Wednesday, July 07, 2010

And We're Walking...

Photo: mikebaird, Flickr Creative Commons

I checked my credit card bill for June today. I wish that I were either better at keeping track of numbers in my head or just didn't give a fuck. My teeth are now officially the most expensive part of my body. Between the now-bullet-proof tooth and the braces, looking at my statement was like dragging fish hooks across my scrotum. It hurt. Sure, I was using my tax refund to pay for the braces, but I hadn't been planning on the broken tooth.

Of course, I did have a little fun the past few weeks. I posted a personal record at the 5K run during the last weekend of June and the very next weekend completed my first ever 10K. I spent 7 nights and 11 days over three trips living outdoors. I've been one of the people who keep the Appalachian Trail from disappearing into the wilderness. I finally got to see Bodies: The Exhibition. I got to drink beers professionally brewed by a guy I knew from before he brewed professionally. I've done more reading than I have in a long while and I've watched a lot of Arrested Development. It's been a good summer, even if my goddamn teeth cost me a real vacation this summer.

July looks to be much more dull. I think I'll keep running, but that's not exactly exciting. I don't think we'll be doing much else this month. It was nice that setting the goal of running the Peachtree without walking and then completing that goal easily turned what was previously an intensely boring form of exercise into something that has become intensely rewarding. I've spent part of the last month worrying that I'd quit running as soon as I achieved my goal and pack back on all those pounds I lost while training. Instead, I've already had cravings to lace up my running shoes despite the fact I've told myself that I'm taking a week off to let my left leg recover. My shin protests when I work it too hard.

Of course, I need new running goals to keep myself fully motivated. I've already achieved the sub-30-minute 5K easily and the completion of a 10K. The only goal I've left unfulfilled is the sub-hour 10K. I managed to give up my structured training schedule in June for almost 90 miles of mountainous hiking so I never actually ran even 5 miles before the 6.2-mile Peachtree race. I wasn't sure how hard I could push myself in the middle so I ended up taking one hour and two minutes to complete the course despite the fact I was flying for the last mile and crossed the finish line feeling like I could have doubled the course easily. I guess I just need to do with running what I've done with tennis for the past two years. Official competitions keep me interested. Practice sucks unless there's something that really counts at the end of all that work.

Maybe that's why I hate yard work. When the power went out in the house today when the loggers my uncle hired to thin his pine trees took out a power line behind my house, I climbed up on the lawn mower and mowed my yard. I hate yard work. I hate it so much, in fact, that I'm inexplicably irritated when someone compliments me on a freshly mowed yard. It was kind of cool how the cattle egrets followed behind me with their tan mohawks and vibrating gullets snapping up the bugs my loud lawn tractor stirred up, but the work is boring and I don't really value the results. I'd suck as a suburbanite, at least if I couldn't afford landscapers. I'd much rather be running now.

I'm also trying to convince my dad to partner with my to buy a beef calf and raise it in his unused pasture until it's old enough to slaughter. This has nothing to do with the rest of my post, but then I'm in the mood to ramble and you'll be smart to just suck it up and accept it.


Julie said...

Congratulations on your running achievements!

I can sympathize with your hatred of the credit card bills. It's less fun to spend hardly earned money on things I don't actually want.

Courtney said...

Yeah, medical bills suck. I also hate paying for anything car-related. Sure, I use the car all the time, but I still hate paying for gas and maintenance.

Sid said...

Ha! I've also started to enjoy running. The "addiction" started in February with a 5K trail run in a wine farm. So farm I've done a couple of 10km runs and one 15km run. In less than a month's time I'll be doing my first 21km. Hoping to do the half-marathon in under 3 hours. We'll see how it goes.

And you're right, races do keep one interested in training. Without it I'd stop running. And yep, I've lost weight too.

The only thing I hate about running is that it conflicts with my surfing schedule. Haven't seen the ocean in ages.

Sid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jacob said...

Congratulations, Sid! I've actually considered doing some of the sprint triathlons that are held around the state here. I can easily train for the running and swimming, although there are no indoor pools nearby, so I could only train in the warmer months. The main problem is that I don't have a decent bike. The sprint triathlons are based on 5k run so all of the distances are much shorter than the Ironman you see on TV.

Mickey said...

Did my comment not take, or do you moderate comments?

Well, this is intended as an addition to what I may (or may not) have already said: Thanks for calling Sunday about the get-together. I was out of town with my phone turned off, but it's nice to be thought of.

Mickey said...

Yeah, I guess the first shot didn't take. It had something to do with vomit (or lack of) and the fact that you clearly could have gone faster. But nice work anyway.

Maybe I'll join you next time.

Chris said...

I'm puzzling over Julie's phrase "hardly earned money". It reminds me of the cliche greeting that I hear old southern men use with each other: "working hard, or hardly working?" Not sure why it matters, but which way did you mean it, Julie?

Glad to hear your appetite for running hasn't disappeared after the Peachtree. I'm trying to find a next goal to motivate myself too. I'll probably do the Clocktower in Rome in August, but not sure if I can drastically improve my mile pace by then.

Jacob said...

I thought about running the Clocktower too, but I'm not sure.

I also considered trying some longer distances. I don't know if I really want to do a half-marathon or marathon, but it's tempting.