Friday, January 02, 2004

Not a New Year's Resolution

For years (since 1984, in fact) I have avoided running due to concerns about my knees. I have had no trouble biking or even playing hockey as these activities create little in the way of stress on the knees.

But Ame loves to run and I wanted to add another thing that we could do together despite our incongruous schedules, so I decided I would run. She reserved our place in a half-marathon, so I was committed.

I tried running just once, about two years ago. I tagged along with Ame for a job with her in the park. I lasted about a quarter mile before my lungs were screaming and my legs tightening. I was also running in flip-flops- you know, for maximum comfort.

The training began this week, with a trip to the mall. I finally bought a pair of decent running shoes, Nike Shox, that have crazy exaggerated springs in the heels. They felt cushy and gave good support.

Run #1: I walked a half mile to Bishop Chatard High School, who has a dilapidated cinder track. No way am I running on paved surfaces. I walked a mile around the track for additional warm-up, and then I began my run. Ame timed my quarter mile, which was all I could do before my calves cramped up miserably. Ame commended me on my great time of 2:19. I was horrified! She tried to cheer me up by pointing out that I would get under a ten minute mile. Hell- I can walk a mile in less than fifteen! On the upside, my lungs were doing great, thanks to hockey.

Run #2: I managed a full half mile! Better than that, I timed my quarter at 1:50, and didn’t cramp up. I know that this doesn’t mean that I am now under eight minutes for the mile. After all, I still haven’t run a mile.

Run #3: I timed my half mile at 3:50. Again, it was all I ran, but I was very enthused for the time. I was expecting about 4:15. This is all good, but my next three runs will be about hitting the miracle mile, which I have not achieved since I was a sophomore in high school. Ame already can run 4 miles without a huge amount of effort, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

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