Friday, February 3, 2012

Holy Hell, We're 12 Weeks In

When Steve came up with the idea for this blog back in November, I thought it was a great idea. Since starting medical school, running had become a source of guilt, and making videos of workouts seemed like a good way to instill a little punch back into the training plan.

I should clarify that when I say "guilt," I mean it in the sense that it's been a long time since I've been in good shape, and not being in shape made me feel all low self-esteemy. I was doing enough to keep myself from gaining weight, and most summers, I could throw down a 4:20-something mile when needed. By and large, though, I just didn't put in the work necessary to do be anywhere close to PR'ing in something. On the other side of the coin, I would also feel guilty if I occasionally let running get in the way of school. School really kicked my ass sometimes.

"You is kind. You is smart. You is important."

It was this weird schizophrenic sort of thing going on, probably as a result of me saying I was OK with my pre-med school PR's being my lifetime bests, but in the back of my head thinking, "No wait, idiot, you can run faster."

In my first year at Delaware (2005-2006) after graduating from Cornell, I ran 4:08.84, which gave me a fun--if not moderately--delusional sense of having a shot at being a sub-4 miler one day. I recently went back to my training log from the end of that outdoor season and found my end of the season recap, which I'll post in another entry. I think it represents an attitude that I maintained into the outdoor season of 2007 when I was getting workouts from Paul McMullen. After that outdoor season, the goal of which was to run 14:35 and 1:50 (neither of which I did), I was pretty frustrated. That frustration was easy to lump into the perfectly logical decision of leaving track behind and pursue more career-oriented stuff (i.e. MD-PhD program).

Was it the right decision? I'm pretty sure it was. I sincerely don't envy the guys my age that are working in shoe stores and making $20k, trying to scratch out a trip to the Olympic Trials. But that's not to say walking away from competitive running at 23 didn't have its drawbacks. There are a whole lot of what-ifs that still irk me. I'm starting to look at breaking 15 as sort of a baby step toward addressing some of those.

So here we are, 12 weeks into Steve's brain-child, and I have to say I'm pleased with the results. At the outset, I thought there was a 50% chance that we'd actually run 14-something for 5000. Now, I'm willing to say that chance is as high as 80%.

"So you're telling me there's a chance."

The downside: Videotaping workouts is an ever-increasing pain in the ass. Ditto for making the videos. What gets us through both of these activities is the promise of people watching them and digging the fact that we're doing this thing. It may not seem like much when you "like" the site or leave a comment, but that sort of thing really psyches us up.

It's also been cool to see the positive enthusiasm from followers. Steve and I are both well-aware that there are at least a few thousand people in the country that can break 15 minutes any day of the week, and that the time is not super impressive in and of itself. That said, getting there after such a long layoff takes work.

I guess I just expected more grumbly naysayers. Nay, there have been nary a one.

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