Yes, it’s another runner’s blog (or runners’ blog or running blog); but this is one where I win, I think.
First, what do you think of the title? Clever, huh? Well, actually I guess you’d have to know where this post is going in order to determine the wit-value of the title. Damn. Ok, moving on… For those who haven’t been following the sporadic posts or simply need a recap I started running a few months ago under the guidance of a friend who’s a distance runner. I began building myself up to the goal of a 5K (coming up in December) by taking 35 second sprints with 12 seconds of walking and doing that 18-20 times. Then I started running timed distances where I’d go for two minutes with a minute walk for six times. Gradually that increased to six minute intervals. Ultimately I reached a point where I could run for a straight mile, walk two minutes, and then do it again. I hit a milestone of sorts when I simply kept going one evening and, even though I was counting the distance covered in the two two-minute sets of walking, I completed a run of 3.12 miles. That is, I finished a 5K in my training for the first time.
Notice there’s no exclamation point at the end of that last sentence. I’m not thrilled and I don’t expect anyone else to be either. Because of my stupidity it was almost the last thing I ever ran. By the way, I still have yet to experience that “runner’s high” they all talk about. No mystical experiences for this guy. Runs along… sees Sammy Davis singing the Candyman with Isaac Hayes on a cloud made of butterflies. Yeah, no. Hasn’t happened. In any event, I was not smart. That’s what I’m telling myself because it’s easier than admitting that my body is just weak. About two weeks ago I noticed a small but painful inflamed spot on the bottom of my right heel. After a few days it became so painful I could not run, nor hardly even walk on it. Speaking with my trainer I concluded that it was something called plantar fasciitis. Ain’t that a bitch? Turns out now it might have just been a deep blister caused by my shoes which, though decent, were never intended to be running shoes.
Oh yeah, I forgot a key detail…
A couple of weeks before all that, there was this little step contest at work and I foolishly tried to keep up with the trainer dude because we work together and I thought I could win something and I walked an average of 25,000 steps a day for two weeks straight and still didn’t win because that was never going to happen against this guy and the other top contenders who are some kind of super-walking freaks of nature but the increase in walking coupled with the running probably screwed my heel and I’m lucky it didn’t destroy my life.
Get all that? Let’s not talk about it anymore. It’ll be our secret, OK?
So now my foot’s feelin’ all better and I’m ready to get back into it. Again, I’m not sure why because I still haven’t had that runner’s acid trip yet. In fact, from a practical standpoint I’m putting up low mileage and high pacing. It’s taking time away from my family. And as I write this it’s currently raining although I’m sure that will come to an end. Yet for some reason I like this. Being unable to do anything (and I mean I couldn’t run, couldn’t do my push-ups, pull-ups, nothing) I’ve been struck with a sadness that I had actually been defeated. It’s one thing to say I gave up. But I hadn’t given up. I still have a goal and this was getting in my way of achieving it. But probably the thing that affected me most was hearing my wife say that she was proud of me for my effort. I hadn’t thought that much about it. It was a goal for me, probably more like a mid-life crisis than anything else, and yet she had taken notice and admired what I was doing. That really made me want to get back out there.
I’m feeling better and I’m going to jump headlong back into this endeavor. Trainer recommended some high-end running store where I’m going to get my gait analyzed and find a better pair of shoes. Sounds exclusive… I wonder if they serve drinks there. Actually I had never heard of the place he mentioned. True, he’s an expert runner so I’d expect him to know the dealers much like a cocaine addict would but I’ve at least heard of most retail outfits in the area. I’m expecting to encounter a slide in a door like a speakeasy where I’ll have to give a password to get my foot measured.
So dear reader, there I said it… I like running. I know, I’ve got a reputation to maintain so we’ll keep this between us, OK? You wont tell anyone I like this running stuff and I won’t tell anyone about your hemorrhoids and we’ll call it even. Wait, what? We can also down-low the fact that I quit smoking again. No one needs to know that. Although it was kind of funny, the image of me standing on the track all sweaty from a run, lighting a Marlboro. I think even I recognized the humor in that as I was trying to expectorate my left lung.
Hopefully it won’t be long before I’m putting up slightly better numbers with slightly less pain and trainer guy can finally be done with me. I enjoy hanging out with the guy and chatting about running (which is an Aramaic word for drinking) but I hate taking up his time. We shall see.