Week 1 Training Update
September 18th, 2014 | 3:57pm CST

Whether I’ve used it as a tool or just a way to escape, this whole “running” thing has become a hobby of mine.

I believe that running is the link to what we are meant to be. If nothing else though, it’s just a damn good habit.

For some, it is just that…a good habit. For others, it is a character-defining action. But for most people, running is just something they did during gym class in junior high.

I’ve been stuck somewhere in the middle for years.

I run regularly, but never more than five miles at a time. I am by no means an endurance athlete, but I have a strong desire to break through to that next level.  I don’t consider myself an “elite” runner by any means, but I’ve decided to challenge myself, and become one.

Call it a problem, a blessing or call it a borderline personality disorder – but I have always had the uncontrollable urge to reinvent myself. Because of this, I have acquired many different perspectives over my life.

And in an attempt to embrace this, my life has become structured around this constant personality flux.

I spent my mid-20’s in prison for receiving a Class X Felony. But as you may know, that tale has already been told. My ability to reimagine myself is the biggest reason I got through prison, and it’s the factor that will drive me to accomplish my next personal challenge.

I’ve learned that if you want to do something, you just have to do it.

I don’t want to lie dormant awaiting some other force to propel me into motion. I want to be the propeller.

It is basic physics, we are all energy.

That’s why I started training for a half-marathon. And in 12 weeks, I will run 13.1 miles (yes, without stopping). 

My itinerary will be strict, and I’ve decided to follow the Hal Higdon half-marathon training schedule.

This method was immediately attractive to me, because Higdon supports cross training and doesn’t force you to run an exorbitant amount of miles as you build up to the race. Some training programs have you put so many miles in that by the day of the race, you’ve broken down and have no enthusiasm.

Hal’s program has you ease your way up to ten miles, under the pretense that you should have to push yourself on race day.

Here’s my basic training itinerary:

  1. Run four days a week.

I’ll go on three short runs during the week, and a long run on Saturday. Almost every week, the long run increases by one mile.

Last week, I ran three miles on Tuesday, two miles on Wednesday, and three miles on Thursday. For my long run on Saturday, I ran four miles.

To supplement the cross-training aspect of the Higdon schedule, I will mix in some calisthenics (generally, cross training is executed by riding a bike or an elliptical, but I prefer to do a full body circuit of push-ups, pull-ups, planks and weightless leg exercises).

Aside from some tightness in my calves and Achilles tendon, I’m feeling good after the first week. But of course, the training will only become more strenuous.

  1. Run 5k race at Week 6, and 10k at Week 9. 

Another key component to the Hal Higdon training schedule is that he has you race a 5k and 10k leading up to the half-marathon. For me, these will occur at week 6 and week 9.

  1. Finish.

At the pace of a 10-minute mile, I’m just planning to finish this thing in one piece. Maybe I end up with a busted ankle and some bruised pride, but maybe I succeed and move forward.

After all, the only person I’m competing against is myself.

I know that I can’t stop the ever-blooming nature of my manic existence, but I need to channel this energy in some way.  In order to reinvent myself over and over again, for the better, I must learn to destroy the boundaries.

And more importantly, I must learn to redefine my limits.

(Featured photo is Dolk street art courtesy of theskunkpot.com)

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