On Attainable Goals and Crap Attitudes

“I need to change my attitude,” I said to Erin as we began to pull away from the red light at Ebenezer and Westland. We had been out to eat and then to Lowe’s. She was going to be working on her paper for the rest of the day, I was going to stay out of the way and cook dinner a little later. Ebenezer is where I start running on Sunday mornings and as I sat at the red light yesterday afternoon the thought of running was in my head (which it often is, for better or for worse) but all I could think about was how hot it was likely going to be when I hit it the next day – how tired I was going to feel and how I was probably not going to reach my 6.2 miles goal I had set for myself for the day’s long run.

“What do you mean?” came Erin’s response. I replied with a statement I make almost every day of my life and despite all the opportunity in the world to change my lifestyle in a way that would prevent me from ever saying it again I continue to say it:

“I hate running.”

That’s only partially true. I almost always hate running while I’m doing it. I definitely hate running during the minutes before I start running. The feelings I get after I’m finished, though – knowing what I’ve accomplished and knowing what good it’s done for my body and my mind – now that I’m addicted to. So why hate it? Why gripe about it and dread it? I’ve had almost a full year to stop running if I really disliked it so much yet I haven’t. That tells me I’ve made it a part of my life and it’s here whether I like it or not – so why not just look forward to it? There’s no reason why I shouldn’t look forward to a run – no reason why I shouldn’t look forward to bettering myself, getting more fit, getting more lean, and utilizing a lot of negative energy I’d probably spend elsewhere.

So that’s it – I decided that I was going to try my damnedest to make running a positive even if it means I’m only saying positive things about it that I don’t really mean. And so that’s what I did. Instead of sleeping in like I enjoy doing on Sunday mornings I was up at 6:45am, shortly after the sun came up, was dressed and ready to hit it, hopefully reaching 6.2 miles with as little walking as possible.

The timing on the Active 5k-to-10k apps accounts for your warm-up and cool-down so it’s not an accurate reflection of your actual time for the distance covered. But now that I’ve finished that program I’m back to using Runtastic again so I warmed up by walking briskly down the hill by the elementary school and when I got to the corner, I hit start and was off. It was a cool 60 degrees, lots of shade but the sunny spots were pleasantly warm, lots of breeze seemingly from all directions.

Erin “cheered” for me through the app right at the 1 mile mark. The sound sort-of woke me up. Until that point I wasn’t even aware that I had already kind of drifted off – a state I strive so hard to get into while running but rarely ever can. One mile down and I wasn’t even feeling tired at all, merely warmed up. This could be good but I still had 5.2 miles left. I took a left and ran down Westland, a route I’ve taken before, just not while doing distance like this, just to see how far I could go before hitting the halfway (turn-around) point. Turns out the distance takes you all the way down until you run out of sidewalk by the interstate – I never thought I’d end up being that far down the road but it happened and I was still running. A quick turn around and I was nearing the 3-mile mark, still going strong.

There were a few times around this moment that doubt started to creep in – “You should probably take a break and walk” – I’m not sure if it was my brain, my heart, or my legs talking. I was still moving along quite well and didn’t really need a break, but for some reason my mind felt like I should have one – probably because of so many lazy runs in the last year where I baby myself and start doing intervals any time I start doubting. I pushed through and was well on my way to mile-4. It was around this time I found some pretty interesting photo-worthy subjects so I did stop for about 5 seconds per photo and snapped these pictures:




Suddenly I’m back on Ebenezer on my way back to the school. Now I was legitimately getting tired but I was so close to the 5 mile mark I really just kept pushing just to see if I could do it. I used the same mindset to push me from mile 5 to mile 6, which I hit almost perfectly at the spot I started from in front of the school. I still needed 0.2 miles, though, and I wasn’t going to quit. Instead I just ran back and forth in small distances until I hit the 6.2 mark. Not only had I finished for the day, I had ran the entire time – no intervals, no walking, no wimping out. I can run a 10k.

Once the excitement of that realization had passed it was on to the next topic: my time. When I started out this morning my intention was to just run until I “got there” caring very little, if any at all, about my time. After I made 10k distance for the first time a couple of weeks ago (running and walking) I set a goal time for my 10k in August of 01:15:00 but I’d also be satisfied with 01:20:00 if I had to. Today’s run? 01:13:54.

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 2.56.04 PM

Holy crap.

I’m two months out from the actual 10k (The Man Run) and I have a 5K coming up next week in the Pilot Fireball Moonlight Classic 5K. It feels good to have a couple of races on my schedule now and I’m more motivated than ever (with a positive attitude to boot) to stay on it. How about some yearly totals?

I’ve added some new rows including one for the second wave of Runtastic runs and how many miles I’ll have to run per run day from now until the end of my running year to reach my goal of 300 miles. Silly but I like it.

Time Period Total Distance
Couch-to-5k (8/14-10/14) 64.59 Miles
Runtastic Runs (10/14-4/15) 115.04 Miles
5k-to-10k to-date (4/15-6/21) 87.52 Miles
Runtastic Runs (6/23-present) 10.51 Miles

Total Miles Ran To-Date: 277.66 Miles

Miles Left Until 300: 22.34

Number of Miles Per Run to Reach Yearly Goal*:

*This is assuming I run three days per week every week until the week of 8/14/2015

And tonight: I make pizza. Let’s face it – pizza, beer and wine are the three main reasons I lace up those running shoes. Perfectly good reasons, if you ask me!


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