Right. So, I’m critical.
I don’t congratulate myself for simple acts of completion. I don’t take compliments especially well.
I have ideas about what’s good and if that vision isn’t met, well… then, it’s non-good.
So I don’t call myself a Runner. Just like I don’t call myself a Photographer. Or a Writer.
I don’t have an exact definition for what it would take to be a Runner, but I feel like I’ll know it, if and when it happens.
Now, I know there are people out there who feel very empowered by calling themselves Runners. And I get that. I know there aren’t international standards for Running, except that it’s called “walking” if one foot is always touching the ground. Which, technically, might mean that’s what I’m doing when I’m “running.”
Anyway. Yeah. Some people are all “I”m a Runner!” even though they’re trotting along at 15 minutes per mile. Fine for you.
But I’ve just got a touch too much Asperger’s in my genetic code. I can’t say it if I don’t fully believe it to be true.
The thing is, I really want to be a Runner. In spite of how much I disenjoy the act, I just really want it.
I did two half marathons this year, a 10K and some 5Ks in the pursuit of this wanting. I have had little improvements here and there, but not enough that I feel properly accomplished, and man alive, I’m just so frickin slow.
So I have a new plan. In fact, it’s an old plan that I have already followed and completed, so I know that it is doable.
I’m redoing the Couch to 5K plan. C25k, as the cool kids call it, is a training plan that involves little intervals of running with walking and is intended to take people from doing no exercise at all to being able to run or jog for 30 minutes straight.
But since I can definitely already keep up a steady state of gentle, harrowing plodding for well over an hour, this time I’m not just going to try to *survive* Couch to 5k. I’m going to gnash it up into little bits of glitter and lightning.
I just finished Week 1 this morning, and did all of my one-minute intervals at sub 8 minute miling. It wasn’t all out sprinting, but it felt pretty fast. As the intervals get longer and longer, I expect I won’t be able to keep the pace up that high, but I’m hoping that the process will still have forced me into speeding up overall. And then, I have secret magical beliefs that I will be able to complete a 5k in less than 30 minutes.
Who knows. Maybe the snark monster will still be snarling if I finish in 29 minutes and 59 seconds. But at the moment, I have having some very pleasing visions of gazelle-like glory…
2 responses to “the pursuit of capital r”
That sounds like a great idea. I think of myself as a “runner” in that I get out there and try to run. If there is no “jogging”, I consider it a walk. If it is a walk that includes “jogging”, I consider it a run. I don’t think of myself as a “real” runner, but just a runner runner. I don’t know what is right and I realize logically that it just doesn’t matter, but I totally understand where you are coming from. There was a point where I was consistently doing better than 11 min/mi. and I was very proud of that. Then there was the “fast mile” phase I did for a while on the treadmill inspired by YOU, and I was closing in on being able to do one 9 min. mile. But then summer happened. And it’s so fucking hot and humid here, I felt it impossible to keep up with running three times a week. So I got slower. And slower. I am envious of my friends who do sub-10 minute averages on 10 mile runs. But I just can’t do that right now. Oh well. I know I can finish the half in November in much less than the 4-hour cut off, so for my first one I’ll be happy with that. It would be nice to be faster, though. Why does it seem so much easier for others? Maybe because I’m a big girl, not a skinny minny? At least I get out there and try.
I have faith, Caroline! And not in a Jesus way. I have Running faith. One day we will both be cavorting with glee at supersonic speeds.
Or if not, I think we will still at least be out there doing it, and snarking about it later.