Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Change in Pace

I am not an athlete. In the summertime you might find me in a gym trying to 'get stronger,' 'get in shape' or 'get fit,' but I am never 'training.' Training involves working toward a specific goal. Semantics, all of it, really. Outdoor activity is what summer is all about. Hiking, biking, skating. Well, add one to that list. The least likely one of all for me. Running.

I am certainly not a runner. Running has always been the antithesis of fun for me. Punishment. Run a lap. Run sprints after basketball practice. Get chased by some meathead and barely escape with your face on. I guess this summer I just thought I needed a challenge. I saw the incessant ads for the Warrior Dash. What do you know, it actually looks like fun! An obstacle course spread out on a three mile run. Seems doable. If I could run three miles in high school, I could probably get there in two months. It's on! Time to start training...

The first thing I found out when I started running (jogging interspersed with walking, mostly) is that my shoes were woefully inadequate. They were actually the same shoes I just used for an all-day hike around Mt. St. Helens. Fortunately, opportunity came knocking. Through volunteer work the Snowdays Foundation, I've gotten several invitations to visit the Nike Employee Store. The foundation won a grant from Nike and ever since we've gotten the invites to the store a few times a year. I've never taken them up on it. Until now, that is. Running shoes at wholesale prices are better than running shoes at retail.

Never thought I'd buy a pair of these...

Now I just have to break them in without breaking my feet. Also, the weather is not cooperating. The last few days have been sunny and in the high 90s. I'm not a warrior yet, I'm a warrior in training. I sit inside next to a fan and eat popsicles when it's 97° outside. Speaking of frozen treats, I've even developed a reward for myself.

Best ice cream ever. If I fail, I'm giving it away.

In order to have a reward, I need to set up some goals, though. First, I need to start the race. Harder than it sounds. Real commitment involved. Inherent in that goal is the preparation. Since I never start anything I don't plan on finishing (yeah right) I also resolve to complete all the obstacles and finish with a time, not a DQ. Check out the course map on their website. This could be tricky. Finally, I want to finish in the top half of the field. My age group is going to be full of people who are 'fit.' Probably even people who were running before they heard about this race. I'm banking on a bunch of heavy drinkers and octogenarians to pull the numbers down. That last one's more of a bonus. I'm not depriving myself of ice cream-y bliss just because other people are out for medals. If I finish the race and have fun blitzing the obstacles, then these two months will be worth it.

Here is where all of you come in. By now you can tell I'm the noob of all noobs at this. If anyone has any advice on running, endurance nutrition, willpower, etc. I'll take anything. I put myself out here so that I could hold myself accountable in the end. Between here and there are more 97° days and sunburns and I want the Ben and Jerry's at the end of the rainbow. Let's bring it home and never speak of this weird running shit again.


  1. haha! just do it! why'd you go with the nikes? New Balance makes some bomb ass shoes...


  2. I got the shoes cheap at the employee store in Beaverton... they're pretty comfy, too.

  3. Is it weird that I'm "training" to run a 10 mile race? How did we come upon this endeavor at the same time? My advice is to run early in the morning, because it’s cooler, but that’s up to you. To put this in perspective, after only a handful of times out running, I was able to do 3 miles with relative ease. My goal is to finish 10 miles and had no regards to speed.

    If you’re going to be in the TC the first weekend of October….

  4. Shanna, you want me to get up early in the morning and run!? Maybe let's stick to one thing I suck at. What's next, cleaning while doing math? <shudder> Besides, the race is at 1:30, I figure training near race time is best, right? That 10-miler better have some sort of draw other than just being 10 miles of running...


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