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A Body in Motion

December 28, 2006

Something amazing happened last night: I ran (well, jogged) for a little over 25 minutes, in a row, without stopping. Per the Nike+ chip, I averaged 11:43 a mile over 3.53 miles. That’s faster than I ran my 5K three weeks ago. Nothing I’d done up to this point had given me any reason to think I could do 25 minutes.

I’d done two other runs since getting back from Utah. The first one was crap. My right leg hurt the whole time I was jogging (and some of the time I was walking) and I finished with my slowest pace since I got the Nike+—13:29. The second one was much better; I managed a 12:25 pace and stayed out 42 minutes (versus 35 for the crap workout). But even then, I wasn’t doing long jogging intervals; the graph goes up and down and up and down.

Last night, like I have for the past few weeks, I told myself I’d run until it got too hard. I warmed up with four minutes of walking and then started jogging. The Nike lady announced that I’d completed five minutes total; I felt dandy and could remember when one minute of jogging at a time was my goal. The song that was playing ended; I felt okay so I kept going. The Nike lady announced that I’d completed ten minutes; I still felt okay, not out of breath, no side stitch, no foot or leg pain. Same thing five minutes after that, and ten, and fifteen. When the Nike lady said there were ten minutes remaining of my scheduled forty minutes, I finally stopped and walked. My leg had started to hurt and I didn’t want to push it; I’d far exceeded my expectations by that point. Still, I did do a bit more running before I finished the workout, just to see if I could. I could. Too cool.

I know plenty of people can run longer than I did last night but that doesn’t keep me from feeling really good about what I accomplished. A month ago, I thought the Couch-to-5K plan was crazy for asking me to do 20 minutes in a row; I just didn’t see it happening. Well, I did it. Not on the plan’s schedule, but I did it.

Now I need to start doing other things, a.k.a. cross training. I’ve always known I’ve needed to, but knowing and feeling are two different things. Four days of skiing made me feel it. Running has done wonders for my quads—I had not a peep out of them the whole time we were in Utah. My abs and hips, on the other hand—ouch. Hello, crunches and weight work.

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