Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Friday, February 10, 2012

Don't stop running!

Don't stop running.  I did, for three months.  And it was a big mistake!

Actually, I never intended to start running...

I started running in the Winter of 2007.  Don't ask me why, well, I know why.  I never thought I'd be a runner, but amazingly, miraculously, and against all odds, I learned to enjoy running.

My wife motivated me by giving me an iPod for Christmas one year (technology always helps when you are trying to motivate a guy to do something), and suggesting that it can help make running more enjoyable.  She was right...again!  You will find that she's usually right, about just about everything, but that's OK, at least she's on my side :-)  And, once you figure out your pace, you can really zone into the music and the miles click by.

Good shoes also make a huge difference.  I bought some running shoes the spring after my first 5K.  They were probably the most expensive shoes I've ever owned, and they were well worth the investment!  I chose Saucony Progrid Triumph 4s.  I wish they still made them.  The current version of the same shoe is good, but these were great!
OK, granted, I couldn't call what I did at first "running."  I mentioned that I started running in the Idaho that's a dicey proposition, so instead of going outside I got on the treadmill.  I jogged for a song on my iPod, then walked for a song, etc.  And after a while I could run continuously for a coupld of miles.  It was a start!

To make a long story short(er) I ran my first race, a 5K in May 2007.  Since then I've run 5Ks, 10Ks, and half-marathons.  But last summer I didn't run...for about 3 months!  I ran a 10K in May, and I didn't run after that for about 3 months! That was a big, fat mistake!  Emphasis on FAT.  DON'T DO THAT!

Now don't think that I turned into a big fatty or anything, but when you stop exercising changes happen that you may not like.  That's this case I did pick up some extra pounds.

I mean, I had justifications for not running that seemed convincing enough...I got sick, I had to travel, I think I may have broken my big toe, etc., etc.  Anyway, when I finally got back on the scales at the gym (we don't have any at our place) I'd put on too many extra pounds and I felt large, slow, and my wind was gone!  "Gone was the wind."  My motivation was also down, but I knew that I had to get back at it.  That was about the time that I read the book, "An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age" by John "The Penguin" Bingham.

Bingham's book was a true joy.  It is about how Bingham started riding bicycles and then running for exercise when he was in his early 50s (my age now, too).  He then discovered organized events.  He had become an athlete, something he'd always dreamed of being.  His book and stories gave me some needed motivation last August to get my rear back in gear and start running again on a regular basis.

It's a beauty!

Now here we are in October, and it's taken me two months to get back to the point where I can pound out 10 miles in my long run for the week without a LOT of trouble.  I have not yet regained the pace I once had, but I know that I still can.  I am not all that fast, I never was, but I am feeling better about running again.  But it's taken months to get back on to attack that darned extra baggage!  I don't need to be "skinny" or "buff", but I do want my pants to fit comfortably.

Believe me, a 3-month break from running is not all that it's cracked up to be!  Don't do what I did!  Keep on running!

(Originally posted on 10-13-2011)

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