Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's Wrong With That Guy!

I have started training for my next goal in my fitness plan. I hope to be able to do at least one 15K run before the snow flies next winter. I have started this by adding to and altering my current exercise routine. This is going to be a reach for me but I believe that it is important to stretch one's self mentally and physically.

While I was down visiting relatives a short time ago, I went to the YMCA as I usually do. This time however I did something a bit different. This Y is a beautiful facility. It is very clean, there is a very good variety of equipment and they have an indoor track.

After spending my normal amount of time do my regular workout, I went up to the track and just started running. Not too hard, just a nice steady pace. This track is not huge, it takes 8 revolutions to make one kilometer. I started keeping count of each lap I was doing but after about 10 laps, I lost count so I just kept going.

After about half an hour I stopped and did my usual stretching. It was then that I realized that I must have covered about 8K including the 4½K I had done on the treadmill. Not bad, I thought. I was tired but hadn't overdone it by any means. This was very encouraging. I know I have a knee problem from too many years of carrying around all that extra body weight but even my knees seemed okay with it. I have no doubt it will be a different situation once I can start running outside again but I think there is hope.

The next step for me is to figure out a pace. I have a tendency to go to hard at first, even in my 5K runs, so this is going to be pretty important. I was a bit disappointed the other day when I set a pace on the treadmill, started running and went for about 45 minutes. I only covered just over 5K. My pace is too slow and running for that kind of time on the treadmill is just so boring! Along with the boredom, my knees started to get a bit sore.

It has been a couple of weeks now. I have spent some time doing reasurch into different running techniques. I came across a technique called Chi Riunning. Being a person interested in the martial arts, this sounded very interesting to me. I did some investigating on the Web and bought a book on this running style and started practicing it. Much to my delight, it seems to be working for me.

The weather is finally getting warmer and I am getting back out on our back roads to practice this technique. The next thing I know, I am running without pain. WOW! I can't believe it. It is early yet but already, I am so very pleased. So pleased that I dicided to sign up for a 5K run to raise money for Japan. A good cause and I am sure it will be an interesting experience.

Many years ago, I had signed up for what was called a 5K Fun Run. I did this a couple of times and never really found it much fun. Now here I am, almost 30 years later, doing it again. But this time it is different. At the end of the work day, I can't wait to get home so I can get out for a run. Just 5K but so far just this week, I have already run 23K and I still have the race on Saturday to go.
I very clearly remember, like it was yesterday (because it practically was), driving past these people who were running along the side of the road and I would think that they must be out of minds. Who would do that! It also seemed to me that the expression on their faces was that of pain. I would sarcastically say to my wife, now there goes someone who really looks like they're having fun. Now look at me. I am turning into one of them. I have to chuckle to myself when I see the expression on the faces of some people as they drive by me. What's wrong with that guy!

I don't plan to ever run a marathon or anything like that, but I seem to have found something to add to my list of things to do that I both enjoy and are good for me. There just seems to be something so peaceful about it. I have no doubt that to some people, a 5K run would seem like nothing at all, but to me, just at the beginning of this thing, it seems quite amazing. When I am out there running along our back roads by myself, everything that went on before and everything that is going to go happen after, just fades away into nothing for that little piece of time. It is just me, the road, and the beauty of my surroundings.

Next week, 10K!! Can't wait!

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