I’m feeling more and more like a real runner. See—my shoes are dirty from going out in the rain. That proves I’m serious, right? If I were just pretending, surely I’d stay in when it’s dark and raining or when there’s a winter weather advisory. But out I go, preparing first by carefully threading the cord for my iPod headphones down my sleeve so I can protect the spot where they plug in by sliding the bottom of the wristband case under my jacket cuff. I’m also conscientious about taking the nano out of the case as soon as I get home because I worry about the effects of the condensation that forms on the inside of the window in the case the second I step back into the warm house. So far I haven’t had anything short out.
Since my 25 minutes in a row triumph in late December, I’ve managed 31 minutes in a row, 30 minutes in a row (I had myself convinced that this was 35 minutes for about 12 hours, until I realized that it couldn’t have been, since I set the timer for 40 minutes and walked the first four and most of the last six), and, just yesterday, 36 minutes in a row, for real. I can’t seem to do these long intervals in successive workouts, though—not yet anyway. I’ll have a breakthrough and then followup with a session in which ten minutes of jogging seems like an eternity. I guess that’s okay; the important thing is that I’m still doing it three times most weeks.
I’m not sure what comes next for my running. Certainly not the marathon that was the reason I started training in the first place; that idea was never realistic—though I have now built up to the 8 to 10 miles a week suggested as the base for the half-marathon training (not that I exactly run all of those miles), so perhaps the half in 2008 is not the craziest idea ever. (The woman who talked me into running won’t be heading to New York this spring, either; sad to say that she hasn’t run at all in the last few months–she’s busy, it’s cold, it gets dark early, etc.)
There aren’t many races around here this time of year, and the ones that are on the calendar all seem to conflict with my skiing schedule. I’m trying to decide if I want to drive an hour and a half each way to do a 5K in February just so I have a goal to shoot for. I’ve got the idea that this fall I’ll do the same races I did in 2006 and revel in how much better I’ve gotten by then. Assuming I’m still running and have actually gotten better, of course. In my wildest dreams, I don’t run those races because by then those distances will seem ridiculously short, not enough to bother with. Hah. We’ll just see, won’t we? In the meantime, I need to figure out if I should stick to trying to maximize the amount of time I run in each 40-45 minute workout or if I should do shorter running intervals but more of them to build up my total time and distance. There are plenty of plans out there for me to follow either way.
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