Yes I did, I got out and went for a jog today. I had some walking stints in there, but there was running too. It’s been months since I hit the pavement.
Even on the weekends time is at a premium, so I decided to go out for a jog today instead of going to the gym. Going to the gym would have taken twice as long with having to drive there and back, and battle the Squirrel Hill crowds for parking.
Like so many houses in Greenfield, when you step out of my house every direction is uphill. Every. Direction. It’s not an excuse for never running, but knowing you’re going to have to battle hills is a demotivator. I chose to run in the nearby cemetery. Greenfield sidewalks are cracked and bad, and stop signs are apparently optional. Running in the cemetery is safer, quieter, and the view is pretty. I even saw Bob O’Connor’s grave. I worry that running in a cemetery might be considered disrespectful, but the only other people in the cemetery were other runners.
Marathon and 1/2 Marathon entry statistics show that most people get hit with the running bug in their 30s. I started a little early, and started running around age 20. I was spending the summer abroad in Germany, and eating schnitzel and fluffy pastries nonstop. There was no way I was going to cut back on those delicious treats, so I decided to pick up running. My first goal was to run 2 blocks without running. Then I worked up to 20 minutes of running. Then I worked up to a 5k, then a 10k, then a marathon, then another marathon, and then I burned out. I’ve hardly run at all since the summer of 2005.
When I talk about those races, I feel like Uncle Rico, refusing to give up the glory of his high school football days. Those races were nearly eight years ago, do I still get to bask in the glory of those accomplishments?
It’s a great feeling to have finished a marathon, but I never want to do it again. I don’t have a runner’s body. Running doesn’t come easily to me. In both races, I finished in about 5 and a quarter hours. The fastest mile I’ve ever run in my life was 8 minutes, 30 seconds. I’m not built for running, but even with my waddling, akward gait, I loved to run– I loved how I got these excited bursts of energy out on a run, and how it made me feel fast and sleek, and that quick burning feeling in your lungs during the first few steps on a cold winter’s run.
Running is easy to do when you do it all the time, but it’s hard when you first start. When I burned out in 2005, I “re-set,” and starting up with running again felt almost like I’d never run to begin with. I’ve kept a small amount of the endurance– if I run at a very slow pace (we’re talking 15 min miles) and on level ground, I can run for 30 minutes plus. I couldn’t do that when I first started…but that’s hardly an accomplishment next to “real” runners.
In those years of running, I developed a nasty case of Runners Knee in my right knee. Instead of stretching and treating it, I tried to ignore it, hoping it would go away with “rest.” Sitting in a desk chair for 10+ hours a day certainly did not help it. I’ve used it as an excuse to not get out and exercise more. I have to address it directly if I ever want it to resolve, and ever want to resume running regularly.