Saturday, January 08, 2011

It Hurts So Good

Thursday and Friday were tough days. The 40 minutes or so where I was actually running were great, but the rest of the time I felt like crap. Thursday was especially bad. The running is taking its toll, but it should only be a temporary feeling.

While I feel sluggish during the day, the running is at least coming easier now. I feel a lightness in my step that I haven't known since I was running regularly in 2009. It took nearly all I had in me to finish my first run last Sunday. Now I feel like I could extend my 3.5 miles even longer. I may try that this weekend. I'll see how it goes.

I have to admit that I think a lot about my running during the course of the day. I've told a few people about my goals and the response from everyone so far has been along the lines of, "That's a lot of running. Are you sure you can do it?"

I'm only six days in and I haven't slipped yet, but I feel that 2011 miles in a year is doable. It averages out to about 5.5 miles per day every day for an entire year. At a 7 minute mile pace that is only 40 minutes of running. Now I'm nowhere near that kind of fitness yet, but I can go out and run for an hour. As my fitness improves, I'll be able to run longer distances within that allotted hour. And that's basically what 2011 in 2011 comes down to, getting an hour of strenuous exercise every single day. For now that hour of exercise equates to 3.5 miles of jogging and some stretching, but that will improve over time.

The one thing I have going for me is that I really like running. I like going outside for an hour and pushing my body. I like running through neighborhoods and saying "hi" to the people walking their dogs. When I'm out running I'm able to reflect on work and on my personal life without the distraction of my blackberry going off. I feel that running improves my mental health just as much as it improves my physical health.

But running is just part of my overall fitness goals. I also plan on drastically reducing my alcohol intake and going vegetarian by the end of the year. To wean myself off of meat I've decided to cut red meat from my diet first. I've already cheated. Yesterday I grabbed lunch at Au Bon Pain and had a bowl of beef chili. While not exactly an 18 oz porterhouse, I'm not supposed to be eating beef. I also raised my total number of alcoholic beverages consumed this year to four. A friend won a big contract this week and we celebrated with some adult beverages after work. My goal is to keep my total number of drinks this year at 12. One week into the new year and that goal isn't looking very good.

So I ran 3.5 miles yesterday, bringing my total miles logged for 2011 to 19.5. With 358 days left in the year, I have 1991.5 miles to go before I reach my goal of running 2011 miles in 2011.

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