Life Project #1 – Update

I am starting to think I’m an introspection addict. Running (or on one night brisk walking) seems to be a portal into it, encouragement that I rarely if ever need.

I don’t find solace in introspection but to quote Tom Robbins “Solace? That’s why God made fermented beverages and the blues.”

I’ve been using Run Keeper to hold my times. With the iPhone app there are several views which includes pace at different times during the run, distance, elevation you moved onto. While looking over the pace screen I saw that my pace varies fairly drastically throughout my runs, going down as low as 6:30 minutes and upward of 17 minutes. The average of all of this being a 10 minute mile pace.  This brings up the question of distance vs speed.

When I was involved in sports the sprint times was my focus. If I run at a dead heat without holding anything back I can get pretty close to 6 minutes which isn’t bad for someone as massively out of shape as myself. But that dead heat lasts…a minute? 20 seconds?

I am learning toward distance for several reasons – In yoga the concentration is on endurance. Any pose is easy to hold if you hold it for a second, but holding the boat position for any time at all wears the body near to breaking. It is the long poses that really work the muscles, that help the strength to be fed into the body.

The other reason is – I’m always thinking. I am, forever, thinking.  While lying in bed and desperately wanting sleep I think about what I did in class. Why my code isn’t working. Why isn’t it better. Is the door locked? Will it rain? What would it be like if mutant guppies ran the earth?

I bury my face in my pillow or in my boyfriends hair. I try to not think. I try to just be. That moment is perfect so leave it there. Don’t think. Don’t write this story in your head just be a person, just be real in that moment.

So – from what I’ve heard and what trustworthy ranchers have told me – running and getting to that distance past whatever you think is possible is when that silence comes. It is worth a try.

So I’m deciding, for now, working on distance rather than speed.

 

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Life Project #1 – Running

This is silly as a first project post because I’m fairly certain I’m making myself look dumb.

How does someone learn how to run? Certainly the act is as natural as breathing so I’m not looking for pointers on how to proceed with the actual movement.  So for this project I’m looking to accomplish three things –

Things – 

  •  Make it a Habit by Committing to 30 days.

As I have plenty of bad ones (biting nails, twisting hair, saying “slash” in actual conversation…I know, I know) I would love to set a good habit or two. Lifehack, a delightful site for anyone who loves to learn, has a list of 18 helpful suggestions on making habits stick (http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/18-tricks-to-make-new-habits-stick.html). The ones I will be relying on the most are having a role model (my amazing, wonderful boyfriend who has run a 5k and half marathon in the same day only hours apart) and the ‘but’ statements.

  • Keep a Running Journal.

This will be kept mercifully offline with occasional updates and check ins to keep a tally of times, distances and dates. At the end I will post all (hopefully 30) entries to see the progress if there is any.

  •  Make each day challenging.

My normal route for a light jog takes me through two parks, by the river, over a bridge, back around the river, over another bridge and back through the parks.  I do on occasion get distracted by the beauty of the city lingering on the other side of the river and slow down to a walk or a complete stop to look at it. And in the parks when the baby I’m jogging with the baby he will start flapping like a chased goose and it is easy to stop and pull him out of the carriage so he can watch the other kids playing while I pant for air. For these 30 days unless there is an emergency feeding or diaper change, we will boogie until we get back to the house at the end of the run.

Reasons and Inspiration –

Books and Blogs have been posting about the psychological benefits of running like there is no tomorrow.

The books that make me want to run are Eat and Run – Scott Jurek (the recipes are amazing!) and What I talk about when I talk about Running by Haruki Muakami . I have devoured blogs about new runners, old runners, short distance runners and ultra marathon runniers. There are tons of reasons why I should want to run including, which I’m ashamed to admit, is my vanity and utterly selfish need to feel strong, but the reason why I’m going to learn this came in a very unexpected way.

The Oatmeal is my go to. On the hierarchy of sites I check on a regular basis The Oatmeal tops all with the possible exception of Etsy and Diapers.com. It is my “me time” site. There is none of the pintrest pressure to make the best boards or the consumer driven window shopping for baby products and clothes I will never wear and don’t need. The Oatmeal is my very good old friend who makes me laugh.

His comic/blog on running The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances is in the new Oatmeal style of painful, funny, self deprecating and heart warming. He talks honestly about his want to be lazy, to indulge the inner fat kid. I often find myself having the same want which is why I avoid running and a lot of physical activity. I don’t want to, I’m not fit any more.

For this, for me, I will put aside my “I won’t” for awhile.

Goal, set, match. Time to run.