Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Personal Milestone

Not work related, but life related.

For various reasons, I decided at Christmas, that as of boxing day, I was getting fit... Just like the other 10,000 people that panic after seeing themselves in a mirror after the season of eating.

However, I've still not 'biffed out', and with help from my trusty book 'Fighting fit' by Adrian Weale I've been hammering out the runs.

Now, no goal is achievable unless it is SMART (oh god someone actually listened in those lessons). For those who didn't this acronym means that a goal must be S-Specific, M-Measurable, A-Attainable, R-Realistic, T-Time bound.
So, after boxing day I took a good look at myself, and decided that my fitness goal would be to be able to run 10 miles in under 60 minutes before I'm 23. When I started I was 20, so this gives me a good length of time to achieve this goal. Its wholly measurable and very realistic.

So, when I started I was weary, I'd never really run more than a mile before, and setting myself the quick goal of being able to run 3 miles seemed like a monumental challenge. I won't lie, I thought it'd take ages. But, after a few weeks of pain and commitment, I finished a 3 mile run without any walking breaks, I was ecstatic, a happy man indeed.

To compliment my runs, I decided (the book decided) I'd swim twice a week, on 'rest days'. Swimming? I fucking suck at it, but once again, I set a small scale goal, to be able to swim for 30 minutes continuously (front crawl) and, after teaching myself to swim (you laugh, I looked like a drowning retard when I started), I slowly increased from 15, to 25 to 30 minutes! Wham, I now knock two of these out per week.

the runs were the important part, and I was still stuck on 3 miles, I'd run these for about two weeks, and was still finding them a strain, but I needed to press on in order to reach my goal. I upped the mileage from 3 to 4.5, and then ran 6.5 on sundays... 6.5! once again, the feeling of improving hid the pain, I'd just ran 6.5 miles without stopping at 2am in the morning, and no one was taking it away from me. I broke my strict diet and bought an early Easter egg to celebrate.

But what of this Milestone?

Now I'm back home, I've increased the 4.5 mile run to 5, as the new route is 100% flat. 5 miles, 4 times a week, that's half of ten, my final goal! By this point I'd given up on timing myself, it was laborious and generally didn't yield many results worth getting exited over, but as I left the house today I glanced almost subconsciously at the clock, a quarter past 1PM. I set out for my run, naturally run quite fast, and slow down for the long mileage runs, but bugger that, this time I'm going to keep tempo and push, I feel like punishing myself. After what feels like an age, I finally pop the keys in the lock to the front door and begin making my way to my Bergan in the hallway (off for a weighted walk across the fields). I notice the clock, think nothing of it... Wait, its exactly a quarter to two... That means I was out for almost bang on 30 minutes... 5 miles? 30 minutes? that's 6 minute miles! I'M HALF WAY!

I've given myself till I'm 23 to be able to run 10 miles in under 60 minutes, and today, under four months into my fitness routine and I'm statistically half way. I smiled hard, slung my Bergan and boots on, and headed for the fields.

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