Thursday, March 18, 2010

Days 21-28: Shame, a powerful motivator

From last Thursday on up until today, my running consisted of the following: bupkus, again. I was sick for ages, I was working late, it was raining, it was St. Patty's Day... I have multiple excuses, and most of them are legitimate, but I was becoming discouraged by my complete lack of advancement. If it's this hard to find the time to run when I only have a few miles to do, how am I going to find the time when the running will take hours? We're supposed to be up to doing four miles at a time, and I can't even do two!

Also, since I've been telling everyone I know about my plans, I've naturally been fielding questions about how my training is going. Having to repeatedly tell people that my training is going nowhere because I've been sick and working late is not fun. I knew that this weekend, I would be seeing many more people who would be asking that same question, and if I had to keep telling everyone, including people who have been generous enough to donate, that I haven't done anything? That I've been too busy telling drunk people wearing green that I refuse to join in the "traditional" trappings of St. Patrick's Day because they offend my strong Catholic upbringing in Ireland? (I'm a Russian-Polish Jew.) Oh, the shame.

Thankfully, I'll be able to answer honestly that I've accomplished two of my goals! I wanted to be able to run a mile without walking and break a ten-minute mile. After work today, I went to the gym, which was pleasantly empty. I guess on the day after St. Pat's, most people figured just dragging themselves into the office was exercise enough, if they made it to work at all. Anyways, I had my choice of treadmills and got to steppin'. I think I made a mistake in trying to start running right off the bat in my other workouts. Since the half is going to test my endurance, I've been advised to start by doing longer distances at a slower pace, then move up to running.

This was a good call, because I was able to walk three miles without stopping or stretching, at a 15-minute mile pace, AND I got to read while doing so. After that, I had finished Agnes Grey and decided to improve my time on the fourth mile. I went up to 6 mph and somehow didn't stop. I stayed there for eight minutes, then went up to 6.2 for a minute, and finally 6.4 for the final minute, plus a bonus, show-off minute. I didn't get too tired, and my shins felt fine, so I feel much better about my ultimate ability to complete the race, even though I'm still a long ways away. Nine miles and some knee pain away, to be precise.

Fun fact: While conducting research after reading Tender Is the Night, I discovered that Zelda Fitzgerald had colitis, and she was sick during the same trip to Italy on which she convinced her husband to name his recently completed novel "The Great Gatsby."

Hey, I'm not going this for my health! Well, I sort of am, but I'm also doing it to help find a cure for Crohn's and colitis. Please donate and help me get to Boston to complete my journey!


  1. Good luck to you. I am walking the Napa marathon and have Crohn's and I know your pal John Roselli. Small world. Good luck with everything. Here's my link:

  2. Thanks, good luck to you too! The Napa trail looks gorgeous, I'm sure it's going to be a great time.