Friday, May 14, 2010

Look at me! I’m blogging. I’m somebody now!

I’m having one of my best running weeks ever, so I decided to start a blog today. I’m also going public about my plans to run my first marathon. There’s no backing out now.

Here is a brief synopsis of my running “career.” There was none for 39 years of my life. I spent most of my adult life with no athletic activity at all. I was a true couch potato. About four years ago I was inspired by a friend who told me she wanted to train for a marathon. I always admired endurance runners and had tried numerous times over the course of almost 40 years to become a runner myself, but I always failed.

I still can’t explain why this time was different. I did what I always did, ran as far as I could, usually less than ½ mile, and then hobbled home. After another very brief and embarrassing effort, I made the fateful decision to look up running programs online and stumbled across Cool Running’s Couch to 5k plan. The name says it all:

Nine weeks later I was running 5 kilometers (3 miles) without stopping. It was euphoric.

I ran fairly frequently and consistently over the next two years, extending my longest run to nine miles and losing 50 pounds in the process. Then I suffered a set back and my running tapered off almost completely. I could give you 100 reasons why, but in the end they are all just excuses. Gradually, the weight started to come back.

Then, last fall I saw an interview with Christopher McDougal, the author of the book Born to Run. I was interested in his views on natural running styles and the story he had to tell of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. I found the book to be very inspirational and immediately followed that reading with Chi Running. Chi Running changed my entire perspective on running and I believe it is primarily responsible for the success I have had over the past six months. Using this running style I successfully trained for and completed my first half marathon and have nearly finished a marathon training program. I run more in one week now than I used to run in an entire month and I have virtually eliminated the runner’s ailments that plagued me in the past - like shin splints and knee pain. (knock wood!)

That was my past- now for the present.

I am having a great week. Saturday I completed my longest run to date – 17 miles. Tuesday I ran 5 miles, setting a new personal record of 48:23 and recorded my fastest mile ever 8:23. I followed that up with a strong 8 miles on Wednesday. This morning another 5, setting another PR at 48:18 and finished the final mile just seconds off the record mile pace I managed on Tuesday.

Here is a map of this morning’s run:

I’m looking forward to an 18 miler this weekend, so stay tuned!

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