fitness, running

the tortoise & the hare

EDIT: Yeah, so my math sucks and I shouldn’t be allowed to do math before coffee, because despite what I say at the end I actually ran something closer to a 16.5/17 minute mile. But my point about being a runner still stands 🙂

After careful consideration, I have decided that I, ladies & gentleman, am a runner.

I know, that’s usually not something that requires a declarative statement. But in the past six weeks, thanks to Couch to 5K, I’m gone from the girl who hated running to the girl who now loves it. I love the energy and adrenaline. I love the way it makes me feel, both during and after. I love perfecting my mix and totally rocking out while on the treadmill.

I now run for fun.

The problem, though, is that I’m not fast. I mean, when I think of running I think speed. I think of those kids back in high-school with their crazy five minute mile, lapping me over and over again as I merrily walked the track. I think of the Olympics and Marathons and Iron Man competitions. When I think of running, I do not think of me.

Until now.

After some very brief lazy research (ie: Google), I can’t seem to find a definitive answer to the question of what is the difference between jogging and running. Some people argue it’s a question of pace, with anything below a 6 minute mile being running. Others say it’s not about pace but effort. One person’s jog might be another person’s run. I mean, I might not be fast but man if I’m not covered in sweat by the end. Dr. George Sheehan was once quoted as saying the difference is “a race number,” meaning it’s only running if it’s competitive. Then there are those that say there isn’t any difference at all. That jogging is running and it’s just a matter of semantics.

As it turns out, I’m faster than I think: This morning I decided to take today’s Couch to 5K (Week 6, Day 3) outside. For the past few weeks I’ve been doing it on a treadmill which has worked well. But it’s hard to judge pace and distance that way because I have to guess since I don’t know what my natural speed is. So today I decided to find out by doing it outside along the East Bank of the Flats and then came home and mapped it out.

Not only did I run a little over 2 miles (admittedly, I did take a pause here or there around the halfway point), but I also ran it at a pace of an 11 1/2 minute mile.
Okay, sure. It’s not earth shattering. I’m not going to be winning any races anytime soon. But let’s not forget that, um, I don’t run. Or I didn’t up until about 6 weeks ago. And in high-school I walked the single mile required, so foget running over two of them. Oh yeah, I also weigh 237 lbs. My high-school self weighed considerably less and I just blew right past her.

I did have one funny moment on my run: On the way back I had to stop for just a second and as I did so, I heard a car horn honk. When I looked over, the guy was smiling and visibly cheering me on. So thanks, random dude in the white SUV!

Personally, I think it’s a question of attitude. I think it’s something you have to define for yourself. It’s not about speed or distance. It’s not about doing it, but wanting to do it. It’s about looking forward to it. It’s about wanting to improve, whatever way that means for you. Maybe it means running faster or maybe it means running farther. I really think the difference between jogging and running is entirely in our heads.

I think a jogger becomes a runner the minute they say so.

And so, I am a runner.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

2 thoughts on “the tortoise & the hare”

  1. I hated the run in highschool too. I'm pretty sure that I walked just fast enough to make it under the 15 minute time limit. Funny how things change because now I love to 'jog.' I've never been a runner, and your time sounds pretty good to me!


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