Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Run Like The Wind Bullseye

I hate running. I started this crap about 10 years ago when faced with the fact that I no longer had a Bally's near me. Somehow I was able to escape their 'contract of death' and found myself free from the confines of foot fungus saturation. I was liberated. Then I thought, 'heck, you should try running.' Great idea. Something I could only do upon hearing the ice cream truck or having a bully chase me was now going to be my daily exercise routine? Nice. When I run, I look like a fire hydrant with hose falling off of it. An ergonomically incorrect torso with whacky, flailing arms like those inflatable guys you see in front of the pizza place. I have been sent letters from Kenya begging me not to ever visit. I once walked onto a high school yard and the track got up and ran away. Running and I, well, we haven't always been friendly. The first day was brutal. I left the house at about 6AM, walking the first 1/2 mile. I began a jog. I'm pretty sure I went about another 1/2 mile or so before the pain in my chest overtook my ambition to keep running. I slowed to a walk, convinced I would never make it beyond the 1/2 mile mark. I left on about the 4th day with a better feeling about this running stuff. I was now able to run about .6 of a mile, far better than the original outing. This kept up for about a week. Then it clicked. Somewhere in my pea-sized cranial activity I must have blocked the agony because I ran 1 whole mile. Now, understand that I was measuring my distance using landmarks and gut feel. I think the third tree on the left behind the school next to the pink house was close to a mile, right? Anyway, my finite calculations assured me I had made some progress. By the end of the third week I could run 1 mile consistently. Wow. Fast forward a few months. I am officially a runner at this point, except I don't have a stride, pace, or form. I am clay in the hands of the running gods. I look like a turd attempting to escape some bowels. It ain't pretty. But I am a runner, and I will run. At this point I made it almost 2 miles. So thrilled with my accomplishment I buy a new pair of running shoes. I even had my pronation checked. Fortunately, that does not involve a probe in an orifice. By the first year, I could run 6 miles. Then I would lie down for 6 hours, and proceed to complain for 6 days about my pain. My joints hurt. I read 'The Chi of Running.' Thanks for the help. This is progress, however, and I am on fire. Nobody mistakes me for a marathoner, but my thoughts are drifting there... Add in a dog. this is always a treat. Just about the time you hit your stride, he's going poop. Great, break in the action, I'm stalled and have to carry a bag of turd for a 1/2 mile. Hope the recycled plastic holds. Then we proceed to interfere with each other's gallop. I trip, step on his paw, he squeals, I fall. Repeat. I'll bring him next time, too. I haven't ever run competitively. Well, we did the Shamrock Run in Portland a few times. That's fun. I took my sons last year. They could have beat me, but they hung around in a fit of sympathy. They're 13 & 11, swim 6k miles a week, and look like bean poles. Must have been the milkman, because I don't a see a fire hydrant in any of them. I still run. 3.5 miles last night. 8:30 pace. Not fast, not terribly slow, but enough to keep the gut in check and the muscles semi-firm, edging towards flabby. I love to run.

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