Every now and then, I'll introduce a few snippets of my life. Today I'll write about me as a runner.
I've always had strong legs, and I've always been a fast sprinter. However, if I ever have to run any distance, I run into endurance problems. I start running out of breath. My muscles cramp. I get that sick feeling in my stomach that says, "You can't do this." My forehead fails to sweat and I overheat.
This means that I'm great for running to first base. Also, if some bully's chasing after me, I can zoom away just long enough for her to believe she'll never catch me.
Every now and then, I run in a 5K run. I always try to beat 30 minutes. However, I hardly ever train (thinking I'm such a great runner but then remembering after the fact my endurance problems). About five years ago, I kind-of trained by running around my neighborhood a few times. I think I got down to 25 minutes that year, but I still overheated and had to have someone pour icy water over me when I was done.
Last year I thought I trained sufficiently with Wii-Fit and EA-Active. With absolutely no running practice, it took me about 35 minutes to finish and I had the worst shin splints for at least a month after that. In other words, that didn't work!
This year I'm trying something different: the Couch-to-5K program from Cool Runnings. I have the podcasts from Robert Ullrey. In this program, you're supposed to run three days a week (with a day of rest between each run). It's supposed to build you up gradually to a full 5K runner in nine weeks. I am now starting week #3, and I'm on schedule to be done by the Memorial Day 5K run.
So far I'm enjoying the program. The music's kind of funny. During week #1, a man sings about his girlfriend never calling him. Then he sings, "Leave me alone! I don't want to see you!" Then it's the girl's turn. She sings, "Do you want me to go or do you want me to fight" or something like that. Then in the instrumental it sounds like they make up.
During the third day of the first week, I found myself trying to understand the psychology behind why Robert chose those songs. Is there some study out there says if you listen to self-alienating music that you tend to run better? I think I could see that: "I don't need anybody. I can do this myself."
During the second week, the music is more instrumental except for the cool-down song where some girl sings off key. This kills any theory about self-alienating songs.
Whatever the case, I hope this training pays off, because all the women in the 5K run will have some competition this year. That's right, Courtney! I'm talking to you!
Plus, did I also mention that running seems to help me be more alert in my writing? If you want to get more fit, or if you want to get faster in your own 5K, or if you're looking for some way to get more energy in your writing, I highly recommend checking out the podcasts at Robert Ullrey's website.
Update 4/30/2011: I did it! Now I can do anything! (Except beat Courtney--she's moving.)
Update 5/30/2011: Ran the Memorial Day 5K. I got 28'4". (There's no way I got 25" a few years ago! Though, I did beat all the ladies that year.) Some 4 or 5 girls beat me, including one 14-year-old who did it in less than 24'. At least I achieved my personal best, and I ran the whole way this time without stopping to walk.