mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Getting the Runs..

So today was the Baltimore running festival, and I ran the half marathon. This is the second time I've done it. The first time was last year, after a casual comment by a friend that I was probably in good enough shape to finish one.

I did finish last year, but with a less than stellar time of 3:07. But I enjoyed the experience - running on city streets, random people cheering you on. I vowed that I would train hard, come back this year, and do much better.

Well, as usual, I didn't train as much as I would have liked. But I did do two shorter races - a 10 miler and a 10k - and put in a little extra treadmill time. I set a rough goal for this year that I wanted to get my time down to 2:45 or so.

I actually managed to beat that goal - my finish time was 2:39 - which means i shaved 28 minutes off last year's time, and cut my time per mile from well over 14 minutes to just over 12.

Which still isn't a very good time. Last year's placement was 7486 out of 8057 finishers, this year's was 7251 out of 9150. Last year I was 575 out of 596 males 30-34 who finished, this year I was 595 out of 655 for my age/gender bracket.

Running is a strange thing - you compete against the people you are running against, but also against yourself. I'm still not a very good runner, but I'm a lot better than I used to be. And for someone who spent most of his childhood being cautioned against physical activities by doctors thanks to the open heart surgery I had when I was 4, and most of his early adulthood being morbidly obese, being mediocre at something I've generally been awful at is, well, progress.

So where do I go from here? I've toyed with the idea of doing the full next year, but I'm leaning against it. The only reason to do it is to say I did, to cross it off a bucket list I've never written (maybe "write bucket list" should be the first thing on my bucket list). But getting better at something I enjoy and don't completely suck at makes more sense to me than doing something much more difficult badly just to say I did it.

So hopefully I'll follow through and actually bump up my training this year. I plan on doing the races I did this year again next year, and hopefully adding a few more - treadmill and Precor time is great, but there is no better way to improve at road racing than to run more road races - it forces you got think about pacing, and hills, and other runners.

But that's long term. For the short term, i plan on doing a lot of sitting, because my legs are already kind of sore, and from previous experience I know that for the next few days I'm gong to be wincing every time I have to climb a flight of stairs.


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