Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Born to Run

The Boss told me that tramps like us (and then he called me baby), we were born to run.

I think, though, that Mr. Springsteen must've been talking to other people with that line, as I'm pretty sure I was more born to sit on a beach with an umbrella drink in my hand.

Or, okay, in a friend's backyard with a sangria in my hand.
I tried the whole cross-country thing in high school and loved it -- minus the running. I despised doing warm-up runs around the soccer fields during practices and before games. I would rather gouge my eyes out with rusty spoons than hoof it on the treadmill.

However, I love and respect The Boss...

I mean, how could you not?
...so I decided that maybe we are born to run.

This girl, though, does not have the body of a runner:

Dam to Dam 2012
What I do have, though, is the mind of a runner: I will get from Point A to Point B by foot, and while I may bitch and moan about it, I will get it done. (After all, those miles aren't going to run themselves.)

This was perhaps the longest introduction to a post in the history of ever, but what I really want to talk about today is how I run, the method I use to get me from the aforementioned Point A to Point B.

When I say that I "run," I use that term very loosely. My running pace is generally about 10-11 minutes per mile (turtle-slow, y'all), but I also incorporate plenty of walking in there as well, which makes my average mile pace more along the lines of 12 minutes per mile. Essentially, I employ a form of the Galloway Method in my training.

Twin Cities Half Marathon 2012
While Jeff Galloway recommends specific time intervals for running and walking (i.e. run for three minutes, walk for one, run for three minutes, walk for one, etc.), I have gone about it a bit differently: lately, I have been running for quite a while, and then when I get super tired, I walk for a bit. For instance, I might run for half a mile and then say, "Okay, I am going to walk until that park bench" or "I am going to walk until the dock." When I start running again, I choose my next goal: "I am going to run until 10th Street," or "I am going to run until this song ends."

Lincoln Half Marathon 2012
While you can set your running app to tell you when to run and when to walk, I prefer to just listen to my body instead. If I'm feeling good running, I don't necessarily want to stop to walk. (Perhaps that's also due to my ever-present control issues...)

Anyway, this method has proven to be very, very effective for me. First, I am not walking too much. I set a goal for myself (run to the pine tree), and I stick to it: I don't stop running early, and I don't continue walking past where I said I was going to. Second, it allows me to go further distances, as I get a bit of a "break" without actually stopping.

Des Moines Half Marathon 2011 (first real race)
On his website Galloway gives many other benefits of the run-walk method:
  • It is a form of interval training (which burns more calories, improves aerobic capacity, and keeps boredom at bay)
  • It gives runners "control" over fatigue, exhaustion, and pain
  • It helps improve finish times in races
  • Runners are better able to conserve their resources by switching between a run and a walk
  • Runners are able to recover more quickly after a long run
  • Runners are able to better appreciate and utilize endorphins
  • Muscles do not fatigue as quickly since they are being used differently
  • There is less stress on joints
  • The body's core temperature is reduced
This is the method that has gotten me through nearly every race I have run (with the exception of Dam to Dam 2012, where I ran the whole thing and then nearly threw up over every single person in the chute).

Dam to Dam 2013
It might make me a bit slower than the speedy sprinters, but it works for me. And like I said, while I may not have the body of a runner, I have the mind of one, and if the Galloway method helps me get from Point A to Point B, helps me cross that finish line after 20k, 13.1, or 26.2, that's what I'm gonna do.

Des Moines Marathon 2012
Happy running, friends!

How do you run? What is your preferred methodology?

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  1. you are a runner, your pace is irrelevant! that's awesome that you have run a marathon!!! my best is 13.1 then I tore my meniscus training for my first full - I will get one in eventually, but I am on rest for a while from running

    1. Thanks, girl! I am totally confident that you'll run a full -- and when you do, it'll be the best feeling in the world (after, of course, feeling like you're dying for the last six miles). :)