Turning All Runs Into Fun Runs, or How I Learned to Embrace the Running Suck, Week 3

  • Published
  • By Christopher Parr
  • 932nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Turning All Runs Into Fun Runs, or How I Learned to Embrace the Running Suck

 A weekly commentary about the Scott Air Force Base Running Clinic

 by Christopher Parr, 932nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The continuing saga of one man’s desire to not suck at running.  I would also welcome not cringing to the thought of running.  I haven’t learned to love running yet.  I’m still in pain most days, and in fact would rather visit the dentist, I think. I have less pain at the dentist.  So yes.  Granted, some of the pain is just from my own doing, or not doing.  I need to stretch more, lots more.  I feel I need to just spend all day stretching before I do any type of running. 

Week 3: Monday.  I would like to say that it was just another fun day at the office.  Laughs and jolliness had by all.  Not the case.  Monday was day one of two days of deployment type training as part of an exercise.  I will say that we finished up with just enough time for me to run, yay.  The weather was rather pleasant.  A positive.  My “fast” mile for Monday was right around the same time as my Week 2’s “fast” mile, 7:24.  I’ll take it. 

Week 3: Wednesday.  SNOW!! Seriously, SNOW!!  I already dislike Wednesdays, and there were big flakes falling from the sky right around run time.  Thankfully, the track was not covered. Darn.  The snow stopped as we finished the first 400m dash.  We then did an 800m followed by another 800m and just to finish it all off, we did a 400m.  I was pleasantly surprised with my performance.  Stayed consistent.  Didn’t enjoy the fact that I forgot my gloves on the day it snowed.  I made great use of an extra pair of socks, clean socks. They worked, kept my hands warm, and stylish.  They just happened to match the color of my running shoes.

Week 3: Thursday.  Due to a scheduled base event, clinic was cancelled for the day.  I think I danced around the office a bit with such wonderful news. 

Bonus: or homework: or self-motivated torture….all the same.  I got in some CrossFit and felt compelled to make up the run from Thursday.  It was a nice day on Sunday, and so I did my 36 minutes.  I ran 4.3 miles at a pace of 8:26 per mile.  A new distance personal record (PR).  Overall, it wasn’t a bad run.  After I got in my Sunday Funday run, I then flew to San Diego.  Feel bad for me…. can’t type that with a straight face.  Hope I can find time to run.

Week 3 Summary:  A strange week to say the least.  Snow, some rather warm weather, a cancelled day with my own motivation to continue this journey.   Now the journey will continue while I do some training in San Diego, catch the Week 4 blog to find out how that goes. 

This week we chat with another Group 1 leader, Nicole Wilcox, Scott AFB Health Promotion guru, and find out why she feels her advanced knowledge of running makes her qualified to be so mean to us non-runners.

CP:  How long have you been a group leader with the clinic and enjoyed watching people suffer?

NW:  I’ve been a group leader with the run clinic since July/August of 2015.


CP:  What is your running experience?

NW:  My running experience not only comes first hand (I've been running since 2010. I've run about 15 marathons, and numerous half marathons, 10K's and 5K's.) but also through study. I'm a certified running coach and also have a degree in Health & Wellness with a focus in fitness.

CP:  What joys do you get from the clinic, other than watching people suffer?

NW:  The joys I get from clinic is that I get to help people better themselves when it comes to their run times for their PT test. We help them not only improve, but we also show them form, shoes, clothing, how to breathe, etc. A huge joy that I get is when they tell me that they've found their own joy in running and how much it helps them.


CP:  Any success stories that really stand out?  Have you seen a mass improvement from the fist clinic to the last completed clinic?  Meaning is the success rate higher across all groups and have you had to adjust the standards as the clinic has progressed?

NWWe’ve have had MANY success stories from run clinic. One that stands out the most is that we've had someone coming back from multiple issues who hadn't been able to run through a mile and half without stopping a few times. Once they finished the run clinic, they took off about 13 minutes and were able to run the entire mile and a half without stopping! The only adjustments that I've made is making the group 1 workouts just a little tougher!

CP:  Do you have a personal success story about your running?

NW:  After my first marathon, I set my goals high and dreamt about being able to qualify and run Boston. My 3rd marathon I finally did it! I finally qualified for the 2014 Boston marathon. But in April of 2013 the Boston bombings happened. I then trained harder to be able to get a faster qualifying time to try and guarantee my entry (registration works differently than a regular marathon. Qualifying doesn't necessarily mean that you're guaranteed entry). I over-trained, and I broke my hip during my next marathon. They put screws in the femoral neck and 6 weeks after that...I turned wrong and broke the top of my femur. They had to go back in put a rod down my femur and more screws in my hip and another in my knee. I missed out on my Boston marathon because I was recovering. To be able to run it, I would have to qualify again. This time, I trained smart! I qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon and my entrance time was accepted! I'll be running it April 17, 2017! Hard work pays off!

CP:  Any advice for new runners or those that are struggling?

NW:  Advice for new and/or struggling runners: never, ever, ever give up!! I know it's hard and it's a struggle sometimes to keep going, but the more you get after those goals the stronger you become! You have to keep pushing and challenge yourself to achieve those goals!

First, let me congratulate Nicole on qualifying for the Boston marathon in April.  That’s awesome!!!  And thank you for sharing your running journey.  Sounds like it is just about to get serious. 

Thanks for sticking around to see what Week 3 was like.  Week 4, San Diego!!