Thursday, May 08, 2008

Running Tally

Here is your running milestone report from the slowest runner ever to hit the treadmill: I ran seven miles today! Mind you, I'm achingly slow (especially when I plan to go for any distance), and I ran the last mile as a series of sprints, with bits of breathing in between; but I ran it nonetheless, so I'm adding it to my tally. I often do sprint intervals at the end of a run, and don't usually count them in my total, but today I'm feeling generous to myself. I only stopped for fifteen or twenty seconds between fast (for me) quarter miles at the end, so I'm cutting myself some mileage slack. Do I sound like I'm rationalizing? That's okay. I'm really the only one holding my feet to the fire about this whole running thing anyway. I can rationalize a little bit if it helps me make progress.

You know the frustrating thing about trying to turn myself back into a runner? It's that I'm so bleepingly inconsistent. I fight asthma every time I run, and sometimes it totally gets the better of me. I was invited to go running with some other women on Tuesday, and I really would have liked to have gone, both for the company and for the inspiration, but, besides being slower than molasses on longer runs, I'm never sure which days are going to find my lungs remotely cooperative. It turned out this Tuesday that nothing was going to get my body past the two miles I ran on the treadmill (and we're not even talking about adding any incline), so I was glad I chickened out of running on hilly trails with women who are far more serious about the activity than I am. Maybe someday I'll get myself consistent enough to hit the hills with real runners, but for now I'm just going to be happy with the leisurely seven miles I did today. Now, the friend who asked me along with her to tackle running with the pack is training for a marathon, and put in a fifteen mile run on Sunday, so I can't be too impressed with myself, but I really find her accomplishments an inspiration, not a competition. Everybody has to start somewhere, right? I don't have any plans to go for the big distances, but maybe over time I can pick up the pace a little and get to go play with the big girl runners someday. I think that's a good goal--if I can convince those lungs to get with the program!!