I’m going to try and get back at the blog. At least once a week, right? I can do that, I think. We’ll see, I guess.
One of the big things in my life right now is the whole running thing. I started late-Summer 2009, so it’s been about 18 months now. It’s big for me at this moment because I’m running my first full marathon next week. It’s the St. Louis Marathon and I’m really excited. So far in 2011, I’ve run over 324 miles, in fact I logged 136 miles just in March alone. It’s crazy to hear me even say that.
Lots of people have asked me how did I get to running this much. The simple answer is very, very gradually. I should say this, too: if you think I’m crazy, I am. If you think I deserve some kind of praise, you’re wrong. God gets any glory for this…well, Him and Shana. Then again, maybe He’s just using Shana to help me. Anyway, here’s the short timeline of my running history:
1990-PE class, Reidland HS: I think I ran a sub-6:00 mile my 10th grade year. That’s the last time I ran more than the length of a practice field. 5:47 rings a bell.
July 2009-Downtown Henderson: Shana had started running to help get in shape following Dagny’s birth. After seeing all of the organization and structure that went into a 5K, I thought that was pretty cool. We were downtown at the fountains and I was wearing tennis shoes. Might as well go for it, right? I set out on a 3 mile loop and had to stop around mile 2. I was just miserable. Hot, dizzy, sore. I remember clearly feeling the sensation that my hair was hurting. That’s not even possible, though, right. Still, over the next few weeks, I stuck with it. Usually, just going a mile or so at a time, gradually trying to go further or faster.
August 2009-Shana & I both ran a small 5K in Newburgh. We both finished without walking, my time was 30:02. I felt like a rockstar! It was my first race and I still have the bib.
September 2009-We both ran the YMCA 10K in Evansville. I went very slow for the first 3 miles and was feeling pretty good so I tried to go faster on the last 3 miles. I finished in 1:01:39. I wasn’t miserable, in fact I felt decent at the end. Between August and September, I was running 2 or 3 time a week, almost always at night. One highlight of this training was when we “tried out” running more than 5 miles. Neither of us had ever gone more than 3 or 4 miles, so we found a free Sunday morning and went for a run. The cool part was that this was during our 10-year anniversary trip to New York City, so that 5 mile run was through Central Park just before we went to worship at Brooklyn Tabernacle. Good times!
January 2010-On New Year’s Day morning, Dad, Alan, and myself all ran a small 5K in Evansville. I started out running a little too fast, I didn’t want my US Army brother to pass me. I ended up with a decent 5K time, 22:45…one that I haven’t beat since.
April 2010-I ran my first Half-Marathon, the inaugural Southern Indiana Classic just north of Evansville. I ended up with a 2:00:25 time, quite frustrating. What could I have done to make up 25 seconds? Maybe not stopping just past the starting line to pee? Duh! Not-winning! Maybe not dropping off my GPS with Shana & the kids at mile 10? Anyway, the sub-2:00 half marathon still eludes me. I ran one in September of 2010, but wasn’t in condition and ended somewhere around 2:07.
Fall 2010-The process of moving from Lone Oak to Reidland really slowed down my running. I was only averaging 30 miles a month or so for October, November, & December. At one point in the summer I had entertained thoughts of preparing for the Memphis Marathon in December, but Christmas Parades & All-State auditions got in the way. Once I didn’t have a race on the horizon, I slacked off on the running.
Christmas Break 2010-Sometime around the holidays, I decided it was time to get after it again. I went for 9 miles on a cold night and made it. It wasn’t easy or pretty, but I survived it and decided that I would go for 10 in a week or so.
January & February 2011-I was back at it again, running 3 miles or so at night, once or twice a week. On the weekends, I’d work on increasing my long runs. This was working until I got to the 16+ mile runs. They started to really kill me. I had a slow, but painful 17. I tried for 18 and didn’t make it. I had to call Shana to come get me at the 16.5 mark. I was in real pain and even worse, I just felt defeated. Shana told me that the only way I could get up to marathon range was to increase my mid-week mileage. I knew she was right, but I didn’t like it. You see, the only way that I can run for 6, 7, 8 miles on Monday or a Thursday is to do it in the morning, before the day begins. I paid the money and registered for the St. Louis Marathon. There was no backing out and there was no other way to get up to 26.2 miles without upping my weekly mileage. So, I did it. I started waking up at 4:00 or so twice a week. The crazy thing is, once I get my lazy bottom out of bed: it’s actually pretty nice to be out.
March 2011-I’m now on my 5th week of running 30-40 miles. I started with a week of 6 mile runs in the morning, then 18 on Sunday. The next week I moved up to 7 miles in the mornings, then the next week… Last week, I ran 9 miles on Wednesday & Friday, then 21 on Sunday. The 21 was fine and I felt okay at the end.
April 2011-This will be the month that I run my first Full Marathon. I’m pretty excited about it, too! For this one, I’m just hoping to finish and enjoy myself. Looking at my times, I expect to come in around 4 hours, 45 minutes or so. 4:30 isn’t impossible, but it’s unlikely.
Will I keep running? I hope so. It’s become a good hobby and I can pretty much eat whatever I want! I’d love to do a half-marathon soon, I feel confident that I could get that sub-2 hour time. I was really into geocaching for about 3 years, but that faded out. Golf & fishing are just too expensive and take too much time for a guy in my situation. Hopefully I can find a “half” later in the Spring and then do another “full” in the Fall. We’ll see!