Monday, March 06, 2006

You Call It Jogging

I run to keep fit for sailing.

Well, I guess that used to be true. But somewhere along the line, running became an end in itself. I started entering races, 5Ks to start with, then 10Ks, and then I wanted to improve my race times so I started looking at training programs and doing interval training. And then I started dreaming about running a marathon and eventually surprised myself (and everyone I know I suspect) by actually completing a marathon. And then doing it again.

Oh yeah - I'm a runner; not someone who just runs to keep fit for something else.

I came back from my run yesterday and there was a note on the kitchen table from my wife who had gone out. "Presumably you went jogging ...", it started. Oops - I must have forgotten to tell her I was going out. When I left she was down in the basement doing whatever it is that wives do in the basement. It's too easy to lose each other in this crazy big house.

No dear. I wasn't jogging. I was running. (Not "running around" which is something else altogether.)

What's the difference between jogging and running? Is there a difference?

Is it speed? No, I don't think so. There are slowish people (just like me) out there who are truly serious about their training, running and racing. They continually try to improve in relation to their previous performances. Yet....without being born with speed genes we aren't going to beat the field. Still, these folks are certainly runners.

Is it attitude? There are others, who, while they may have the built-in ability to move truly fast, are not motivated. Perhaps they train once or twice a week to maintain health, lay off for awhile, then come back and put in a few miles. On the face of it, we would probably call them joggers. Unless of course, they wish to be considered runners. If so, let them be runners.

Who really cares? If pressed, I'd say if you run with a stopwatch, you are a runner. If you keep obsessive records in a running journal for more than 10 years you're a runner. If you are already thinking about what race you're going to enter 10 months from now you're a runner.

I've been taking it fairly easy since the marathon in January. But now the days are getting longer and warmer (we can live in hope on the latter) I'm looking forward to training more seriously again. I'd like to work on improving my speed in the first half of the year then switch over to marathon training in the fall.

My goals for this year are to run a 5k in 22:30 and a 10k in 46:00. I've done these times before but not for many years. We do get slower as we get older. So if I can repeat the times I did when I was much younger I will feel I've achieved something. I won't actually be any younger but it might feel like it. I want to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. I've never even run a half-marathon before so this will be a real achievement. And I aim to run a marathon in early 2007 in 4:20 - a personal best at the age of 58. That will be something.

OK, now I've actually put out those goals for all the world to see I'd better get serious. I'm off to go for a run. (Not a jog). See ya.


Travel Italy said...

I understand about the running-jogging. I have never thought of myself jogging. Now that I think about it we, in Italy, considered those who jogged as stuck-up, something to do so they could say they do it!

jen said...

I totally understand what you mean...

Pat said...

And I thought a runner had something to do with backstay adjustments. ;-)

Post a Comment