Yesterday marks a milestone of a different kind. A PR milestone. 11.2 miles, averaging 9 minutes per mile. If you remember the glory days in PE, a 9 minute mile gets you a big fat “C-” if you’re a boy, and a “B” if you’re a girl. Sustaining that pace over a great distance however, is a different story. I award myself a B+, since there’s always room for improvement!
See the route here:
Looking back, I’d never have imagined myself doing such things a few years ago. Just a couple of years ago, running 2.5 miles around the Santa Cruz harbor felt like an immense accomplishment. Then again, it wasn’t that long ago that I hadn’t imagined myself as a husband, father or homeowner, either. I can honestly say that I still don’t “love” running, but it does give me a sense of accomplishment to rack up those miles. A big part of it is an app on my droid that lets me count calories burned, track routes, distances, and personal records. It makes me more accountable to myself, and also helps me set good goals. Since January 1, I’ve run on 50 separate occasions, totaling approximately 227 miles (4.5 miles/run average), and burned 30,000 calories. Phew!
Yesterday was also a milestone in terms of convincing my wife to allow me two hours of uninterrupted “me” time for fitness activities. Generally weekends are reserved for family time, with long stretches of exercise reserved for weekday evenings. The one exception is early weekend mornings when I left Jax sleep in and can take the baby out for an hour. 2 hours in a jogging stroller is probably pushing my luck. This arrangement is something we’re still figuring out. As of right now I am only loosely considering a half marathon, which will require more distance runs like this as part of a training regimen. The thought of balancing training time with family and work time is daunting. I did talk the wife into taking early AM run/walks with me to get her on the running bandwagon. I’m not going to hold my breath, but I really want to encourage her. It might help us both get more quality time together, get additional exercise motivation, etc. I still feel guilty every time I get home from work and then head right out the door again for a run. Taking the baby along at least gives me the justification of giving the wife some alone time, too. Split loyalties?
To conclude, some observations about running 11 miles.
1. Around mile 10 my left knee started to hurt a bit. Not a ton, but enough to poignantly remind me that I will NOT be running a marathon anytime soon.
2. Upon completing the run, the soles of my feet felt like they were burning.
3. No blisters! (I’ve never gotten one from running, actually)
4. I honestly felt like if I had to, I had a few miles left in me.
5. For now, Vivienne actually enjoys riding along in the Bob for up to 7 miles. Good news, and extra resistance training for me! (when the wind gusts, it’s like running with a parachute and feels like running in place)
6. Having a good running partner really does help! Thanks to Renny, who has consistently been my run buddy since the beginning of the year, when we launched our healthy eating and fitness campaign.
7. I really need to update my music tracks for better running BPM. Maybe I’ll get around to it some day.