Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!

Even at an early age I was a runner. I wasn't fast, but I always had the endurance of a kid 5 years my senior. If we ran short distances, I would get smoked. But longer distances? Muah-ha-ha (my evil laugh!) Those were my specialty. Don't get me wrong...I had every aspiration of going fast, fast, fast!  If you know me well, you know I like to go-go-go...I enjoy being fast-paced! It means I get through quicker and move on to something else.  Speaking of guys who just want to go fast:

I am SO paralyzed! haha Great clip...had to throw that in the post today!  Back to my story... In elementary school P.E. class, we had to run one lap around the school grounds before we could play on the playground. Now kids, this was back in the day before the cool playground equipment existed with nice pea gravel to run around in and draw-bridges and zip-lines. All we had were monkey bars, balance beams, and a jungle gym! Ya know, playground equipment that actually made kids be active? 

You might ask, "What did you do when you got bored with what little equipment you had?" Well...we played in the dirt (sand-covered, east Texas clay to be exact). We played 25 on 25 soccer games that usually involved the 3rd graders beating us 2nd graders up...a tradition we proudly continued the next year! What?! Don't tilt your head in disgust at me. It was a right of passage! We played pick-up basketball games on asphalt that usually involved bloody elbows and torn jeans. We were active, plain and simple.

After using Nike Running's Map-It (you have to create an account so you can log in and access the Map-It feature), I see that one lap was a half mile. You can either walk or run this mandatory half mile--your choice. But if you walked, it meant less time you got to play on the awesome playground equipment. If you ran the lap, you had first dibs on balls and jump rope. But the most awesome benefit to running it? A chance at finishing FIRST. If you finished first, you had bragging rights on all those losers! Also if you think about it, how many times in life do you get a legit shot at finishing first? I think this is where I found my competitive spirit that I still retain to this day. I go all out or I go home...none of this half-assedness!  

I also can't say I didn't eat up the admiration I got from the other kids who thought I was fast. My little secret was that I wasn't! I just didn't give up. I would sprint the whole thing and get a high-five from my P.E. teacher at the end...not being able to breath! I took this mentality with me into my fun runs. (Well.....I don't know if it was as much a mentality that I concentrated on or if it was more so that I didn't have any proper training!)  

In the one-mile fun runs I would do in conjunction with some longer distance events my dad would run, I would just sprint. The whole mile. I was a consistent 7:30-miler kid because I wouldn't jog. Even though I was a young kid, I wouldn't dilly-dally (or piddle-fart?) around. I would try to leave the other kids in my dustttt! But because I never trained or practiced running for these events, I would cross the finish line and throw up in the storm drain. Some kids scoff when they first hear their junior high coaches yell "you're gonna run until you puke!" as if it doesn't really happen.  Trust me, if you go hard enough and long enough (that's what she said)...you'll regurgitate everything that hasn't fully digested. And it'll feel great! You just destroyed every other kid on the course and at what cost? Last night's sloppy joe's dinner and the inability to replenish your oxygen-starved lungs? Pfffft! Peanuts. It all pales in comparison to the satisfaction and high you get from finishing a race.

This is one thing I love about running--the immediate satisfaction of accomplishing something you set out to do. If you're a part of the instant-gratification generation like me, this is something we all love!

The big ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run is this weekend! I've not really trained as much as I feel I should have, but it's only a 10k.  I think I've maybe put in 13 miles of running in the last 6 days with my gym workouts? Ha....nothing to write home about!  But the weather forecast looks decent for the next two days so I'm hoping to shoot for a 7 miler tomorrow and a 5 spot on Thursday. I want a sub-48! My last three runs I've averaged anywhere from 7:52/mile to 8:04/mile, so I'm not sure how realistic my goal is. And it's not too late to sign up for the race--they have late registration starting tomorrow for only $27. Remember, the money raised goes to Texas students as HLS&R scholarships so come out for a great day of sunny, 50ish degree weather!

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