Friday, September 11, 2009

6x6 Runner: Week 6, Last Weeeekkkkkkk!!!!

I have successfully run six days a week for six weeks and no doubt about it, I’m still going. I love running. The differences in my running now, compared to the beginning of my running plan, are astounding.  And I guess they are also not in the least bit surprising.  I should have expected this. I diligently ran six days a week for six weeks - I never ever missed.

In the first week of Mollie’s running plan for me she had me run a five mile long run. I died. Well that’s a bit of an exaggeration...I finished the entire five miles alive. But I relished every single stoplight that gave me an excuse to rest. I would even slow down so I got a longer time to stand at the corner.

In my sixth week, I ran 5.34 miles and I loved EVERY minute of it. I smiled the entire time and I felt myself running faster than I ever had before. In fact, at the end of the 5.34 miles, I could have gone further. The sense of feeling and accomplishment was absolutely thrilling. The ridiculous pleasure of having finished was overwhelming. I know my vigilant running and

 enthusiasm kept me going through all six weeks.

A significant portion of the inspiration came from reading a book Mollie reviewed earlier called “Born to Run” to which I give two enormous thumbs up. It’s extraordinarily well written, and on another level than any other sports book I have ever read. McDougall, the author, breaks running down to a spiritual and almost religious act. He addresses running as something purely pleasure-filled and rewarding. In fact, McDougall hints at one person highlighted in the book who sees running as the ultimate physical pleasure (oh yesssss if you’re thinking what I’m thinking).

I’ve learned that running doesn’t have to be a chore or a tool only used for weight loss. You don’t have to endure awful runs to have a great run every once in a while. Every single run you go on can be wonderful.  You can make running fun just by smiling- the runners McDougall focuses on are always smiling. On my 5.34 (my new favorite number) mile run I smiled the whole way and the smile was so much more than a simple facial expression.

 The smile made me improve my posture, speed up, and lengthen my gait. It was an outward expression of my true enjoyment of the activity of running!

McDougall discusses running in its most pure form. He’s not selling you new fast running shoes or professional training camps. He’s not even suggesting a new and fantastic runners diet to go on.  McDougall recommends running barefoot. He says all you need to do to train is to be yourself and run. As far as diets, McDougall says, “eat like a poor person”. The lack of promotion of material goods completely refreshed me - Confessions of a Shopaholic this book is not.

So bottom line, I’m hooked. I am a runner. And I will continue to be one.

 Six weeks ago I thought there was no way I could smile while running 5.34 miles. Now who’s to say that I can’t run 50.34 miles? (Haha, eventually!)

Try what I did: run six days a week for six weeks – and then tell me you’re not hooked on running. Trust me, you will love it!