Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Bet: Episode 2

What You've Missed

I am running a marathon (that's for those who can't be bothered to read old blog entries) After our little bet was made, I knew I had very little time to get into running shape. I think I spent a good week "getting ready" to run. Buying shoes, shorts and tops; reading up on the newest running training theories and sitting down and mapping out my own training on trainingpeaks. I did just about everything a good runner can do... except run. I wasn't really looking forward to that part of it. As a cycling coach who is realizing more and more just how many triathletes are out there, I was excited to gain some experience in the "Multisport" world. If I studied up on running techniques and theories I would be more marketable as a coach and I was thoroughly enjoying my studies... just not the running part. That part I was dreading!


I want to make it clear to everyone that I am not a beginning runner. My pops ran marathons when he was younger and still ran almost everyday when I was young. I'm not sure how young I was, but my mom would wake me up before school and meet my dad at the end of the driveway when he finished his run and I would jog with him for a mile on his cool down. This progressed into running 3-5 miles with him by the time I was in the 5th grade or so. We did this for years until I starting running for school. I was obsessed with running, much in the same way I am with cycling now. I can't get enough of the culture, the people, the places. I love it and I loved running the same way. I continued in high school and was an above average runner. I ran a 16:16 5k in cross country my junor year, which wasn't fast enough to go to state. I missed it by 3 places. I broke 10 minutes in the 2 miles and that wasn't even fast enough to get me out of our conference meet.

Since I took up the bike I, or mostly my coaches, have tried to get me to run during the off season. I never made it more than 20 minutes and then I'd be so sore for a week I couldn't move. So I may not be a beginning runner but I haven't competed or ran for more than 3 miles in nearly 10 years.

The First Run

I knew if I just walked out the door I'd either be back home in 20 minutes or at the pub having a pint. No, I needed a different plan. Then it hit me. I had left my bike at work the day before and got a ride home. I needed to go pick it up later that day anyways, so I decided to run there, from Fairmount to Manayunk. It's ONLY 6 miles. I could do that. Even if I had to walk the whole way minus the first 20 minutes I still would be ok. It was decided. I threw on all my new gear (you gotta look good, even if you're walking) and headed out the door.

Fast forward 20 minutes. I am dying I think. Lungs are burning, legs feel like rubber. Maybe I'll just turn around I thought. But something kept me going. 30 minutes in and I was plateaued. I wasn't hurting worse than 10 minutes ago but I also wasn't hurting less. The good news is I haven't stopped to walk yet. 45 minutes in and something kicked in. I'm not sure what it was but my stride opened up, my HR slowed and a light breeze hit my face. I ran the last 15 minutes down Main St at what I figured was a pretty good clip. I felt like I was back in high school. I stopped in front of Cadence, amazed that I just ran here from home. I looked around and smiled. I can do this.

Tune in next time when I run 12 miles on only my 4th run back. (Stupid!)

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