Project 8

Another Big Announcement: Project 8

You thought yesterday’s news was exciting? I’m here with another new project! It’s finally a physical project, too. I’m going to run a 10k.

My (Not-So) Athletic Background

I’ve always been relatively in control of my general health and fitness. As a kid, I was a big softball player. All throughout college, I was a bit of a gym rat. I was never really obsessive, but I enjoyed working out. When I started law school, working out took a bit of a pause. A year long pause to be exact.

Even though I enjoyed working out, I’m not much of an athlete. Especially when it comes to running: my knees face slightly inward so I have a strange run. I also have asthma and feet that don’t quite fit properly into any shoe. On top of that, I’m really slow. I tend to interval run: walk x feet, run y feet, etc. My runs in college averaged around a 5k (3.1 miles).

Despite my quirks, I’ve always wanted to run races. Five years ago, during my freshman year of college, I tried to run a half marathon. Somewhere around 8-10 miles into my training, I got nasty shin splints and nixed the idea since I didn’t want to injure myself. Nothing more embarrassing than a freshman girl hobbling to her classes from a treadmill injury. Since then, I haven’t tried distance running.

But with the creation of this blog, I wanted to try a race again. I figured a 5k was a little too easy and with the next highest race being a 10k (6.2 miles), I thought it might be a good goal. To break out of my interval running, I want to try and do it in under 60 minutes.

My First 10k

Fast-forward to yesterday morning. It was time to kick myself into shape. I figured I’d try the 10k without any sort of training to establish a baseline. I’ve gone on maybe two other runs this month, both 5ks. Besides that, the lethargic quarantine lifestyle has kept me from any other workouts.

So at what might be the most out of shape of my life, I took to running the 10k. My goal was to just be under 2 hours. This is what happened:

Mile 1: There’s some nature reserves and parks near my home that I thought I’d run to. The problem is that they’re at the top of a 300-foot hill. So right at the start of my run I was met with elevation. Great. I didn’t even try to run it. At least I’d coast down it on the way back.

Mile 2 and 3: This is where your body just wants to stop. Hands down, these were the most difficult miles. At the end of mile 3, I made it to a lake which was a nice little spot for joggers. All of them waved hello.

Mile 4: I had now accepted my suffering. My hips started to lock a little, but knowing I was on my way back, I found my stride. I was surprised I had it in me since pretty much every other run in my life was done by this point.

Mile 5: I was so jaded at this point. I did coast down that hill, but it came at the cost of cramps on the right side of my body. Also, queue the nausea.

Mile 6-6.2: I made it to my boyfriend’s house with a tenth of a mile to go. I did little laps around the sidewalk of his place. I was pretty much crawling. I looked like an extra for The Walking Dead. But damn it, I did it.

I was proud to have done it. As a student, I’m constantly pushing my mental strength, but to know that I’ve become strong enough to control and push myself physically was really exciting. I think I might have caught the bug again.

But now for the part you’re all waiting for: my time. I clocked in at 1:41:10. I was so proud to have finished, I didn’t even care. I also saw a variety of factors that could be optimized: I was out-of-shape, it was so humid, it was muddy from rain the day before, my asthma kicked up, I didn’t know how to pace myself, etc. etc. I know that to improve by 41 minutes is insane, but I know I can do it.

It was just so gratifying to complete my first run. I know that I’ll continue to get better. Seeing my boyfriend’s face when I walked in, he was so proud of me. As a runner himself, he was excited to see me trying something he loved so much. That in and of itself made it all worth it. I asked him if he’d plan my runs, go on some with me, and be a running sensei to me. He agreed to all of them.

As if that wasn’t good enough, I did some research: the cutoff time for most 10k races is 1:30:00. That means if I were running at 10k for a race I wouldn’t have finished or gotten my medal. So yeah, there’s still some work to be done. And man am I hungry for it.

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791 Days Left – An Update

It was a nice Spring Break this week – I thought. My boyfriend and I spent the weekend in Miami exploring the culture and weather having the time of our lives. We had some free miles that were expiring soon and it felt like the perfect getaway.

Away from the world, we had no idea just what was happening all over. The morning of our departure, we got notice that our university was shutting down for a few weeks. That’s when we knew it got bad.

When we went to the Ft. Lauderdale airport, there was no line for security. TVs were flashing everywhere with cruises that were quarantined, just miles away. That’s when we knew we had to rush home.

We’ve stayed inside away from as many people as we could for a few days even though we were showing no symptoms. In the meantime, our school announced it was switching to online classes for the rest of the semester.

So with social distancing for the next several months, it does change quite a few of my plans for these projects – and maybe future projects too. Here’s what’s on my mind:

Project 1: CALI a Law Class

Oh, online learning won’t be fun. But until I try it, I can’t really say too much. I’ll find out on Wednesday, my first day of online classes. My biggest concern is what it’ll do to the curve: will more students be studying harder with nothing else to do or studying much, much less?

Project 2: Get Organized

I don’t expect any changes here – it’s kind of the perfect quarantine project, isn’t it?

Project 3: Make a Cover Album

Again, I expect minimal changes. Though I really haven’t been working on this one too much – I should really get back to it.

Project 4: Read 100 Classic Books

This project couldn’t be going any better. I’m nearing the end of Atlas Shrugged (and loving every minute of it!). I should be done with in the next few days and I can’t wait to share my thoughts.

Future Projects

With some extra free time and not having to enter the law school for the next 5 months, I do have a little extra time on my hands. I’ve been brainstorming ideas as to how to use my time most productively. I’ve come up with three ideas that you may (or may not) see implemented in the near future.

  • A project with my boyfriend: I’ve been asking my boyfriend to do a project with me for a while, but I’m not pushing it. You may have noticed I don’t really reveal much about him either – that’s just because I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable. After all, this is my endeavor – not his. That being said, if we do a project, expect to hear a little more from him.
  • A running project: Five months is a good amount of training time. With most gyms closed, it does seem like the good ol’ outdoors is the best way to exercise. Could it be enough time to train for a race?
  • A writing project: With Abbey and I reading all these fantastic stories, we’ve been coming up with ideas for plot twists and turns. Actually, we’ve come up with a pretty solid book plot that’s hidden in the labyrinth of our shared files (aptly named The X Files). Would we really consider writing a book?

All of this being said, I am always open to ideas. If there’s any projects I need to try, I’m all ears. Just please, wash your hands first.