Monday, April 12, 2010

What are you chasing?

Q: Or maybe more apt, Is somebody chasing you?
A: I'm running away!

I've been meaning to tell everybody about the most significant change that's occurred since my self imposed Facebook hiatus. (Despite what you may have heard, it's not my purchase of a High Definition Television).

I run now.

On Tuesday March 9, 2010 my employer's HR department sent out a company-wide e-mail announcing the formation of a "Get Moving" committee. Although that may sound like a made up name (or at least, a name that I personally coined), I assure you that I was not involved in that official name. I know everybody on the committee (yeah, big shock) and was interested to read of their first action: they got our company to pay for 50% of all employees' entrance fees to participate in the Race to Wrigley 5K.

I've wanted to become a "runner" for about 6 years now - ever since my parents moved to nearby Lake Arlington (which features a long track around 'a lake'). My desire to start running, at least six years ago, was a function of both knowing I needed to to "something" in the realm of exercise that didn't require the humiliation or expense of a gym membership. By the way, this was before I started playing basketball regularly - which for the last 3 or so years has served as my exclusive form of exercise.

But this announcement was the final push I needed.

That day, Tuesday March 9, I left the office promptly at 5 pm.
I arrived home, and thanks to my facebook fasting, had nothing to stop me from getting outside ASAP.
In the six or so hours from the time I read the company e-mail to when I started my first run I figured that I had to run for about 30 nonstop minutes to accomplish my 5K goal.
Just over 7 minutes into my maiden voyage, I conceded into a sorry heap of an individual.

But I was honest with my coworkers the following day. Not only did I want more people, my coworkin' friends, to be out there with me I needed them to keep me honest and on track. I've had sort of a loudmouth history with my company's HR department (again, big shock) but have recently been able to have mini triumphs in the form of multiple kickball teams. It is important for this "Get Moving" committee to have a successful first effort with good participation from the company. Support will not guarantee, but certainly aid, future like efforts from our somewhat larger than they appear company.

Someone at work recommended to me the "Couch to 5K" running plan / training regime. Thank God I found that site, because my mentality was completely out of whack. I guess it's not a coincidence that I picked this for the first song to have as my running background music.

That was 5 weeks ago. I started on a very modest interval training system of jogging for 3 minutes, walking for 1.5 minutes, jogging for 3 minutes, and so on... Honestly, I was watching my damned timer praying for 3:00.00 to hit. Let's just say that I was less than confident I'd be running for 30 straight minutes when a tenth of it was a struggle at times.

I've carved out a nice running loop in my neighborhood. According to my car's odometer, my four square block perimeter runs 0.7 miles (just over one kilometer). This week I'm finally off of the interval training - and am just jogging. Both yesterday and today I jogged 3 "laps" which equal roughly 3K.

The 5K is less than two weeks away from today.

I realize I'm just over halfway, but I think if I keep up the training, I'm going to succeed in jogging this 5K without having to walk any of it.

If you don't think this all adds up, my reasoning to start running... you're right.
Especially now, I'm not close to the "liking running" stage. But what's motivating me? It's not really the half price to get that "moisture management" t-shirt or any other race swag. The health benefits are certainly good, but really don't make it justified yet in my mind. The real reason, I don't want to share here - but if you ask me I'll tell you why I'm running.

Depending on how well you know me, you won't be surprised.

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