It has been a strange couple of months. I haven’t felt lost, like I did right after the hike, but I still haven’t felt inspired to finish writing about the depth of my experience on the Long Trail, or train for something new. I’ve had the excuse of it being winter, but that excuse will only last for so long… you know, like through a winter. I’ve gained some weight back and have been feeling the itch to move and be challenged. So… I signed up for a 10-mile run. In Vermont, of course, because I still belong there.
The race is part of a three series 10-miler that my partner, Donna, participates in. I’m only running the last one, with some smaller races beforehand, to prepare. To start, I’ll shoot for a 5K that’s coming up at a local farm, in May. As you know, Donna and I have done a lot of hiking together, and she loves being in the woods, but I’d say she is a runner first and a hiker second. I’m a hiker first and a runner, like, maybe 9th. I think it’s important to note here that, these days, Hulu and Popcorn are 7th and 8th, so it’s been quite a start… gasping for breath after 20 feet- as she laps me and I clap-back, “You know what, man? I’m logging it in MyFitnessPal anyway!!” 7 calories burned and done.
It looks like this sport is not going to reward me in honey buns, like long distance hiking did, but whatever.
I told you in my last post that my Dad would “Method Actor” a new hobby and I’m realizing that the apple doesn’t fall that far from the tree. I’ve only been training for about two weeks. Since then, I bought two new pairs of sneakers, saved 19 Pins on Rhythmic breathing, started judging people on their form, and preaching to my -already a runner- girlfriend, who, by the way, is currently training for the Chicago Marathon. She probably knows the things…. but Type A Kelly doesn’t really give a heck about that. I also started binge-listening to a Podcast. The podcast is from this running Coach out of Tampa who gives information on running for beginners; Coach Debbie.
I’m pretty confident that Donna hates Coach Debbie.
“Honey, Coach Debbie says that we should practice form first, because it’s hard to unlearn bad running habits.” “Babe! Coach Debbie says that you shouldn’t run until your exhausted because you won’t build endurance that way.” “Donna… Coach Debbie, Coach Debbie, Coach Debbie….” At one point, I think I was just yelling running terms as Coach Debbie said them, Honey!?” “Yeah?” “CADENCE!!”
Apparently, I have even “Coach Debbie’d” after getting the same advice from Donna; “Coach Debbie says I shouldn’t start-out running fast, because it’s not about speed, it’s about duration.” “Umm, have I not been saying that to you every day for like 16 days?” With a bat of an eyelash, “Have you? Oh, strange, I must have missed that.” Recently she’s been choosing to go with a more diplomatic approach though, “That’s great honey, I’m glad you’re really learning from someone.” There’s probably a side-eye attached to that diplomacy, but I can’t tell, she’s too far ahead, I told you, she’s a better runner than me.
The truth is, slow or not, I’m strengthening my body in a different way and I’m excited about starting this process. Donna supported me through the hike; trained with me, helped me prepare food and equipment, and I’m looking forward to showing her the same support as she trains for her Marathon. It also feels good to discover new abilities in myself and shake the post-hike weight and winter woes.