Friday, January 11, 2008

Run, Run as Fast as You Can

I am trying to take up running for exercise and good health.

I have never considered myself a runner. I have never been good at running.

Well, maybe when I was 5, my best friend was a boy next door. At that time in my life, I remember running as fast as he could.

By grade school, it was all downhill. Remember those awful Presidential Fitness tests?
Bent arm hang, sit up, long jump, flexibility, shuttle run, 50 yard dash, 400 yard dash, and (gulp!) the horrible 1 mile run?! Talk about torture! And Mrs. Fredenburg, the gym teacher, yelling from the side of the parking lot where we were running "Run, run, don't walk!"

I briefly considered cross country in high school, but seeing as I couldn't even complete a mile, I didn't even go there.

In college, I suffered through one 5K run for extra credit for our "gym class," Health Dynamics. I think it was painful, even running around the picturesque windmill on Windmill Island in Holland, Michigan.

When I was in medical school, things changed a little. I started working out at a gym regularly. I had increased cardiovascular fitness. I did a little running with a friend, mostly to gossip. I think I may have run up to 2 miles straight on one occasion. But only because it was getting dark, and I was alone on a tree lined parkway where the houses were few and far between. Fear is a powerful motivator.

So you ask, why now? Well, running doesn't cost a lot of money. I already have an ipod and some shoes. I just have to step outside my door. No driving time, no monthly fees, no equipment slick with sweat from others. My kids are in daycare during work, so I have a very hard time sticking them in daycare at a gym. Plus, parents are always complaining to me about how dirty the kid care at the Y is or that's how their kids get sick.

Since I need structure, I did some searching on the internet. I settled on Hal Higdon's training schedule. The first part is 30/60. Thirty minutes a day, every other day. You have to walk the first 10 and last 5 minutes, and start with 30 secs intervals of running in between. After thirty sessions, I should be ready to start the 5K training. So, here I am, two sessions down, 28 to go. The hardest thing now is to find 30 minutes away from my husband and kids. Apparently, I am necessary every waking minute of their day!

My goal is a 5K run in Door County on May 3rd. I'll keep you updated.

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