Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Racking up the miles

The subject of the first post I ever did on this site was "Yeah, I'm a runner." There was actually more to this statement than meets the eye because this was an expression I used sarcastically during my earlier running period to poke fun at my less than dedicated focus. Over the years I have been fortunate enough, through business, to participate in a number of activities such as rock climbing and 12 meter yacht racing. It's always been a joke between my wife and I that once I had these dilettante experiences I would refer to myself as such: "yeah, I'm a rock climber [...sailor, etc.]."

So what's the difference between being a runner and a wanabee runner? I think it's about choosing to do it. I know people who call themselves runners but when I ask them about their routine they tell me they used to run 6 miles four times a week but it's been months since they've done that. My wife isn't a runner and doesn't aspire to running but she is dedicated to fitness and has the potential to be a good runner. In fact, I am confident that if she took up the sport she would quickly surpass me in terms of speed and distance. So perhaps it's better to only have one of us doing that.

My focus right now is on distance and I want to exceed my mileage every month in 2009. Not by a lot but enough so that I will have a measureable improvement between December 2008 and 2009. Haruki Murakami talks a lot about distance in his book and he regularly exceeds 200 miles per month. I don't think I'd ever reach that level but as of now I'm tracking at about 70 miles per month. If I increase my distances 5% per month for the rest of the year I will be around 120 miles per month. The limiting factor is time so I have to build that in. But even if I can log 25 miles per week by the end of this year I will be very satisfied. At that point I can call myself a true runner.

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