Running for my life

I was going to title this “Running Down a Dream” but Tom Petty died today and it didn’t seem right. RIP Tom. 😦

I’ve been a jogger for a couple of years now, but my effort up until recently was nothing beyond a quick three-mile jaunt on the local high school track. I hated jogging as a child because we were forced to do it in school. It took adulthood to get me interested in hitting the track again. And that was begrudgingly.

I don’t know exactly what triggered it, but in the last six months or so jogging has transformed from a chore into an obsession. And jogging – slowly, but surely – is turning into running for me. Yes, there’s a difference. Don’t ask me exactly what it is. Running enthusiasts are pretty passionate about their definition. To me, if I’m sweating, breathing hard and busting my ass, that’s running.

Around the time I started using My Fitness Pal, I started taking my jogging routine off the track and onto the street where I hit it hard. Three miles has become four, or five, and sometimes more than six. Having the open road in front of you makes all the difference. It’s liberating and less like a hamster wheel. The scenery changes in subtle ways, taking your mind off the fact that your body is propelling forward without the assistance of a bicycle or car.

It’s just you and the road. There’s something spiritual about that. But I won’t get all hippie-like on you. We’ll save that for another day.

What’s happened in the last six months? Well, I started with an average per-mile time of around 11 minutes. That has come down to about nine minutes.

I’ve been studying and training with Pose Method the last few months, and that has drastically reduced the pain I used to experience in my knees and back. I also credit it with improving my speed. I’m hoping Pose will keep me running for many years.

And I’ve signed up for a 5K for next month, with plans to do a 10K in January. My long-term goal is to complete a half marathon in the next year or so.

I have even been coming back to the track a couple times a week to work on speed. My town is all hills and it’s hard to do anything but get exhausted when you’re constantly climbing. Sometimes a flat surface is what I need, even if it does feel a little monotonous some times. I just remind myself I’m not a hamster, look down at my fitness watch, and smile at my progress.

Here’s to good habits! See you out on the road and at the finish line.




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