Trying to be a Runner

Running has never been a strong skill of mine. That didn't stop me from trying, though. A combination of lukewarm interest and parental pressure kept me in sports all through middle and high school, which included many years of track & field. I typically competed in the 400 and 100 meter, neither of which I ever placed in. My best time for a mile was around six and a half minutes and farthest distance around six miles (although this pushed my pace closer to jog).

I've recently started running again, almost ten years after the high school days. Sure, there have been a few feeble attempts where I'd work my way up to a mile or two for a few weeks before other priorities cropped up. This time feels different. After a few months I'm now around four miles with a ten minute pace. In fact, just a week ago I made it over six miles, opening up whole new realms of imagined possibilities. Could I make ten miles? How about a half marathon? Why not aim for something even bigger, like next year's Marquette 50?

Long distance running has always seemed unachieveable through the years. Whether I blamed it on my asthma or flat feet or ridiculous height, I just assumed that it wouldn't work out. Now that I'm getting older new reasons have come up, like my hiking-related knee injuries or sore ankles. I think I'm done with excuses.

So, the goal. I'm in new territory now, planning on doing things I only hope are possible. I'd love to run a marathon in the future. That 50k in Marquette would be a dream run come true, with the route along sections of hikes I've enjoyed numerous times. If I can continue running through the cold weather and make it to the spring without injury, I think a half-marathon next summer seems reasonable. I wouldn't go for a record time or a place. Just finishing a half-marathon would be enough of an initial goal for me.

After that the only limit is time. With more than enough hobbies on my plate right now and some big life changes next year I might be a bit pressed to go out and run for a few hours a day. While completing a full marathon either in late 2013 or sometime in 2014 would be really nice, finishing a half marathon, or twice my current distance record, in under two hours would be a big step for this wanna-be runner.