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29th April
2011
written by Randy

It seems like the weather in Chicago has been ugly every day since I’ve been back from Poland. At first I was thinking “I’ll just wait until tomorrow to run,” but every tomorrow just brought more cold and rain and high winds.

Finally, I decided that putting it off was bordering on becoming a destructive pattern. I am committed to running 40km on October 16th. The distance won’t get any shorter and the date won’t change, and I am currently, without question, unable to complete that task. I have to train for this.

And so, yesterday I decided to get out and run, no matter what the weather. And it wasn’t pretty. It was cold, windy, and there was even a light rain. But I ran. I survived for just over 3km, mostly running with some walking mixed in.

My walking periods were shorter this time, and running periods longer, which means I’m recovering faster. I don’t know if that means I’m actually getting in better shape, or if it’s just because the air outside is less cold.

For almost the first full kilometer, my knees were in terrible pain. This is the very same knee pain that caused me to give up any hope of running when I’ve tried it over the last 10 years. But since I’m committed to a marathon, I couldn’t give up after 1km. And actually, I’m glad of that, because after pushing through it, my knees stopped hurting. I wonder if it’s just a case where they haven’t been used in this way and needed to get worked out a bit.

The second kilometer was actually pretty nice! Almost no pain, and very little walking. The wind was at my back, my knee pain had subsided, and I was off.  It felt really good!

However, by the beginning of the third kilometer, I noticed a new pain… one that I had also noticed at the end of my previous 3km run:  my jaw hurt. Terribly. The muscles at the corners of my mouth were in a lot of pain, and it reached up into my ears and down into my face, even making my teeth hurt.

There are a lot of variables to work out. Maybe that pain was related to the type of in-ear earphones I use with my iPod. Maybe it was a result of the cold and wind. Maybe I’m holding my mouth the wrong way or gritting my teeth. I’ll have to do several different running experiments to narrow down the root cause.

Raising the stakes

I’m also raising the stakes. As my running days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I’m also going to mix in some additional work on this challenge. On the off days (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), I will be working toward the targets of 100 pushups and 200 sit-ups so that, when this year ends, I should be able to do 100 pushups and 200 sit-ups, and then run for 40km.

I’ll try to give regular updates on my progress.

  • Ksenia

    It looks like some form of masochism running in such unpleasant weather. :) On the other hand, I envy your willpower!

  • http://www.yearlyglot.com/ Randy the Yearlyglot

    I have to do it! There will be many more bad weather days ahead, and who can predict what the weather will be like on the day of the marathon?

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