Thursday, December 11, 2008

Transforming into a runner

I am a fat kid. I'm not saying that to put myself down, it's just a fact - I really like to eat, particularly things that are horrible, like a chocolate-covered Oreo served with ice cream or half a pound of Hot Tamales. Additionally, it's hard for me to find the motivation to exercise since I've never been exceptionally good at it.

With that said, I decided a little while ago to become a runner. It's basically the hardest possible thing I could do, because it definitely ranks up there as one of the things I am worst at. If I can become a decent runner, I can do anything, right?

I ran my first 5K the whole way through on Nov. 29 (Seattle Marathon 5K), with a time of about 37 minutes (the clock read somewhere mid-37 when I crossed the finish line, but I was in the back when the race started and my chip never worked). Yeah, I know that works out to 12 minute miles, which is definitely not fast, but I never walked at any point during those 3.1 miles and I am totally proud of that. The picture here is a little blurry, but yes, I wore a Maker's Mark shirt, since half of my casual wear is alochol-themed.

This Saturday (Dec. 13) I'll be running the Christmas Rush 5K in Kent, and my goal is just to beat my time.

I've been following this training schedule:

Monday: Speed work - I usually run a mile as fast as I can, then do a few 1/2 mile or so sprints at a pace that are about 2 min. faster than my normal mile time. Obviously I'll add more sprints in as I get better

Tuesday: Strength training with personal trainer - Yeah, it's expensive, but I've learned there is no way I'll ever push myself or get so much accomplished on my own, so I've made it part of my routine. I figure it's better than frittering that money away on shit I don't need, anyway.

Wednesday/Thursday: Reasonably easy run one of these days, running at about my race pace (right now it's 2.5 miles - increasing by .1 miles/week)

Friday: Strength training with personal trainer

Saturday/Sunday: Long run one of these days, running at about my race pace or a little slower (currently at 3.4 miles - increasing by ideally .25-.5 miles/week)

This gives me 2 days per week off and increases my mileage pretty slowly so I don't burn myself out. For all of my workouts I aim for at least 40 min of activity. As I get better I may throw in a fourth day of running and increase my mileage rate a bit more, but right now I'm just thrilled I can run more than 3 miles!

I think my goal has become completing a half marathon. It seems possible if I really keep up with training, and as an added bonus I'm pretty sure I'd lose some weight without really trying. I think my tentative committment is going to be the Seattle Rock 'N Roll half marathon at the end of June, because that gives me plenty of time and I'll have some friends in town to do it with. I would much rather work out alot than restrict my eating too much, so full steam ahead with the running!

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