Friday, June 02, 2006

A View from the Park

I finished my first race on April 1, 2006. The Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago is the largest 8K race in the world and that’s what I ran. My time was 1 hour, 1 minute, which isn’t exactly stellar, but the goal was to finish and, even if only barely, I finished.

A friend of mine ran the race with me and when we crossed the finish line she looked at me and said, “I feel great. I feel like I could keep running. I could totally do a half marathon.”

I responded, “I don’t know why anyone would want to run further than five miles.”

Three weeks later I signed up to train for the half marathon with my friend.

I started running in January 2006. I started running because it was a new year and I made a resolution. I started running because I quit smoking in September 2005 and after awhile, I decided I needed I needed a hobby to replace that habit (preferably something a little healthier). I started running because I was slightly bored. I started running because I wanted to lose 10 pounds.

I started training, first just to be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping, because I needed a place to begin. Then I needed a goal. And when I crossed the finish line of the Shamrock Shuffle, I stopped running. And I didn’t start again for three weeks. It turned out that I wasn’t ready to start running simply for “pleasure,” I needed another goal. I wanted to train again. Hence, the half marathon.

I signed up with a training program through Chicago Endurance Sports (CES) and have re-committed myself to running… or in this program run/walking. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself a RUNNER… yet. I’m not sure what I consider myself, but when I talk about my training, my pace, my still first-time “runner” status, I often use the term “ragtag,” but I’m fairly certain I’m misusing the word.

I’m starting A View from the Park to document my journey to the half marathon and beyond, whether I run there or not.

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