Training Camp


Between wedding planning and church and violin practice and hanging out with friends and the occasional tennis match, I'm still working out in the mornings and/or running in the afternoons, trying to get ready for my second half marathon, which will take place five weeks from now in Seattle, WA. I've never been to Seattle, so I'm pretty excited about flying out there. Plus, I'll be running with my friend Kristin, who was my original running buddy in college.

Kristin and I circa 2005
At Kristin's wedding this past summer
The very first week of freshman year, we bonded over our shared desire to start running. For our first run we just wanted to try it out; we weren't sure how far we'd be able to go before having to walk.

We made it five long minutes before limping to a stop, gasping and bending over. I thought I was going to die.

Every day after that, we added a minute, sometimes two, to our time. A month later, we were running for thirty minutes or more, and we felt great. Kristin and I continued to run off and on throughout our freshman year. Sophomore year, I joined the soccer and tennis teams, and she started running cross country. We didn't run together much after that, but we would sometimes cross paths on the road to our various practices.

The soccer team my junior year. I'm in the middle of the second row.
Tennis team on our spring break trip to Hilton Head, SC

To this day, I'm convinced that without Kristin, I wouldn't be running. At least I know I wouldn't be running in Seattle. She's intimidating, though, having run two marathons (and planning for a third in April) as well as numerous half marathons. My paltry one half marathon sounds pretty lame next to her list. Still, I'm super excited to be running with her.

Yesterday, I got inspired to do a long run. I've been working out every other morning at the small gym in my apartment complex, lifting weights and running on the treadmill, but I haven't been consistently doing long runs once a week like I should be. But yesterday it was gorgeous outside, so I set off.

Let me just say this: I hate running without an ipod. Having one gives me a solid rhythm and keeps me focusing on the music instead of my pounding feet. Knowing this about myself, I was shocked to realize a mile into my run that I'd forgotten to bring it! I considered going back but figured I'd gotten that far without it; maybe it would be okay.

Thus was the first mile of a seven-and-a-half-mile run, and I hated every second. The whole run was terrible. (Reminds me of something I wrote last year about how running sucks.) I'd like to blame my lack of ipod, but really I just think it was one of those days (which I guess fits nicely into the week I've been having). I had a side cramp the entire time, which caused my back to start aching. My knees hurt, and I couldn't breathe. Every time I looked at my watch after what seemed like ten minutes, less than one-tenth of a mile had passed! Good grief. 

But I made it, and I spent the rest of the night groaning every time I moved. I felt tired and weak...and proud of myself for finishing. Today, though, my knees still hurt, and my abs and back hurt too. You'd think I'd only just started running!

I hope Kristin doesn't leave me in her dust. I hope I can at least finish the 13.1-mile run through Seattle's woods (that, btw, describes itself as being extremely difficult). I hope I don't have to go to the bathroom right in the middle of my race. Oye. I feel like I'm back at square one.

Except...I ran for eighty minutes this time before having to stop. Take that, freshman me.