“About 9 Times”

I have never been the athletic type, even though I am skinny, so when my friend asked me last year to participate in a charity event (where you run a mile… in your bathing suit… in the middle of winter) I knew I had to train. I had never run a mile before, so I decided to go to the gym at my school and see how out of shape I actually was. I knew from my years of watching high school track it was a good idea to stretch first, so I did that. Then I told myself “let’s see how far I can go.” I started running and was surprised how natural it felt. I did not feel any pain through-out the whole first lap. Then about half way through the second lap I started to feel the burn in my legs and lungs, I felt like stopping but I decided to push myself and finish the second lap. When I crossed the line the second time I was so proud of myself. I had also learned from watching years of high school track that two laps was half a mile because 4 laps was a mile. When I stood back and looked at the track I noticed that it looked slightly smaller than the normal size outdoor track (yes this is an indoor track). So I decided to ask the receptionist how many times around the track was a mile. She said “about 9 times,” I just about choked on my own tongue. How was I supposed to run nine times around this place when I can barely make it two times around right now? This is impossible!

That's me, in the chicken hat.

That’s me, in the chicken hat.

I was determined to run for this charity event though, so I went home and looked up how to train and picked out a training schedule. I had about a month to get ready. So I chose a schedule where every other day you were supposed to run 2 minutes, then walk two minutes, then run a minute, then walk a minute. Each week you add another minute, so the second week would I would run 3 minutes, walk 3, run 2 walk 2, run 1, and walk 1. It got to the point where I would lose track very quickly of the time I was running so I decided to count laps instead. I would run 3 laps, walk 1, run 2, walk 1, run 1, then walk 1, and then increase the number of laps I did. Then I lost track of the number of laps I ran. So I would instead turn on my music and listen to a per-determined song list where the number of minutes who be about how long I needed to run for. This would both inspire me and keep track for me. Three days before the charity run I had a friend count my laps for me while I listened to my music and I finally made it to 9 laps.

The day of the charity run I ran my mile, froze my butt off and had a lot of fun doing it. Since that day, I have not run a mile, but at least I now know how.

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