Let me start off by saying that a year ago, the only reason I ran was to run from bears. That’s it. Now? Now I’m training for my first 10k.
I have a genetic lung condition that causes the capillaries in my bronchial tube to burst when I over-exert myself. Being fairly anti-exercise as a child, I’ve been out of shape for a long time. This caused even the slightest cardio to wreak havoc on my system and a metallic taste in my mouth.
About a year ago, a new friend had said that he was looking to get back into running. He hadn’t been able to due to his summer job. I hated running, but I figured I’d give it a try. My first day of running, I couldn’t run for longer than a minute at a time and I was feeling it in my chest almost immediately. My second week, I could run for about two minute intervals, but it was still very hard on me. By December, I was running to the halfway point of our loop, taking a break, and running to the end. I wasn’t fast, but I was running.
Then I got sick. Really sick. First week of the new year, I had bronchitis, sinusitis, two ear infections, and two kinds of anemia. I was on pills and injections and bed rest for a very long time. It wasn’t until I found myself crying in the doctor’s office because I couldn’t run that I realized how important it had become for me.
When I was able to get back to running with my friend, I had really slowed down. It was to the point where I had to time myself to run ten minutes into the park and ten minutes back out while he ran the loop.
He has now moved on to bigger and better things elsewhere. I am without a partner to run with and I find it very hard to make that time for myself, even though I enjoy it. I needed a motivator.
Enter The Oatmeal. Yes, THAT one. Matthew Inman of comedic smartypants fame has a wonderful comic called The Terrible & Wonderful Reasons I Run Long Distances where he introduces The Blerch. “The Blerch represents all forms of gluttony, apathy, and indifference that plague my life.” The difference between “hitting the wall” and the Blerch is that the Blerch can be outrun.
This comic is an excellent motivator by itself, but I work best when I have a goal with a deadline. Our dear Mr. Inman has that covered, too.
This coming November 14th, I will be running in the Beat the Blerch marathon in Sacramento. Therefore, by November 14th, I need to be in shape to run a 10k.
Right now, the farthest I can run before needing a break is 3k. I’m less than a third the way to my goal. Let’s see how far I can get between now and then.