In the last eight or so months, I have got into running. This is a pretty good effort given that at the beginning of the year I could barely walk because of a back injury cause by trying to shift a marble-topped table in a restaurant!
20 years ago I used to do some running, but only as part of triathlons. My preferred sport was cycling. I could just struggle around a 1 km ocean swim without drowning. And running was only a little better. I seem to remember running a hilly 10 km in 50 minutes. Not hugely fast, but okay. In those days I weighed 60 kg, and I could not put on weight.
Spin forwards 20 years and I am now 20+ kg heavier. I started running as a way to lose some of the extra kegs while still exercising my dogs (multi-tasking is important!). But now I am loving it!
I have only lost about 4 kg, which is a bit disappointing. My objective is to get back down to about 75 kg. My fitness level has increased dramatically though. When I started running I could only run two light poles, and then had to walk for one. I have now run up to 15 km, even if it was very slow. I have also run a few races:
Greater Springfield Run for Life 5 km – 29 mins
Mousdash 10.5 km (around Mt Coot-tha) – 75 mins
Lung Foundation Corporate River Run 10.44 km – 61 mins.
I had planned to run the 10 km run as part of the Brisbane Running Festival, but got sick the week before so ended up doing the 8 km walk with my wife. It was rather humbling to be skylarking along and have guys slog past you who had been running for four hours and had another 10 km to go!
I have also recently joined a running club – the Intraining Running and Triathlon Club. The club is obviously connected to the Intraining store in Milton. I have been along to the Monday and Wednesday beginners’ groups a few times. There is a real diversity of runners’ shapes, sizes and abilities, which is great – I am not the fattest or slowest! These groups cater to the beginning runner who can not yet run 10 km. While I can run 10+ km, I am still finding the training useful. My main objective is to increase my speed. My endurance is okay at this stage.
The Intraining group is very relaxed and friendly. People come and go as suits them. There is no guilt factor to missing training some weeks – which is good given my family and work commitments. I have been told that there is usually an influx of people in January – everyone trying to fulfil those New Year resolutions. I am told that sometimes the beginners’ groups can be as large as 40+ people!
The group also seems to suit people (like me) who are event orientated, such as the Brisbane Running Festival or many of the numerous fun runs throughout the year. Brisbane Road Runners Club runs races every fortnight – I simply could not commit to that level of involvement. The big events suit me – and they are fun.
My goal races are currently:
Clem 7 Tunnel Run 10 km – date to be confirmed, but likely to be in February/March 2010
Twilight Running Festival half marathon – 21 March 2010
My ultimate objective is to run a full marathon the year I turn 40 (or before). The following two races are therefore on my goal list too:
Brisbane Marathon – 15-16 May 2010
Gold Coast Airport Marathon – 3-4 July 2010
If I do not make the full marathons this year, I can always do one of the shorter races in the program and aim for the full marathon next year.
What this leads me to is looking seriously at more running gear. Things like running gels, running shorts with pockets (more than just a fob pocket, and shorts with these are really specialist gear), a better pair of shoes and perhaps even a heart rate monitor/GPS watch. But that is a whole other blog post …
Run on dudes!