In January, I started a program to ramp up running. I started by power walking a 6-minute interval followed by one minute of running, repeating two more times. Gradually, the power walk was reduced to a minute while the running is up to nine minutes. I did have to stop halfway through the most recent one because my hips got too tight. It happens.
This week, I start running for real: Twenty minutes straight. Next week, 30 minutes. Then up to a nearby park and back, adding a lap around the park each week until the end of April. There will be a 90-day (or one-week, depending on how badly I hurt myself) break while I do P90X, but the goal here is to do a 3-5 mile run three times a week.
I haven’t run since 1984. Ronald Reagan was president. Gas was $1 a gallon. MTV still showed videos. The Internet was this super-secret computer thingie that Matthew Broderick hacked in War Games. I also turned 18 that year.
I turn 47 this year, and the body is not as resilient as it once was. For some reason, my threshold of pain is higher, probably life kicking someone around for an extra three decades, but there are more aches. I have the knees of my mother’s family, which tend to be stiff and get stiffer with age. I have a toe that may or may not have arthritis in it. I have a small toe on the other foot that I broke two years ago. It went completely numb after that.
But since starting this, I’ve plateaued at 14 pounds lighter than I was on New Year’s Day. Granted, diet has a lot to do with it, but the running has helped considerably. In the middle of this final phase of the ramp up, I’m also going to start biking the Little Miami Trail (more on that next week). What’s really helped, though, is that I now have decent running shoes. In high school, we was broke. My mom bought me the cheap shoes at K-Mart, and they had to be my walking around shoes and my running shoes and my gym shoes. No cleats or special New Balances for this boy. Oh, and they had to last until spring. Now? I can afford to go to Bob Ronker’s Running Spot and spend some decent money on a pair of shoes that can handle the punishment I dole out on my heels, support my weak arches, and generally let me forget about my feet while I’m out there sucking wind and wondering why I keep torturing my knees.
I do feel better since I started this. Hopefully by the end of the year, I can get a couple of 5K or 10K races in. My goal?
Believe in it!