Regardless, the madness ends. I'm on a bold mission here to return to my 3 Miles A Day habit if it's the last thing I do. I ran 3 on Friday, 6 on Saturday, rested on Sunday, and got back on the horse for 3 more today. The key is repetition. Every day is ideal, though unrealistic at this point, since my legs aren't quite up to where my respiratory system is. But, I don't see anything wrong with 6 out of 7 days, with 5 of them only being 3 miles each. It's only a half hour's worth of running in the morning, I think I can handle that.
Pete once told me that if you want to be a good long-distance runner, you have to build up your leg muscles. Lacking a proper weight room, I'm kinda fucked on that end. The only thing I got going for me at the moment is that I'm carrying around about 40 pounds of unnecessary fat; as long as it doesn't hamper my joints, it should provide at least a little bit in the ways of strength-building in my calves and thighs. But, I'll tell you, those 6 miles I ran on Saturday were a struggle nearly from beginning to end.
The thing about the Central Park run is the fact that the back half - about 3 miles - is a series of almost constant prolonged uphill runs. But, since this was the first time I'd run on back-to-back days since I lived in West Seattle, my legs were a wee bit tender on the front half of the Central Park run. I didn't think I was going to make it all the way to the end - and these doubts were creeping in around mile 2 or so. Somewhere in the middle, I hit my stride and things went well for a mile or so. But, that back half was a Fuh-King Killer. I was convinced I was either going to collapse from exhaustion/dehydration and fall flat on my face, or I was going to have a heart attack and drop dead in front of the excess of day walkers out enjoying the abnormal 70 degree heat. But, one thing remained prominent the entire time, my lungs are no worse for the wear of all the smoking I did in that two week Seattle/Tacoma vacation.
To be fair, I probably only went through a smidge over two packs the entire time. The thing was, those two packs were consumed in the first six days. Once I had to pull over the car in Bellevue and throw up on my way to Indian Food in Redmond - after a night consisting solely of beer and cigarettes - I knew the contributing factor to my nausea. Normally, I enjoy a few smokes while drinking; it's generally the only time I feel the desire. But, with my stomach so completely rattled - probably because when I DO smoke while drinking, I run through about 15 cigarettes in a 4 hour period - it's just not going to be an option anymore. I don't mind the occasional hangover when I've got a headache and a bad case of dehydration. But, when I'm blowing chunks after a 12-pack of beer, that's a problem. I can take down 12 beers in my sleep, I don't want to give that up!
I was only able to go running twice while I was in Tacoma. The first time, I left it as a casual stroll through the city, checking out the Christmas lights. This was on my second or third night in the city, when I was still on my Running Saturdays schedule. The second time I ran, there was only a few days left in my stay, and this was AFTER all the smoking had taken my wind. I could barely hang with a mile and a half before my lungs gave out. It was pathetic. I did a few 100 yard sprints, got even MORE winded, and called it a day.
So, the fact that I'm able to run over 70 minutes without my insides exploding is a real relief. Because I gotta think, as long as I'm able to keep the Everyday Running routine up, these Central Park runs will start getting easier on the ol' legs.