Guys. Running is hard. I knew this when I started training for a half marathon, but I just wanted to affirm. I’m now on week 7 of the Hal Higdon Novice training program, and there have been struggles. I’m proud to say I haven’t missed any runs (you can check the little page at the top of the screen marked “Half Marathon” if you’re interested in my workouts). I have learned some lessons which I would like to share. In no particular order:
- Do not wolf down half a DiGiorno pizza directly before a run. You will throw up in a neighbor’s shrubbery after mile 1 (sorry neighbor).
- Do wear a knee brace if you feel even a twinge of pain. I was sidelined after a couple weeks of warm-up runs in December due to ITB (Iliotibial band syndrome) issues. After letting it heal for a few weeks, I switched to wearing a really tight band when I run. It sits just above the knee, and it has been life changing. Band= no pain. No band= not being able to walk down stairs for 3 days. Life changing people.
- Trust no one. Maybe this could be a lesson for life in general, but now I’m just talking about while running. Oh you think that guy driving will wait for you to cross the cross walk before turning? Nope. Trust no one. You think that crackhead under the bridge will leave you alone when you run by him? Nope. Give him a wide berth and pretend you can’t hear him when he calls out to you. You think that kid in front of you on his skateboard, keeping pace with you, smoking a cigar, and letting it blow back in your face will hear you coughing dramatically and let you pass? Nope. You think that guy with his dog off leash will get it under control before you run by so it doesn’t chase you? TRUST NO ONE FOOL.
- Running is like shaking up a soda. Except the soda is your guts. Think about what happens when the soda gets opened. I’ll leave it at that.
- This one is a good one. When you’re pissed or sad or unmotivated, just run. 4 miles seems to be the sweet spot for feeling like a million bucks when you finish. The runner’s high is a real thing. It’s not just something runners say to trick you into running with them (like I used to think). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt positively homicidal in the past couple months (due to some issues with someone at work), and a run makes me completely fall in love with the world. I think that if prisons made all the inmates run 4 miles in the morning, there would be nary a shanking to be found.
So yeah, those are probably the most important lessons I’ve learned from running the last 7 weeks. The race is on April 4th, and I’m getting pretty excited. My sister and her boyfriend won’t be doing it with me anymore (trust no one), so I’ll be going it alone. I’m quite slow, so it will be the most pokey half marathon ever run, but I’m still looking forward to it.
A little update on my Peace Corps stuff:
I am almost completely done with all my medical clearance stuff. The doctor has been visited many times, as has the dentist. If you want to see exactly what I’ve been up to, look at the “Peace Corps Timeline” page at the top of the screen. The people close to me can attest that I’ve been kind of emotional the last few weeks. I’m just going to miss my people a lot. I definitely know I can handle the separation, but 27 months is a long time to be away. If no one could get married, that would be great. Actually, if everyone could do nothing til I get back, that would be even better. I think it’s only reasonable to expect that right? Anyway, as of today I’m 106 days out, so I’m going to soak in as much as I can. I plan on quitting my job at the end of April so I can spend the month of May relaxing and traveling, visiting friends and family.
I’m slowly collecting all the stuff I need to pack. Some people may be glad to know that I’ve added 2 pairs of Teva’s to my “sensible” shoe collection, a leather pair and a canvas pair. So, I am now at the height of style.
I’ve been told that I cannot, under any circumstances, wear them with socks. But do you know what? *whispers* I do what I want. Besides the shoes, I plan on getting a new laptop to replace my dinosaur. I am also going to get a Kindle. This goes against everything I believe in, and I am ashamed to admit it, but I just don’t see any way around it. I can’t possibly carry the books. I go through them too fast. I’ll also probably be mooching off everyone’s DVD collections so I can put movies on my external hard drive. On top of that stuff, I need to get together school supplies, Caribbean appropriate clothes, and about a million other little things. Packing brings a special kind of happiness to my list-making heart, so I don’t mind.