On Saturday morning, I got up at 5 am to run 10 miles. I finished in 1:37, without stopping once. I ran a negative split, which means that I ran the last five miles faster than the first five. And the fastest mile I ran was the very last one.
* * * * *
Him: So you’re a pretty serious runner?
Me: Oh, no, not serious … I just run a lot.
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I spent most of Saturday’s run thinking about that conversation, and about why I don’t think of myself as a “serious” runner. There are a lot of reasons. Serious runners are faster than I am; they run further than I do. They are thinner than I am, and stronger. They look better in compression shorts.
All of that is ridiculous, I know. I had a terrible run at the Dallas Marathon and still finished in the top third in my age group, and ahead of over half of the men who ran the half marathon that day. If I didn’t take running seriously, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I train carefully for my races, and I show up for every run intending to do my best, whether it’s a half marathon or an easy four miles.
So why don’t I think of myself as a “serious” runner? Continue reading
I ran a half marathon ten days ago at the Williams Route 66 Marathon. It was fun. No, really.
I ran this same race last year; it was my first half, ever. I had no idea what to expect and was really just hoping not to die, although I wanted to finish in under two hours and fifteen minutes. My official time was 2:09:51. I was super happy with that, because I beat my goal and ran the whole way and didn’t die.
This year, though, I wanted to do better.
Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree.
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
I’m tapering this week for the first of two half marathons between now and December 9; I ran 12 miles on Saturday and 9 yesterday, with a couple of fast 4-milers in there, too. I’m drinking lots of water (but no alcohol!) and trying to make sure I eat every couple of hours, ideally something healthy (ie, not Halloween candy). I would say that I’ve been getting lots of rest, but with one thing and another this week, I’ve been up later than I would like on more nights that I would like.
But I have a few days left to get myself together.
My schedule right now is jammed with things — work deadlines and kid commitments and long daily to-do lists that don’t have anything to do with running. It would be easier, honestly, to not have this one more thing that has to get done each day. But that one more thing is the one I look forward to the most, and the one that keeps me sane enough to get all the other things done.
When I tell people that I’m running a half at the Williams Route 66 Marathon, and then another three weeks later at the Dallas Marathon, they inevitably say, “You’re crazy!” And I cannot disagree, because it really is crazy. So why do I do it?
Oh, for a few reasons …