Thursday, April 1, 2010

And It Begins...

To get myself motivated for this upcoming challenge, I went to the running streak website that my second friend had introduced me to ( In big letters at the top of the page it says CAUTION: THE DANGERS OF STREAK RUNNING. I actually laughed out loud at this, interested in what brought on the all of a sudden “fine print” to go along with what seems like a relatively healthy way to stay in shape (I mean a mile a day isn’t asking THAT much). It ended up that the article on the other side of the link was interesting and actually pretty helpful. It recommends not running the same amount of miles every day or at the same pace/intensity, and that I can still have rest days, but they will just be in the form of running at a slower pace. It also said to find different ways to make running new and fresh so I don't feel like it is a chore. I think having the 75 mile goal is a good way to keep me motivated, and I'm sure once I get to 10+ days I'm not going to want to skip a day and potentially ruin my streak. So although the link scared me at first, it gave great advice and makes me even more excited to get started.

I had plans to meet up with friends that I assumed was going to turn into a day, and possibly night long event, so I knew I had to get to the gym early. Since I'm on Spring Break (best part of being a teacher), I have the luxury of having pretty much any choice of treadmill that I want...which is a big deal to me. I like to pick the treadmills where the TV is already on, so this way I can watch what's on the TV without having to plug my headphones in, and also listen to my music at the same time. If I don't have anything to look at, my workouts end up being significantly shorter and I get bored pretty easily. So not only did I get a treadmill where the TV was on, but I also got one that was as far away from people as possible, and I was ready to get in the zone.

So after spending a week in Costa Rica doing everything but running, I wasn't really expecting much, but I'm hoping that my motivation and the excitement of starting another challenge will get me through. I set my speed to 6.0, and start going, feeling good, listening to some tunes. I then realize that I can probably go faster than what I’m running, so I decide to up my speed. For every .1 of a mile I go, I make my speed .1 faster. So at 1.1 miles, I’m at a 6.1, at 1.2 miles, at a 6.2, etc. This is something I used to do all the time last year, I’d do a full mile moving up my speed, and then another mile reducing my speed. It's a good way to keep things interesting and it also helps me not get bored. However, one mistake I did make was not bringing a towel or a magazine or something to cover up the treadmill display. Yes, I'm one of those that doesn't like to see how far I've gone or how long I've been on the treadmill, because if I have the chance to look, I will spend my ENTIRE run staring at the minutes and distance slowly move on.

So, first I try to just watch TV, but the Today Show was on and it was kind of hard to follow when I couldn't hear what they were saying and it was just a bunch of women sitting on a couch. I also wasn't in a channel surfing mood, I just wanted to get running. Bored with the show, I start looking in the mirror near me, I check out my form and realize that I look like I'm running a lot slower than the speed I feel like I'm running. That in itself was kind of depressing, but I knew there was no way I was going to up my speed, being that I was already huffing and puffing at about a 6.3. Then, my eyes wander to the people who are stretching and doing abs in a corner near the mirrors. I lock eyes with some middle aged man that's stretching and I quickly look away and remind myself to concentrate on my running. So I try again to watch TV, but the same thing happens, my eyes start wandering to the mirror, and before I know it, I've locked eyes with the guy AGAIN. So I turn around and tell myself that okay, that happens, I'm sure it was just a coincidence, but I hope he doesn't think I'm trying to check him out or I'm just being a creeper, or maybe he's being the creeper? Who knows. So I'm concentrating EXTRA hard this time on my running, and low and behold, for a THIRD time I lock eyes with this guy. I'm at the point where I know that I can't look at him again or he's going to really wonder what I'm doing. So, my eyes lock to my mileage and my speed and I spend the rest of my workout trying to get it all over with, hoping this guy either leaves the gym or goes somewhere out of my sight. I finished my workout 1/2 mile shorter than my goal for the day, but I'm overall pretty happy with day 1. Best of all, when I got off the treadmill the man was gone and I avoided what could've been an awkward exit from the gym. I'm ready to spend the rest of my day suntanning, and excited for another couple of miles tomorrow!

3.5 down/71.5 to go!

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