A few months ago I signed up to run a half marathon. I ran one of these for the first time last year to show myself that I could manage to pick a goal, stick with it, and succeed at the race. I should say what I mean by succeed though. I’m not a fast runner. Success for me was hitting the correct mileage in a decent time rather than what would be considered by most runners to be a good time.
I had a lot motivating me last year not the least of which was that I had just turned thirty. This didn’t freak me out so much as remind me that I’d spent most of my twenties contemplating things like running a half or full marathon without ever, you know, getting up to actually go running. I was also at a point in my dissertation where long runs in blustery weather made for some good contemplation time while I started to figure out how all the various pieces I was working with would fit together. The exercise had the added benefit of being a way of working off stress and otherwise being all round a healthier, happier individual. In fact, I went from being a horrible insomniac to having a relatively mild case here and there. Frankly, that last one made the whole thing worth the time and effort.
All of this leads me to my real reason for writing: I can’t run worth squat right now. Prior to getting sick last month I was running a regular four miles at a decent clip. I wasn’t in shape, but should the zombie apocalypse have happened I would have had a decent chance at survival. Then I caught the flu and a throat infection. Or as I prefer to think of it, a plucky band of germ friends set up shop in my throat and hijinks ensued. It lasted so long and was so painful that I decided to liken it to the clichéd set up of a sitcom that everyone shakes their heads about and wonders how it can keep getting renewed every year while a show like Firefly got cancelled.
That’s right. Firefly. I went there.
Anyway, after the nagging death cough had finally dissipated I went out for a quick run thinking I’d bounce back easily enough so long as I took care not to over do it. This led to the following inner monologue while I tried to run just one mile: “Ok, I’m running. Good deal. Off we go. Gotta get some mileage. Already signed up for the race. Nothing to it. Phew, I’m feeling pretty beat up here. How far have I gone – oh, thirty feet. Crap. The zombies! The zombies are totally gonna eat my precious brains now!!!” And so on. After a few more runs I’m up to a decent two miles and some change. My biggest issue thus far has been the battle between my mental expectations and my feeble body’s inability to meet them. I want to be running five or six miles right now (as I was last year at this point). The stitch in my side says otherwise.
Since I’m starting practically from scratch (or at least it feels that way), I decided to start posting about my training and progress here as a means to get some motivation and as a way to record my training so I can look back on it next year (when I may try to do a full marathon). I still have enough time to train for the race and I don’t doubt I’ll complete it so long as I don’t get sick or injured. Completing it isn’t my main goal though. My big goal is to improve on last year’s performance. The time to beat is 2:19:03 at a pace of 10:37. Here goes.
(Also, just so you know, if you have a golf cart, I may be in touch. You may be my only hope.)
One thought on “Running, Zombies, and Some New Goals”
You got this! More to the point, I’m coming to believe (through agonizing, teeth gnashing personal experience) that one cal also learn a little bit of humility in the struggle to do (or not quite do) these things (or so I’ve been told). It’s the trying that matters, in the long run (ha!).