nothing sucks the fun out of running like a training schedule. hell, nothing sucks the fun out of anything like an anything schedule.
FACT: this is one reason why my mom thinks i'm adopted. she plots, plans and purchases ticket. sharpens a special pencil to check things off her to-do list. if i didn't share the same crinkly knees that look like a fetus-face, i probably wouldn't make the tremendous haul that i do at christmas. hmmm ... cuisinart.
but i've done the whole "i'm not training for this thing" thing, and while it was fine, there is little satisfaction from laying next to the medical tent, parched, spent and sore, begging anyone for a sip of their band-aid.
FACT: i like doing things i hate. what am i, if not a tiny petri dish of scientific experimentation?
finding a training guide was easy. i just went with the same one i have ignored every other year. hal higdon's half-marathon training guide. i have no idea who hal higdon is -- if he is an actual runner, or just a guy with club foot and big dreams. and i went with the intermediate level because, let's face it, "novice" is just another name for "pussy," and i ran high school cross country. [15 years ago].
FACT: a good running mix is crucial for me, and right now i've listened to my various mixes so often that they have begun to sound like glorified ring tones. the other day i put my ipod on shuffle, which is good way to discover new songs to add to a bigger, better, faster running mix in the future. songs like:
"story of the grandson of jesus," by cloud cult
"i want you back" by jackson 5
"the fear" by lily allen
"everyone you know" by now, now, every children
there is no good song to run to by she & him;
"bleeding love" by leona lewis feels like running in a romantic comedy montage; "that's not my name" by the ting tings is a good song to run to, and then immediately sever your own throat with your own shin bone;
running to "ok computer" is better in theory than practice.
and the really interesting thing i learned:
there is something really great about the hold steady's cover of "against the wind." it is a crazed and impassioned song by a man who sounds like five minutes earlier he was laying on the couch. then he propped himself up just enough to drink some campbell's chicken and stars. but he still had something really important to sing, and by god he's was going to do it.
it. is. fantastic.
old club-foot's plan is a 12-week plan and i, of course, miscounted. with 11 weeks to prepare, i started doing the workouts i should have been doing the week before. the week i was yawning big, taking it easy, and thinking, "so pretty soon i'll get serious about this stuff. but right now? i wonder what a self-induced bed sore would look like."
i was going to throw a big giant blah blah blahler contest, and let people predict how long i could stick to a training schedule. but that fell apart as soon as i had to use more than two hands to count something as unpredictable as weeks. you have to admit, every year i get closer to being the sort of person who could potentially stick to a 12-week training guide. i mean, i've had the same boyfriend for 2.5 years and i ate a mushroom a few months ago.
FACT: nearly every day that i am at the YMCA, i catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror before, during, or after my workout and wonder where my fashion inspiration is born. and why i don't think far enough ahead to realize that [in order]:
a) i'm wearing a lite blue shirt with green letters, with black pants with red stripes;
b) unless i want to put my clothes-clothes back on, which i don't, i have to go home wearing a long coat and short shorts;
c) how is it possible that there is enough liquid in my body to make this much sweat? d) holy crap! this is exactly what i looked like in 1994!
there was also an "oops i forgot to bring a shirt to wear over my sports bra" day that went horribly awry. i left the gym looking like the dizzy star of a porn called "forrest bumps."
so i melded week one and week two, and then i melded week two and week three when i punked out on week two's long run because the ymca was closed for easter. i flatly refuse to run outside with a stubborn will last seen when i flatly refused to take swimming lessons and flatly refused to drop a deuce in the dorm bathrooms.
what the hell. let's have the contest anyway. winner gets a framed photo of my freakish fetus knee: how long do you think i can loosely adhere to a 12 week training schedule before i decide to screw it all and work on my art?