SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
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
This is it. The final week of the most excellent running clinic in the world. Did I learn anything? Do I love to run? No. Maybe a little. I don’t hate running. My body still aches after I do sprints and attempt to beat my mile times. On the longer run days I try and find a happy place, but haven’t been able to find it yet. The Shangri-La of running might not exist for me, ever. I guess the big question is did I get better at running and improve my 1.5 mile time? Yes. Yes, I did! I was told my running form improved and I can’t argue with a clock that shows I’ve gotten faster. Let’s look at the weekly recap and my post test 1.5 mile.
Week 7: Monday. Since this was the final week and prep for the 1.5 mile post test, we did things a little different. No warm-up mile and then a hard sprint mile and cool down mile. Instead, we just did a 3-mile run. My goal was to get a nice even pace at around an 8 min. mile. I did just that and finished the 3 miles at 24 minutes. I even think I found a small cubby hole of “happy place” during the run. Or it might have just been some indigestion.
Week 7: Wednesday. Might have been the best Wednesday in a long time. No SPRINTS!!! I know that the sprints are a main reason I improved my time, but doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t enjoy them. So instead of sprints, we ran for 30 minutes. The goal was to not go hard, but make this a leisure run. Go out 15 minutes, turn around, and come back. I ran 3.5 miles in 29:40. Got back faster. I had an average pace of around 8:23 and that felt pretty good. I think I can say that not only am I getting faster, but that I might be enjoying the runs more. I did say “might”.
Week 7: Post Test. I typically have test anxiety, and this was no exception. I needed to prove that I was faster and wanted to work on getting my first 100%. I knew I had more ahead to get my final goal, but this was still part of the journey and I needed to be faster. Test day anxiety kicked in, but I knew I was faster and just needed to shake it off. I wish they had a starting gun, that might have helped motivate me to go faster. They said go, and I went. I went 6 times around the track and finished with an 11:04. I shaved off a minute and one second from the pre-test run in 7 weeks. That included some traveling and missed runs. Not too shabby. I had hoped to break into the 10’s but, I felt I gave it my all.
Bonus: or homework: or self-motivated torture all the same. None. YES!!
Week 7 Summary. What a week it was?! It was nice to do the modified runs to prepare for the post-test. I really still don’t like Wednesdays, might be haunted by them for a while. Sprints did make me faster, can’t deny that. Big question now is do I do the next clinic or hope it was enough to get a better score on my Air Force Fitness Test. Might be some more blogs/commentaries in the future.
To be continued???
For this final week I thought I would ask myself the same questions I asked Lt. Col. Troy Appel from the Week 4 blog. I’m not a group leader and those questions would have made for some rather short answers. Might still have some rather short answers with these questions.
CP: Why on earth are you doing the running clinic?
CP: Well, first let me say thanks for inviting me to participate in your blog. This is an amazing opportunity and can’t imagine anyone not wanting to participate in it. The blog that is, the running clinic was hell on Earth!! I might look like a straight civilian with my various stages of facial hair, but I am also an Air Force Reserve Command Airman and have a requirement to be fit to fight. So, I joined the clinic in hopes of being more fit to fight. Like 10% more fit.
CP: Honestly, is being perfect really necessary?
CP: Well, not exactly something I meant to become, but gee, thanks for noticing. Oh, you mean a perfect score for my fit test. That would be nice.
CP: What is your background with running?
CP: Staying in the background. Usually not running and just moving in a slow motion to simulate running. I did already give my running background in the opening of the blog series, so go back and read about it.
CP: And a separate question, what is your background with the running clinic?
CP: This was my first time with the running clinic. I would like to say my last, but I think that would be false news.
CP: Did you get the results you wanted the last time you did the clinic?
CP: You really need to pay attention to what the person says when you ask them a question. First time with the clinic. Wow.
CP: What goals do you have this go around?
CP: Not dying was certainly a goal. Perhaps not finishing last each week was a good goal to have. Ideally having less pain, but I don’t think I accomplished that goal.
CP: Have you encouraged your Airman to join the clinic or had any success stories shared with you from anyone taking the clinic?
CP: I don’t have any Airman, but I have encouraged those that seek weekly reminders of how slow they run to think about the clinic.
CP: What do you like about the clinic and what don't you like?
CP: I used to like Wednesdays, not so much now. I like the staff!! They are awesome, no doubt. The members of my group were pretty cool as well. The time of day didn’t always work the best, but I’m not sure what would be a better time to have during the winter months. Indoors would be nice.
CP: Any final thoughts?
CP: Wow, this is like the big question. The one that has to sum it all up and make me sound super smart or filled with wisdom. No pressure there. Ok, here we go, my final thoughts…..Running Clinic, Just do it!! I think I nailed it! Sounds like a winner ending to me.
Thanks for reading about my running adventures. CP