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somewhere between forrest gump and forrest chump

running, jogging, walking… whatever speed you are moving it is just one foot in front of the other. some of us love it and can go on for miles without a care in the world. i was not one of those people.

just six months ago (january 2011) i went for a jog to kezar stadium from my apartment. a whopping 3 mile round trip. the next day i had shin splints and didn’t run for another month. but now that has all changed. i’ve done everything i can so that running is not the bane of my existence.

i’m not going to sit here and tell you that i can just run out the door for two hours and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as i breeze through golden gate park and along the great highway becoming one with nature. every run i start begins with me thinking “why am i doing this? why am i so slow? isn’t there some fried chicken in the fridge?”

thankfully those questions didn’t linger too long. my ever faithful companion on my runs is my ipod. some people prefer music, maybe something upbeat to help get them into a rhythm. i prefer to listen to what my girlfriend calls “talking,” i.e. podcasts and audiobooks. podcasts and audiobooks help me pass the time so i don’t keep asking myself questions as i run. (currently i’m switching between Bossypants by tina fey and American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by kai bird and martin j. sherwin)

with the help of my friends tina fey and oppie (that’s the name that one of the father’s of the atomic bomb went by with close friends), i stepped out of my apartment door and started jogging through the park. before i knew it i had criss-crossed my way through the park, to the cliff house and back to 19th avenue and saw that i had run 7.7 miles!! (i knew this because i was using the runkeeper app on my droid. click here to see if compatible with your phone)

i had never run more than 8.5 miles at a time before and here i was at 7.7 and i still had some gas. more importantly, i was really into my audiobook that i still wanted to listen to so i said to myself “what the heck, why not go for TEN!” so back into the park i ventured. i ran past the tea garden, by the de young museum and california academy of sciences, while every once in a while i would check to see how close i was to ten. soon enough i was there! i had just run TEN miles! i couldn’t believe it. so what did i think next? i thought “who knows if i’ll ever run this far again. might as well go all out and get me a half marathon!”

3.1 miles. that’s all i had left to get to a distance i never even contemplated running. i had no desire to from a start to finish line with everyone watching, but here i was, so close. no an achievement i was doing for anybody but myself. i ran those last 3.1 miles with only the light from street lamps illuminating the road ahead of me. and there i was. a half-marathoner! yeah, i make it sound all dramatic, but as i said, just six months ago i could barely jog 3.1 miles, let alone 3.1 PLUS TEN!

so now that i’ve run a half marathon will i try to go for a full marathon? i guess that all depends if using an ipod counts as a performance enhancer! if it is, then i’ll just have to run an unofficial all my lonesome! (maybe tina and oppie will join me for an encore)

helpful links (let me know if these don’t work for you)

free trial membership to with TWO free audiobooks

descriptions of Bossypants and American Prometheus on

link to runkeeper website so you can see if your phone is compatible (cheaper than buying a gps watch, which admittedly would be pretty cool if it wasn’t for the fact that my cell phone has gps which i carry in something akin to a fanny pack but which i will not call a fanny pack)