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Learnin' a thing or two...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
When I announced that I was going to train to run a 5K last May, I never expected this. I never expected to become addicted to running. I thought it would be something I would do to mark of my list and then I'd go on with life. But, as you all know from reading over that past several months, running has become a really large part of my life. I would venture to say that I'm slightly obsessed with it. Brad would probably say that I'm completely obsessed with it. 

In any case, it is a good thing to be addicted to. It's helping me to be healthier. It's helping me to lead by example when I encourage the kids to be physically active. I expected these things to happen. I expected better calf muscles and ab muscles and even to lose a little weight. But there are so many things that I have learned during the past few months that I never expected to learn. So, since I'm dying to blog about running, but sick of just blogging my stats on here, I figured I'd post about all the things I've learned (that I can think of) since I started running. :) 
  • I'm not too old to run through a sprinkler.... and laugh like a little girl over it. No, I won't run through it if one of the old men living in our neighborhood encourages me, because that's just weird. But, if there's a sprinkler on and it sprays over the sidewalk (and no one is watching), I will try to plan my pace to get a good spray to cool me down. 
  • The band Third Eye Blind has the most perfect album (yes, from the 90s) to run to. It has a good pace, but speeds up on certain songs, just enough to keep me going. And, despite some of the lyrics, including one that talks about ashes from a cigarette blowing into his girlfriend's eyes and her laughing about it (completely unrealistic unless he's dating a blow up doll), I actually like to sing along... but only in my head. 
  • I have to have a laundry basket that separates our post-running and post-basketball clothes from our regular clothes. Yes, if our clothes smell soured, it's because one of our socks made it into the wrong basket. It's disgusting. 
  • There are certain neighbors that should buy a tree trimmer. Period. We are included in that. :)
  • Men runners suck. They can make running look so easy. One guy that I ran behind yesterday was about a block ahead of me and he was just casually jogging. I was running as fast as I could and could not keep up with him. And, he wasn't even winded. 
  • The first mile always makes me feel like I'm 80. No matter how much I mentally prepare and physically prepare to go run, I always feel like I'm going to die during the first mile. Glad Rebecca said she feels the same way, but I'm disappointed that it doesn't sound like that changes no matter how far you can run.
  • There are plateaus... it seems like once I get past a certain point on each run, I could run forever. I call them plateaus, but I'm not sure if that's the right word. 
  • I run better and faster when I have someone to run with. And, it's a lot more fun. 
  • I now completely understand the term "competing against yourself." I mean, sure, I understood it before, but I never felt like I could be motivated by competing against my own time. Maybe I will like golf more than I expected. 
  • There are tons of people in our neighborhood that walk and run. Most of them are the same people that walk and run everyday. I don't know any of their names, but they know me and I know them. 
  • I can actually get faster. I didn't really think so, but I can... 
  • Google has a program that allows you to measure walking distance on the sidewalks. It pops up as one of my most frequently used pages. :) 
  • I have memorized how far it is to just about any spot in our neighborhood, and I can actually plan out my route down to a tenth of a mile without even looking at Google, but I always just confirm it to be sure. 
  • I am constantly in need of a pedicure. Constantly.
  • On days that I run, I could eat an entire house full of food. And, for a change, I don't want junk food. I want good food... and weird combinations of it. Tonight, I ate the remaining grapes (like half a bag or so), string cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a banana. And, I was still hungry. Poor Brad has to deal with me then... you know, me + hungry = total psycho witch. He got an earful about not helping me with the dishes or taking out the trash. Two minutes after I ate, I was fine. :)
  • Papa John's pizza is not good to eat before you run. Even if you eat it three hours prior to running. It's just not good.
  • Planning trips and weekend events now includes research on where I will run, when I will run, and how far I am "scheduled" to run. And, among my favorite websites, I now watch John's Run/Walk Shop Race Calendar almost as much as I check things out on Facebook. :) We are making a trip to Columbia, South Carolina for a wedding later this fall. I have to run 8 miles that weekend. Let me know if anyone has suggestions on where I can run. 
  • Only certain people really get it when you are excited about running. Most of them are runners. My family and friends that don't run are happy for me, but they don't understand the high. I didn't understand it either. So, guys, it's OK that you don't know what to say when I tell you what I ran last night. I just want to tell someone. And, thank God for Dawn and Rebecca for listening to me complain and celebrate about each little itty bitty thing. :) 
  • Oh... and running on Wednesday nights in our neighborhood can be stinky. Everyone puts their trash out on Wednesday nights, so I need to plan for Wednesdays to be my regularly scheduled "trail" runs (not trails like in the woods, trails like in the park). I always forget until it's too late. 
  • And, finally, I have learned that no matter how far I run or how I fast I run, I always want to go farther and faster. I'm not sure that will ever change. 10K on October 2... Half marathon in April... then... nope. I still can't commit to a marathon. But, the more I run, the more I think it is probably inevitable. Or I will have to actually buy a bike. Right now, the marathon sounds much cheaper. :)