The other day, I wanted to run on the high school track so I could actually see how long it took me to run a mile. Max and I drove over there, only to be greeted by locked gates and a sign posted stating that the track was, and I kid you not, "Protected By Laser Alarm" - seriously?!? We sat in the car, staring in bewilderment at the sign, when Max finally said "Well the laser worked as I am stunned." That boy cracks me up!
So anyhow, we ended up at the park near my workplace and ran the paved trail there. After more than 10 minutes of running, I finally saw a 1/4 mile marker, and a little while later saw another one. Later on at home, I found a trail map online and saw that point X to point Y is 2/10ths of a mile, and point Y to point Z is 6/10ths...still not the easiest way to figure out how far you run, because we doubled back most of the way from point Z to point Y - are you confused yet? Well, join the club! I am not a math person; I need things to be very basic or else I tend to blank out on number things. Is it too much to ask for a starting point and some quarter-mile markers at places that are obviously designated for walking/running?
Max and I went running again on Friday - I really wanted to make a statement to myself by getting some good exercise in on the first day of the new year. We went to yet another park near my house with a paved trail - it was nice but my only complaint is that there are no mile markers. According to the website, the trail is an "American Mile" - whatever that means - but it has so many cross-overs that I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a mile on it. Any case, we started off and I told Max my goal was to run for 14 minutes without stopping, since I ran for 13 minutes on our last run. Well, we hit about 11 minutes and I said "let's go for 15" and then when we were close to 15 I just decided that I could do 20 minutes. And we did!
Jeff and Sam were playing Frisbee at the park while we ran, and Paco the Wonder Dog was hanging with them. After Max and I did a cool-down walk, we took Paco for a walk and as we rounded the corner to where the Frisbee players were, I had the bright idea to let Paco run back to them. Now, he was on the leash, and I was holding the leash...and I know this dog can run (that's why Jeff rides his bike to exercise Paco - he's so energetic) but dang! He took off and I was running as fast as I could and let me tell you, I only lasted maybe 20 seconds! Score one for the Paco Sprint, lol!
We went running again on Saturday, but it was later in the day, I was cold the entire run (obviously I didn't have enough layers on, and wearing gloves would have helped my
ice cubes hands), and my thighs were a little sore (I know, could I have any more excuses?). I slogged through 15 minutes before finishing the trail with a walk. My pace was soooo slow...and it's slow to begin with, so this was pretty bad. I wonder if I should run every other day to give my body some time to recharge? All I know is that this was not nearly as much fun as the run on Friday. Oh well, I'm still learning about this whole running/yogging (Anchorman - love it!) thing.
So runners, I have a question for you...how do you know the distance you've run? I know that on a street run I could drive it and measure the distance with my car's odometer, but that's not possible with these park trails. And I don't have a Garmin (the only reason I even have an idea of what these are is because so many bloggers got one for Christmas) and that is not in my budget or even on the horizon at the moment. I don't want to invest a lot of money into something unless I know that I'm really going to keep up with it. I am sort-of fine with just running for a certain length of time, but since I want to run a 5K, I guess I'd better know that I can actually run 3.2 miles.
I'm keeping track of the days that I run on my desk calendar - I started off just writing "run" and however many minutes on the day, but then I saw Deb's post about using stickers as a reward (ooh, stickers! cute!!) so I'm going to find some fun stickers and use them as my run markers. I am a little worried that once Max goes back to school I won't keep up with my running - I have to say it's been nice having someone to run with, and he's been very accommodating to run at my pace, which is a *tad* bit slower than his (to say the least). I want to get myself into the habit so I will actually do this on my own, although I still would love to have a running partner.
The other funny thing I've noticed is how much I love my new purple Asics long-sleeved shirt - I feel like such an athlete in it, which just seems to give me the mindset of "I AM AN ATHLETE" - and that is priceless. I'm sure this stems from years and years of not being able to find sporty workout clothes in my size, and hating how I looked in whatever I cribbed together to try and exercise in. I know you can run in anything and you don't need special clothes, but in my case, clothes apparently help to make the runner!