From the treadmill to the outdoors
Running never really appealed to me – I was always slow and over-weight as a kid, so this form of exercise always seemed like a chore. Though I get a lot of exercise through weight-training and such, I have a strong distaste for running on a treadmill. Thirty minutes is even difficult because I’m stationary and have a clock staring me right in the face.
The thought of running a half marathon seemed interesting because it allows a person to get outside and cover more terrain than one could do on a treadmill – and this appeals to me. A little over a month into my training, I look forward to the runs because they allow me to clear my head and get the exercise that my body needs.
The “wow” factor
After about a 7.3 mile run the other day, my running partner mentioned how we’d burned somewhere between 1,100 and 1,200 calories! In addition to feeling the pride of having completed one of my longest runs, I also felt good about what I’d just done for my body (and would be guilt-free after treating myself to a large mean and a few bottles of beer).
Pride is a large part of the decision to run a half marathon (or full one for that matter); when you explain to someone that you’re doing it, the response is either “Wow!” or “Why? You’re Crazy!” When you actually take part in the training, you realize that it’s not all that difficult if you devote yourself to the work.
The worst part
The worst part of it is probably getting up early – especially after not getting the required amount of sleep that your body needs. I find that the worst times are when I’ve over-indulged a bit on food or alcohol the night before and have gotten less than seven hours of sleep. The fact that I’ve pushed through these tough days makes the good days that much more enjoyable and rewarding.
The best part
The best days are weekends when I’ve had enough sleep (or in some cases more than enough) and I get up with lots of energy. When the sun is shining and the temperature is just right, the adrenaline gets going and you can run for what seems like forever. These are the times when you don’t even look your watch to see how long you’ve been at it, and when you finally stop you’re shocked at how much you’ve accomplished.
Another thing that I like about running is purchasing the equipment/aides like new running shoes, special socks, etc. When I buy these things, I can’t wait to get home and wear them or use them on my next run. It sounds funny, but anything that can make the experience more comfortable gets me even more anxious.
I’m looking forward to extending the lengths of my runs and accomplishing more than I ever thought I could on my feet. If I get through the half marathon without injury or a bad experience, I’ll most likely take a shot at a full marathon next…then who knows what’s next?!