Sunday, January 11, 2009

Why running?

Good question, why indeed. I certainly had no idea a year ago when I first started going back to the gym, nor in May when I quit smoking, that I would be where I am now. Having already run in three 5k's (October 25th, November 8th and 22nd) and posted respectable times in all three considering I only started running in August, boggles MY mind, so it probably boggles the minds of those that know me. Now, at no time in my past have I EVER considered myself a runner. Hell, the only time I ran before now was in basic training for the Air Force 20 years ago, and I didn't like it then. So what changed?

I don't know that it's about "what" changed, it would appear to be that I've MADE some changes in my life (see quitting smoking) and running seemed to be a natural fit to validate those changes. And you know what? I actually LIKE running now (except for running hills, I really don't care for those), especially with members of the running club I joined. There's a comraderie running with other people that you don't get running on a treadmill or running by yourself. I don't know how else to explain it, it just works for me.

I run a loop near home, that's about 2.5 miles. I have also run a couple of different loops in Douglasville with the running club that are between 2-3 miles and definitely challenging. Have I mentioned that I don't care for hills? Yes? Well, just so there's no question about it, I'll say it again. I DON'T CARE FOR HILLS! lol The rational side of me says that even though I don't like them, they are excellent in helping to build endurance.

And, BONUS, I'm no longer a trail-running "virgin". Finally went out and ran part of a couple trails at Sweetwater Creek State Park yesterday, in the rain. It was an experience and a challenge, I'll tell you that. I wasn't expecting the hills, but there they were and it's not so much that they were hard (trust me, they were), it was just that you really had to watch where you were putting your feet, especially in the rain (lots of roots sticking up, rocks, twigs, wet leaves, etc). Now, these aren't paved trails, are you catching on to the challenge? I sure did. But I'll tell you, I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to running those trails more.

Lastly, the running club, a greater group of people I haven't come across in ages. They are all definitely individuals, with their own goals and personalities. And they are all great motivators, running with them really pushes me beyond what I thought I could do originally and I thank them for that.

My next 5K's are:
3/1/09 Seaside 1/2 Marathon and 5K - Seaside, Florida
3/28/09 ING Publix 5K - Grant Park, Atlanta, Georgia

My goal is to run a 5K in under 40 minutes by the end of March, so you'll have to keep checking in to see if I do it on the 1st (which is a possibility since it's a fast and flat course) or on the 28th.

Keep an eye out for more posts as I train for those 5K's, as well as the Peachtree Road Race 10K on the 4th of July.

Holy crap, a 10K? This should be interesting...