2012 Champaign St. Jude Runners

2012 Champaign St. Jude Runners
Our AMAZING group of runners for 2012~

St. Jude Supporters

St. Jude Supporters
After running for 20 hours, the thousands of supporters lining the streets to cheer our arrival is an important and welcome boost!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hitting the Sidewalk Again

I noticed that my countdown dutifully indicates there is less than 4 months to the Run. Yikes! Time to prepare, once again, to get ready to run to Peoria.

Last year I think I pretty well established that I am not overly fond of running. I've not gotten to the Shangri-La goal of a "runner's high" (I've heard much about the euphoria that serious runners will often get from pushing past a certain point—I've only gotten some aches and pain out of the deal).

Perhaps someday I'll understand what the big deal is all about.

For me, the big deal is simply to get my running shoes on, and hitting the pavement...which I did this past weekend. I was pretty pleased to have been able to run about a half-mile before I had to stop and walk a bit. Truth be told, it was satisfying simply to begin the process of training for the 2012 Run.

A little backstory.

Last year I struggled with my run pace. I'm not what you would call a blazingly fast runner. I plod along. But I was able to work towards an 11-minute mile—respectful enough to hold my own on our way to Peoria last year. I also wrote about my frustration in trying to figure out methods to run faster. Knowing in advance that my current pace (after a seven-month hiatus from running) will be slow, I got thinking about the difference between a slow run, and a fast walk. Or more accurately, when does walking end, and running begin?

A quick search on Google, and answer is surprisingly simple: running begins when both feet leave the ground. Or put another way, if there is always contact with the ground at any point, you are walking.

Back to my run. With my current pace, I was actually trying to figure out if I was, by definition, walking. It's surprisingly challenging to figure out if there are any shoe molecules on concrete molecules (well, at my pace, anyway). So, I've made my familiar turn northbound along my route, and am still trying to figure out if I am actually running or not.

Then I hear a rather bright, chipper (annoyingly so) young female voice behind me: "Excuse me!"

A petite young lady, headsets on, smokes right on by me. Not just runs past me. I'm talking Star Trek (insert zoom-sound here) zips past me. She quickly fades ahead of me as she puts astonishing distance between me and my plodding feet.

I literally muttered to myself, "Yeah, sister...YOU carry a hundred pounds more and see if you can still run that fast."

Then I noticed something before she completely faded from view.

She was running (her feet really were off the ground). I was—sadly—walking sorta fast.

No matter. My training has begun. I will be running for St. Jude with my feet off the ground!

See another reason why I and others run: Ellen's story

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