Running On

The last few Saturdays, I’ve been running after my Kung Fu class with a friend – we’ll call him J-Roc. J-Roc had never run prior to our first outing, and had to be prodded quite a bit before agreeing to give it a try. He’s a generally fit person, but he had just never  tried running.

First day out? He kicked my ass. The jerk. (I kid!)

In each subsequent run, he’s done better and better. I can tell that I’m holding him back: He runs slower than what his natural pace would be (he’s my height so that’s not it) and I we walk periodically because I can’t keep going, not because of him. I firmly believe he’s simply a natural when it comes to running, whereas I? Am not.

Let’s talk about another friend for a minute, who we’ll call M-Dog. M-Dog has been running for a while, and even ran a half marathon a few months ago, so clearly she’s more advanced than I. Get this though: I inspired M-Dog to start running, just like J-Roc, and now they BOTH kick my ass. In fact, there are even more people who have told me that I’ve gotten them into running (meaning they started after I did) and they’ve since surpassed my (admittedly meager) running abilities. I don’t have any ill will toward any of these folks – on the contrary – I’m THRILLED that I helped them find a new kind of fitness that they love! However, I would be lying if I said I get frustrated with myself for not progressing at a better rate. That being said, I do my best not to compare myself to others. How very evolved of me, eh?

After Kung Fu today, I went for a run with both J-Roc and M-Dog. I was a little nervous about it, actually, because I know that I would hold them back. It wasn’t so bad, though. In fact, it was fun! It rained – pretty hard at one point – and that added an interesting element to the whole thing. Can you believe I’ve never gone for a run in the rain? It didn’t seem strange to me before, but now it does. I’ve always explicitly not run when the weather was inclement, but I think perhaps I need to change that!

I did decently on the run today, running much further than usual before having to walk for a bit, but I’m still disappointed with where I am overall. After a very honest look at why I’m not improving as I’d like, I’ve come to a conclusion: I am incredibly inconsistent with my training.

I’ll do really well for a few weeks and then my running days will dwindle until I’m down to only once a week. I think it’ll be nearly impossible to progress when I only “practice” once a week. That rate is probably just enough to keep me from going backwards.

I’ve always found that I am pretty good at following a clearly defined training program – it helps me to have someone tell me exactly what I should do when. (Of course, after I miss a few days for one reason or another, it tends to fall to the wayside altogether. [See: 100 push-ups which I never restarted after my road trip…] but we’re being positive here, so ignore that fact!)

Here’s the plan: I went ahead and registered for a 5k that takes place in 2 weeks. (J-Roc’s going to do it, too – his first road race!) I then found a 5k training program, and I’m going to jump straight to the last two weeks and do that in preparation of the race. This seems like a very rational and doable course of action. Agreed?

No excuses. No “too tired.” No “not in the mood.” No “too busy.” In the words of John Bryant (I have no idea who that is): “My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.”

Well said, John. Well said.

12 Responses to “Running On”

  1. South Beach Steve Says:

    While you are holding any ill will towards your friends, I can certainly sympathize with your frustration. The good news is that you are still running. It is hard to fit the exercise in like we need to, as we all already had busy lives before we started exercising, but the quote by John Bryant (I have no idea who this is either) says it all. I will have to remember to use a variation of that for any exercise.

  2. puby Says:

    You shouldn't worrry about how you're doing compared to your friends. If they thought you were holding them back, they wouldn't run with you. They enjoy your company and motivating encouragement. Just keep comparing your last run to the previous one. You've gone a little further and walked less with each run, so you are improving.

    PS – That J-Roc dude sounds like a real A-Hole!

  3. Kim Says:

    WTG Kimberly! (found you at LogMyLoss) There is nothing like a specific goal with a little bit of pressure to get you motivated…at least it works for me! I just did a sprint relay tri where I did 2 legs…my friend who runs alot unofficially ran it with me…which made it look like he was pretending to run! It was quite comical…he clearly runs faster than I!

    Anyway, good luck on your 5K

  4. Kimberly Says:

    SBS – Even though it can be frustrating and embarrassing, I know I can't let that stop me from trying to improve – I'll never get better that way! It's a great quote, isn't it? It translates well into all forms of exercise, just like you said!

  5. Kimberly Says:

    I know you’re right, Puby (interesting name, btw…), and that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to my friends – I’m working on that. I think it’ll get better as I run with them more often – and as I improve!

    PS – J-Roc is far from an A-Hole. In fact, he’s one of my favorites :)

  6. Kimberly Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kim! I've done a few 5k events in the past, but only one or two a year. I'm guessing that if I commit to them frequently throughout the year, I'll continue to push myself throughout the year as well.

    I also love that you did a tri – I'm working on that myself!

  7. Kimberly Says:

    SBS – Even though it can be frustrating and embarrassing, I know I can't let that stop me from trying to improve – I'll never get better that way! It's a great quote, isn't it? It translates well into all forms of exercise, just like you said!

  8. Kimberly Says:

    I know you’re right, Puby (interesting name, btw…), and that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to my friends – I’m working on that. I think it’ll get better as I run with them more often – and as I improve!

    PS – J-Roc is far from an A-Hole. In fact, he’s one of my favorites :)

  9. Kimberly Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Kim! I've done a few 5k events in the past, but only one or two a year. I'm guessing that if I commit to them frequently throughout the year, I'll continue to push myself throughout the year as well.

    I also love that you did a tri – I'm working on that myself!

  10. The Race is On « Watermelon Waistline Says:

    […] did pretty well following the 2-week training schedule I talked about earlier. I missed two days when I was on vacation, but I made one of them up when I came back, so […]

  11. One Weekend – Two Triumphs « Watermelon Waistline Says:

    […] of my friends ran this race with me  – remember M-Dog? – and I kept up with her for the first mile or so. After that, I had to slow down a bit, and I […]

  12. J-Roc for The Win! « Watermelon Waistline Says:

    […] day (8:30 – 11, with a lot of breaks), but it didn’t stop there: My old running buddy, J-Roc, was finally ready to run again following his winter hiatus, so of course I jumped at the […]