Monday, December 26, 2011

Aaron's Post - I HATE RUNNING!

First, thank you again for everyone who participated in the Home for the Holidays Virtual 10K.  It was a huge success! I am working with Robin and Ashley on gathering all the stories and pictures and picking winners.  We will also have a list of the results but they are still coming in as of 6 p.m. tonight so we can't do it just yet. 

 If you have not submitted your time or even your attempted run please do so here by Tuesday night. You need to do this to be entered into the sweepstakes for all these cool prizes.

Next up, we have a winner for Skin Sake Sweepstakes and it is Britton.  Congrats Britton!!

That is it from me actually.  My shoulders need a rest.  Aaron and I have been talking about him starting to write some fun guest posts for a while and it seems like tonight is the night.  He has graciously decided to give me the night off.  Now, I may be biased but this guy is pretty much the best.  You know this little 10k we have been doing, Aaron has been behind it all. He is the guy behind the scenes, making sure this whole thing went off without a hitch (technology wise).  When Ashley, Robin, and I decided to do this race, I asked him to help and quick! He had registration up within the hour.  So without further ado my amazing husband's first post: 

Hi everybody!  As my darling wife said, I'm the guy behind the scenes, and it's about time that I made a public appearance.  The fact that I'm going to try to run a 5K this weekend provided a perfect segue into doing this.  But enough of that; more on me.  Let me tell you a tale about the athlete who hates to run...

I'm a competitive athlete.  I play sports that pit one against another.  It's just what gets my heart pounding.  Growing up, I always played some form of hockey, whether it be in the street, on the ice, or in my bedroom.  During the summers, it was always tennis.  In high school, I played three years of volleyball.  Do you see the pattern yet?  All of these sports are adversarial and are focused on short intervals of agility, coordination, and movement followed by a lull.  Even playing goalie fits this pattern since the puck's not always in my end.  I was trained to push hard for short bursts, cool down, then do it again, all while trying to beat my opposition.

Unfortunately, this mindset and physical training doesn't lend itself to running and biking, both of which I despise with all of my being.  Long periods of continuous motion with the only "competition" being the mental struggle to keep going is just not how I've been wired all these years.  For me, everything hurts, everything gets tired, and the clock laughs as it ticks by slower and slower.  Who'd have thought that a minute would take so long?

The good news is that this can change with the right conditioning.  That didn't quite happen with me over the years.  The only time I ran was for the Presidential Fitness Mile.  That was a long enough distance for me.  With that, here's a brief history of my running trials:
  • 6th grade: I knew everything I needed to know going into it - "pace yourself", "it's not a race", etc.  I ran at my natural cadence (likely a 6-8 minute mile pace), but couldn't keep it up.  Finished around 10:30.  Not terrible except for the fact that my face was purple, my body temperature felt like 150 degrees, and everyone of my classmates and teachers told me I looked like crap.  Good times!  Sorry, no pics available, but this may give you an idea. 
 I'm a little tired!
  • 7th grade: A summer outside at camp that included a good deal of soccer and running/walking helped the issue, but I never paced myself.  7:45.  Run-walk.  I was keeping up with all the fastest kids but didn't have the endurance.  No purple face this time though!
  • 8th-12th grade: Hovered between 8 minutes and 11 minutes.  The only thing worth noting was getting beat by the same group of girls who looked like they were more or less stumbling forward like drunks on their way home from the bar (I think they call that jogging).
  • College: Yes, I cheated my way out of the phys. ed. requirement at Brandeis.  We needed to run 13 laps in a certain time and each had 13 popsicle sticks to represent a lap.  At the end of each lap, you were supposed to throw them away.  I took off with a group of 20 kids and knew I couldn't make it.  So I did what anyone else would do; I dropped other sticks behind curtains on the other side of the indoor track!
  • College (part 2): After a summer landscaping during the days, playing ultimate frisbee after work, and for a few weeks, even running with Steph on the beach for 30-40 minutes at a time, I returned to Brandeis with the intent to keep it up.  I ran a bit, but lost the habit and gave up on the distance running in exchange for the excellent training program of "run as fast as you can for a mile".  I PR'd at 7:00, but got sick the next day (likely a relapse of the Mono that Steph gave me the previous year... or improper hydration and refueling) and never got back into that groove.
The rest is pretty much the same.   Mind you, during this time, I was crushing the rest of the Presidential Fitness test (aside from pullups, which are really hard when you don't work out and are overweight).  In fact, I loved the shuttle run - the one where you run 50 feet, pick up a block, come back, put the block down, and do it one more time.  I was beating or closely losing to all the football and basketball players.  I was a beast in gym class and always felt a connection to the term "Gym Class Heroes".  But I digress...
Running just never suited me.  When I met Steph, she opened my eyes to the idea that some people actually choose to run for more than a mile at a time and enjoy it!  My mind was blown!  A cold sweat came over me.  Fear gripped me.  The world was spinning.  The only thought in my head was, "WHO WOULD BE CRAZY ENOUGH TO DO THAT?!?!"
Oh right.....

I never knew that it might be me...

Just under two months ago, I started a couch to 5k program with the goal to run the race without walking (or collapsing).  Fresh off my ankle sprain, I started interval training.  Everything hurt; my ankles overpronate, my feet are flat, I'm bowlegged, I have a disposition for tendonitis in my knees, I'm overweight, my running form is garbage, and I'm not conditioned for this kind of activity.  But I stuck with it.  No way was I going to walk that course.  Eventually, the longer intervals made the previous week's long interval feel like a breeze and I had momentum going my way.  That is until I fell down the stairs on the way to Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  I hobbled my way around and it was much less severe than my left ankle sprain in July, which kept me off the ice for 2 or 3 months.

After a few weeks of intense PT and elliptical sessions that made Steph question how fast someone could go, I was cleared to get back on the ice and to start running again.  With that, I hopped on the treadmill to run my first full mile in over 2 years.  Boy, did that suck!  A 10 minute mile was enough to make my heart rate skyrocket, but I finished otherwise no worse for the wear.  No major pain other than just plain tired legs.
Blazing speed!

Now with a week left, I'm gearing up for the day when I can finish the 5K without slowing down and eventually the day when Steph will eat my dust.

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