Aug 7, 2007

day 11, over the hump

I used to be fat. I still am, but I used to be, too! (with apologies to mitch hedberg)

Well, with today's 4-miler, I am officially more than half-way done with my quest to run 21 consecutive days.
I still have some sort of infection bothering me - it may be the result of some sort of dental thing. The inside of my mouth, rear on the left side feels a little swollen and tender (maybe I bit it?) and, interestingly, the thyroid gland on that side is swollen, but not the right. The whole thing is making me feel generally crummy, but not sick. It doesn't appear to affect my running, only my motivation to do so, as the last few days have been a project to get out of the house. Today I had an excuse, my son was going to a friend's place to play with his kids, so I decided to jog over there while my wife drove him. It was hot, humid, and the run wasn't particularly great - and the road I was running on was very busy without much of a shoulder. I kind of slogged through it - but I was strong when I did it.

Yesterday my "generally crummy" feeling was much worse, and getting out the door simply sucked. It was dark, so I wore my reflective vest and carried a flashlight - and that only served to decrease the motivation. My wife, worried about my condition, suggested I take a day and restart the 21-day challenge (fat chance). Since the sole reason I was out there was to keep the streak alive, I didn't bother with the heart rate monitor. I brought the GPS watch just to make sure I ran 1 mile (which is my personal minimum for the streak), and went out. Predictably, the first few hundred yards sucked.

But it's funny, and this happened on sunday, too: no matter how crummy feel before and during the first few minutes of a run, i always feel good by mile 1. I ended up running just under 3 miles on both yesterday and sunday, even though both runs were planned to be just a mile.

running every day, just to keep a streak alive, has had an amazing result - besides the theoretical beginning of a theoretical habit. i've noticed an amazing endurance and (dare i say it?) speed gain in just 11 consecutive days of running. With a couple of exceptions, I've planned to keep the workouts easy to promote recovery from consecutive hammerin', but most of the easy workouts have turned out harder than planned because i'd decide to go an extra mile, or i'd see a hill and say "screw it, i'm going for it." the hard workouts have been amazing, too - I felt so good after the trail-run up bear mountain that I did a 3½ mile easy jog afterwards. I felt so good after 9 miles of a 12-mile long run that I did the last 3 miles 90 seconds/mile faster than the first 9, and finished strong. I keep exceeding my own expectations.. and my confidence is building as a result.

Frankly, given the streak of great runs I've had, I was a little disappointed that today's run only went good. Pretty funny.

GPS logs: Today's Run Yesterday's Run


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