"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Ran - I'm Not Dead Yet

I shoveled what's left of my carcase into some running clothes and shuffled out the door toward the lake. The neighbors gave me a look like they were spotting the first robin of the season, then a little wave.

I paused, wondering if I was ready. I moved my toes around in my shoes to see if anything hurt and decided it was time. With the very first step, a tightness in my left hip told me it'd been a long time since this creaky old bag of bones had moved faster than a walk.

There were a ton of people taking advantage of the unusually warm weather, especially as it was spring break for a lot of kids. Weaving through strollers and dog leashes, I came across an old acquaintance. "Ooh, now THERE's some speed!" he said, sarcastically. I wanted to stop and beat him to death, but channeled the anger into trying to run instead.

A pretty Hmong girl came flying by, running fast in the other direction and I found myself thinking about how slow I was moving. 1.75 miles later, I saw her again and was startled when she said, "Wow. You're really fast!" Impressing young girls with 9 1/2 minute miles - well, it does help the ego a bit, even when recalling having run the same course at 5 1/2's when her age.

The next lap, I passed a group of walkers for the second time and was asked, "How many loops are you doing?" I answered: three. Then I decided I'd better not quit at two and make myself a liar. "You're a man on a mission!" Okay; they don't know the record - my record - is 21 laps. I need to recall that, for most people, 9 miles is unimaginable.

It was unimaginable for me, too, last week.

The retirement plan

I do think I'm done racing, though. To get into reasonable shape and stay there, my hope is to run as follows:

Monday 3 miles
Tuesday 9
Wednesday 3
Thursday 9
Friday 0
Saturday 9
Sunday 12

At my current speed, that's fair training for about a 48 minute 10K. If by some chance I improve to running at about 7:45/mile, that'd be good for a 5K in 18-18:30 and I might think about a low-key race someday. If some miracle gets me to 6:30-6:45 pace, then I'll be looking at state age class records for 1 mile again.


Karen said...

It's funny how you contradict yourself. "I think I'm done racing..." then "but if I manage to get faster....then I could do this". :) I hope your body holds up :)

SteveQ said...

Yeah, it's contradictory, but it's hard to change the way I think after all this time.

pensive pumpkin said...

hang in there. we may be opposites, but i'm in your corner.

-the forever and always slow one ; )

wildknits said...

Glad to hear you are out there again.

Edward said...

When are you going to give up that whole going fast thing and come over to the enjoying running for running's sake camp, Steve?

Chad Walstrom said...

Nice job getting out there! It's such beautiful weather, and getting on your feet has got to feel great!

Scream'n Turtle said...

Know just how you FEEL Steve.
Ever since I shredded my Achilles Tendon @ Mankato Marathon 2010, then smucked into a dump truck on my ElliptiGo bike in 2011 and busted my heel and torn up my Achilles again..I think it's time running is over .....But...still waiting for a magic ran in my head once again..more then likely will never be... Best of luck where ever your path takes you.
Scream'n Turtle