Born to (Eventually) Run

A runner's journal.

June 21
This is the summer I finally whip my body into optimal shape. My goal is to average 40 miles a week and then celebrate my summer of discipline by entering the Bozeman Marathon in September. I would start running today, but I don’t want to miss this afternoon’s Rachael Ray Show. Rach is hatching up a special summer recipe for sloppy joes. 

June 22
Began running today. Stopped after one mile out of fear that I had lacerated my spleen. Researched a running book when I returned home. Relieved to find a lacerated spleen is not a common running injury. Maybe it was just cramps.

June 23
Read this morning that a good workout schedule should include rest days. Hence, I’ll set aside the next six days for rest. 

June 29
The needed rest revived my resolve. Had planned to run six miles today, but decided that in order to train properly I must dress properly. Went online and ordered running shorts. Must wait until the package arrives. 

July 4
No mail due to national holiday, meaning another day of waiting for my running shorts to arrive. Very upset. I feel as if society is conspiring against me to prevent my running. 

July 6
My navy blue running shorts finally arrived. There must be some mistake. These shorts only have a one-inch inseam. Instead of running shorts they look like bell-bottom Speedos. 

July 10
Mailed back the “Speedo shorts” in exchange for shorts that won’t make it look as if I’m running in Hooters managerial wear. This means another substantial workout delay. Fortunately, however, I had already penciled in the next seven days for rest.

July 19
My longer running shorts finally arrived. Skipped running in order to break the shorts in by wearing around the house.

July 21
I am now four weeks into my workout schedule and have so far jogged one mile. In order to meet my summer goal of running 480 miles, I will increase my training regimen to 60 miles per week. 

July 27
Stupid AMC. Its twice-daily Matlock reruns keep cutting into my training schedule. I bet if I bought a pair of those Asics GEL Nimbus 10s I’d find it easier to run every day.

August 5
To bolster motivation I rented Without Limits, a film about the life of long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine. Very inspiring. So inspiring I decided that in order to run like Prefontaine I must look like Prefontaine. Hence, I ordered an Oregon Ducks t-shirt. 

August 11
My Oregon t-shirt finally arrived. Returned to my running regimen feeling, at last, like I had the look of a true runner. But after consuming all six of my Energy Gel packets within the first mile, I turned back due to intestinal alarm.

August 14
To avoid running in the rain I tried jogging in the mall. In retrospect I should had heeded my neighbor’s advice and arrived early. Stupid afternoon shoppers. They were everywhere. Bruised my shin on a metal chair while avoiding a family of six in the food court.

August 18
Realized today that in order to be a runner one must think like a runner. Henceforth, I’ll now refer to water as hydration. 

August 19
Planned on running 12 miles today but stopped after two when I felt my lips getting chapped. 

August 21
I’m leaning toward entering the Two-Bear Marathon in Whitefish. The September fall foliage, especially around Whitefish Lake, a large body of hydration, should be spectacular.

August 22
Just over two months into my regimen and I’ve covered a total of five miles. So far I’ve fallen somewhat short of my goal. Undaunted, I still feel I can reach the magical number of 480 miles if I run seven times a day. I am giddy with resolve.

August 31
Tried running to Daisy Fuentes’ favorite motivational workout tunes, which included Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” Big mistake. Instead of inspiring me to run I felt I a strange urge to shop for home accessories at World Market and sniff scented candles. 

September 3
Read today that joining a running group is a great way to maintain workout motivation. I’d join one but it seems all these groups ever do is run. 

September 7
Planned on running 32 miles today, but got distracted when the Runner’s World fall catalog arrived in the mail. In an effort to maintain concentrated focus on my goal I ordered $326 of running clothing and gear. Being a committed runner is expensive. 

September 12
Only nine days until my end goal date. As I true sign of my commitment I recklessly ignored today’s planned rest day and ran three miles.

September 16
Since June 21 I have run a total of 12 miles, leaving me 468 miles short of my goal. I can still reach it if I average running 93.6 miles over each of the next five days. My entire body is intoxicated with a keen sense of determination.

September 19
After missing the last three days of running I’ve concluded it is humanly impossible, even for someone with my granite-chipped resolve, to run 468 miles over the next two days. Regrettably, I’ve decided to abandon my summer running goal. Instead, I’ve set sights on a fall goal of running 650 miles. I’d start today, but I already scheduled it as a day of rest.

Jeff Wozer ( operates from a secluded perch in the Rocky Mountains.