Science and research requires a lot of discipline and careful management. One of the things that gave me more pleasure during my years in academia was getting a fresh raw list of results and plotting it along the different groups and graphing them. Running consistently also requires a lot of discipline and management. So when I saw this blogpost from the lovely Carly about plotting her runs, I decided to do the same for mine! I also used Excel and Powerpoint (a real copy cat…) and I was so happy to find a clear increase trend on my running mileage!
I don’t remember exactly when I started to run, but I guess it was around the time of my ‘divorce’* on 2011. I used to be a heavy smoker, and started with intervals on the treadmill. I remember first time I was able to run a full mile! Slowly I was able to run a little bit longer, until being able to run 5k.
It was only on 2013 that I started tracking my running activity using MapMyRun, sporadic runs along the year. There were probably some treadmill runs that I didn’t know how to log at that time. On 2014 I trained hard to complete my first 15km race in November, what helped increase my mileage. 2015 was a year full of personal ups and downs, when I left academia and I was unemployed for 4 months. Even without any running plan or management I was able to almost double my mileage run of the previous year. I guess that’s when I became addicted to run and running became an escape valve for all my problems!
In 2016, the year started with our #200kChocoCardio twitter challenge (run 200k in 40 days, until Valentine’s Day), and this really motivated me to be more consistent with my runs. I set up a running plan on Excel, and it made me log carefully every run. As a result of that, January and February are the top two dots of my whole graph, when I was able to run about 2.5 miles/day (about 75 miles/month). Those months were followed by my vacation trip to Brazil, when I nearly run zero miles. Clearly motivation and goals are, albeit not essential, very beneficial for my running. I joined a challenge to run 1000km in 2016 (#YouVSTheYear) and this is keeping me going so far – 449 km until today – and I believe I can do it!
Even though I run consistently, I still don’t like to call myself a runner. Although I love to run, I’m such a night owl and super lazy person in the mornings. Almost all the races are set to start around 8am on the weekends and I HATE TO WAKE UP EARLY, even if it’s for running. So I haven’t really ran many official races, probably around 5 or so. I’d love to be a morning person, be able to sleep before 1am and wake up without the annoying alarm. After I quit smoking and started working from home, I gained a lot of pounds (about 15-20) and as I’m quickly approaching my 40s, those pounds are stubbornly not going away easily. I hate doing XT training. And I know I should work more on my core strength. And more interval training…
In the end, I don’t run because I want to run faster, or better. I run because I love it! I’m simply addicted to the way my mind gets away from all worries and my body feels a nice runner’s high every time I run. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up for a while 🙂
*’divorce’ is between quotes because although we were never legally married, it was difficult and painful as if we were…