Anent a conversation with kniedzw last night, today I decided to run a mile.

I’ve been doing cardio workouts since the end of January, but that has involved running on an elliptical machine. It’s easier on my joints, which is always appreciated, and the machine tells me interesting things like my heart rate and how many calories I’ve burned. Working out on that, I’ve often done two, two and a half miles, maybe a little more. But that doesn’t translate directly when running on a track, so I decided to see what happens when I run a mile there.

I don’t like it, is what happens.

That was a miserable experience. Jarring and a little painful at first; soon I was breathing much harder than usual (I’m still coughing a bit now), and I became desperately thirsty (having left my water bottle next to the track entrance, since I would splash it all over myself if I tried to drink while running). By the last of my five laps, I was feeling sick to my stomach. I kept myself going through an alternating pattern of carrot and stick: “Come on, you wimp. When you pass that post, you’ll be seventy percent of the way done. It’s only a mile; a mile is nothing. One more lap! Dude, you suck. Your characters are so much harder than you are.” (Yes, I really did goad myself on with that. Mirage, I decided, was entirely an unfair comparison, so I told myself Deven could kick my ass, which is true.)

The last time I ran a timed mile would have been in seventh or eighth grade, i.e. the last time I was forced to do it for P.E. I don’t remember what the fitness standard was for a girl of my age — it might have been as high as fifteen minutes for a mile, or as low as twelve; something in that range — but whatever it was, I scraped through at something like four seconds under the time limit.

So I can say with confidence that I have now run the fastest mile of my life, at a spectacular (<– sarcasm) 10:39.

I’m not going to make a habit of doing that. I may, however, use it as an occasional litmus test of my fitness. Maybe try again in a few months and see if I can do it in less than ten. (kniedzw, for the record, has me thoroughly beat; he does an eight and a half-minute mile. Some of that difference is his length of leg, but not all, by any means.) I know now that I can actually run a mile, for values of “run” including “jog;” back in junior high I know I walked at least part of that time. The next step (hah) will be to see if I can do it a bit more quickly.

But not any time soon. Because that wasn’t fun.

0 Responses to “*koffkoff*”

  1. ombriel

    Keep doin’ it and it’ll become fun…eventually (says the ex-track runner). 😉

    • Marie Brennan

      I don’t think I’ll ever be a runner. Too many ankle problems, too many knee problems, too much hatred of breathing that hard.

  2. unforth

    A 10 min mile ain’t that bad, honest – it’s about what I run, for whatever that is worth. When my mom was jogging every day and racing, she was running a 7 – 7 1/2 min mile. It’s great that you could do it, honest, an astonishingly high percentage of people can’t, I think.

    And comparing yourself to Mirage is most definitely NOT a fair comparison. She could kick the ass of everyone we know without half trying. Even the ones who are pretty well trained. 🙂 I don’t know Deven yet, so I can’t judge that one. 😉

    • Marie Brennan

      Deven is an ordinary human, without Mirage’s advantages. He’s about as physically fit as you would expect of an Elizabethan gentleman in his late twenties who recently got back from a badly-managed war. So, he’s fit, but not supernaturally so.

  3. kendokamel

    I never liked running on a track (or a machine, for that matter)… Having run both cross-country and track, I found I liked the “real” ground better than anything.

    You should check out the cross-country course, over here behind Fountain Park. (Just make like you’re driving to the ALF and then veer right and park.) It has rolling hills, straightaways, marked distances, and even a turn past the water station on the back 9 of the golf course.

    It’s so easy on my totally defective, screwed-together, missing-several-pieces knees.

  4. prosewitch

    Running is definitely not for everyone… and even those of us who like to run aren’t necessary all that speedy. 😉

  5. intertext

    I commend (and envy) you for being able to run even a quarter of a mile, let alone a whole one! Not that I’m terribly unfit, but I have arthritis, had a hip replacement last year, so walking is the only thing I can do. Think of bods like me who can’t run at all and don’t be so hard on yourself!

  6. nconstruct

    Running=meh. The only reason I do it is to be acclimated to the local environment thusly being the scorching sweatiness of the bogtropolis in a Texas summer. I don’t enjoy running on paved roads so I don’t. Sticking to the trails of parks means good tree cover and the negative reenforcement of being attacked by thousands of mosquitoes if I stop. Try out as many types of cardio you think you might like. None of them are easy to begin with, but variety is the spice of life.

    • Marie Brennan

      My preference is for swimming, but it’s too much of a hassle with my hair; not only do I have too much hair, but I have to leap through a series of hoops to keep it from becoming chlorine-damaged, and then it’s wet for half a day after.

      • nconstruct

        I miss swimming competatively. I’m too old for it now but I would still do a few hours lapping the pool. I wonder what the overall reaction would be now that I’ve let the beard run rampant..

        And I hear you about the hair. It may be short now, but it was pretty long when I was in a pool every morning.

  7. squishymeister

    I’ve been up and down on the running thing myself. I’ve *always* hated it though. Though in college Devon and i used to go night running all the time, though we focussed more on time spent running than distance. We eventually got up to a 45 minute jog (though I run slower than most people walk). Jogging is so much easier when I’m not as heavy as I am now though (carrying all that weight makes it hurt oh so bad) Though I can still run a mile even being over 200 lbs.
    Though jogging is in fact not good for your knees and ankles, it is probably the best cardio workout you can get. Nothing even comes close to a full body cardio workout like jogging.
    I hardily recomend going with a friend though, as talking to somebody tends to keep your mind off how miserable you are that you are running.

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