Thursday, 5 July 2007

Warning: there is walking involved

Yesterday – 4 July – was not only a holiday for all Americans out there, but was also a milestone for me. It marked 6 months since the day I thought I should start running to prepare for the WDW marathon in 2008. Six months of running on average 4 times a week, for a total of 16km a week or nearly 400km since that day. Running when I don’t feel like it, running when I actually nearly enjoy it, running indoors, running outside, and running in Milton Keynes, in Florida, in Holland.

How much weight have I lost? Not one gram.

Seriously, my weight is exactly the same as it was back in January when I hadn’t run a single meter. It fluctuates up and down as normal but in the main it’s exactly the same. I’ve lost inches, you say? Well, not really – maybe a couple here and there but nothing that can be noticeable to the naked eye. So just HOW much running do I need to do, then, to lose a few kilos?

I can’t say that I’m really looking forward to my sessions, either. I can do them perhaps a bit easier but I can’t really tell because my sessions get harder every time so I never really get the chance to compare how much better I’m getting at running, say, 5k. It is always hard, and sometimes it’s really hard. I suppose that the best part is that I am still doing it, seeing as the results aren’t exactly motivating so far.

When I started I thought that at the 6 month point I would have noticed a change: either some significant weight loss or some significant increase in fitness but I don’t feel that neither has been achieved. I have ramped up my training quite a lot in the last couple of months because I have a half-marathon to run at the end of July, so that will be another good time to stop and take stock. I guess that if I finish it without wanting to die it’s a good sign!

I am kinda hoping that the half-marathon gives me some good motivation – that participating in a race and doing well gives me the will to keep going, seeing as other motivating factors aren’t there. I must admit that I am getting a bit despondent with my training and sometimes I just wish I could forget it all and give up.

But then I remember – there is a special edition Mickey medal in it for me if I complete the WDW marathon. It’s the main reason I’m putting myself through this!

So I plod on. I am neither a graceful runner nor a happy one – I simply go out, put in the distance and then feel pleased that I completed it. Every single step is taken consciously as I feel that I am unable to “tune out” and just run (how do others do that, by the way?) Whenever I run outside I think that it will be this great liberating experience but generally it is a constant worry that it is about to rain, that I will slip on the muddy path or that I am cold. The horrible weather we’ve been having lately isn’t helping my training either – I have the choice of running inside where it’s dry but boring or outside where it is cold but a bit more entertaining. If only the sun shone, at least I would get a tan!

In a burst of efficiency I bought some marathon themed embellishments on our last trip to the States and these too, help keep me going: I’ve bought them now so I must use them to embellish marathon-themed pages! They have lots of inspirational quotes and stuff on them, they are pretty nice. One of them says something like “the training is the work and the race is the reward” and at this point I believe it to be true.

I really need some motivation to keep going, some great quotes so if anyone out there has any suggestions: let me have them!

In the meantime I’ll keep doing what I do and hope that by some miracle I start seeing some weight loss at least. I have a big run this weekend (19k) and I know I’ll feel really proud when I have completed it. Fingers crossed it won’t rain.

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