So I am 6 weeks into the 16 week NYC Marathon training plan. Just 3 Years into running. Started innocently enough – middle age spread, elevated blood pressure, New Year’s Day – time to lose a few pounds.
I worked up to 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer before deciding to take my show on the road. First outing was a torturous run/walk of a mile or so that took a good 20 minutes to complete. Running career over. Back to the elliptical. But after a while I tried the treadmill, which proved to be much easier than the street since all you really have to do is lift your feet. So I stuck with that.
My running shoes were an old pair of Nike+ I had gotten gratis at work but never used. They had a sensor in the sole that connected to your I Pod to track your runs. One day it occurred to me that tracking my progress might make running outside more fun. In the process of trying to set it all up I discovered that the hardware was no longer functional. Happily it was also no longer needed – there was an app for that. I took to the streets in my museum quality kicks and pushed play. First run in the books: 1.29 miles, 22:00 minutes, 15:59 average pace. I had successfully set a very beatable benchmark.
By Memorial Day I was ready for my first 5k. My goal? Finish! But I stunned myself by placing in the top third of my age group with an 8:54 pace. It was exhilarating; not just the race itself but the crowds and the atmosphere and the cheering. I was hooked. Five ks, 10 ks, half marathons- I signed up for about a race a month, and usually finished in the top 5 in my age group.The races inspired my training and my training improved my races. By the end of the year I had dropped 30 pounds and the lighter I got the easier it was to run.
Understand that prior to 3 years ago I never ran further than 1/4 mile continuously in my entire life, and I smoked about a half pack+ of cigarettes per day for much of it. I think if you polled the people who know me best they would have voted me “least likely to run further than the refrigerator”. Now I am training for the NYC Marathon. My goal? Finish!
I have been inspired in my quest for NYC by many of the blogs I’ve found describing folks’ experiences in training for and participating in the race. I hope to do the same. You can run – because if I can do it, anyone can.