a mouth-breather and it’s just easier to go exercise.

    • Taoist Biker says:

      Heheh. Yeah, I bet that would be an added incentive. It wouldn’t have taken me three whole minutes to do the “run? sleep?” mental debate this morning if that was the case.

      My thing was, I’d already been doing 30 minutes of cardio followed by a little stretching and then another 30 minutes. Yes, maybe I’m a big fat wuss on the cardio, but just standing up to 30 minutes of exercise made me think “Hmm, you know, maybe running 3 miles ISN’T totally crazy.”

      It ain’t the same thing – hardly! – but I was right. And really, it’s about that mental attitude. I really and truly don’t have the same disdain for getting to one point in space as I do looking at the ticking clock on the cross-trainer and thinking “WHAT?!? It’s only been five minutes? I swore it was twenty!!”

      Well, that and by the time I’m really ready to wuss out, I’m already a mile away from my car. Turn around or keep going, either way, it sucks. Might as well keep the momentum going forward, right?

  2. Kimmothy says:

    I’m just curious – how is you guys’ weather that early? Because last week it was downright pleasant in the mornings but like this morning here, it was already 80 degrees with 70% humidity. Curses!
    Either way you are a hee-yuge inspiration to me and I’m really excited to be doing this again.

    • Taoist Biker says:

      Yesterday it was 79F and 67% humidity at about 5:45 when I turned on the Weather Channel. I think the heat index was showing as 83 or 85 or something.

      Today I thought was even more muggy than that, but I didn’t stick around to watch. That “run or sleep” debate took a lot longer this morning, so once I flagellated my ass into getting up, I didn’t have time to fuck around. I just confirmed that there was no rain in the area and skedaddled.

      I saw a dude the other day walking along a sidewalk as I was driving by and he was freakin’ ripped. For the first time in a long LONG time, I thought to myself, “You know, I’d really like to look like that.” I know I probably never will, and I’m okay with that, but it was a good mental image to use when I didn’t want to get out of bed. If I ever want to even be in the same area code as that, it’s not going to come easy, and getting the hell out of bed is Step 1. (And, I find, the hardest one.)

      You’ve been inspiring me as well! We’re lucky we don’t live closer together; we’d quite possibly get stuck in a dangerous co-inspiration cycle and maybe rip the fabric of spacetime!

  3. Oregon Sunshine says:

    I haven’t ran since the packing and moving process began. And now, I have no hills. No hills at all. I told myself that I’d start running again next week, in the mornings with the dog. It’ll be good for him. And maybe, just maybe good for me too. This week though, I get to claim as a mental health and unpacking week. Next week is soon enough to start running again.

    Oh, and I actually DO have a subscription to Runner’s World!

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