Saturday, August 27, 2016

Do You Still Run?

...those four words are making my challenge prone mind regret thinking that getting back to running after several (times two or three) years off would go smoothly. I knew it wouldn't be easy - but visions of those glory days were just too strong.

Last month, Mark - a high school friend and track/cross country teammate -  hit me up on Facebook with this phrase, "Do you still run?" I made a joke about running from the police, but indicated that running regularly wasn't something that takes place in my current routine. Though playing pick-up flag football with guys 10-15 years my junior, then spending the next week recovering from it was, however, part of my routine.

Mark was reaching out to ask if I was interested in taking part in a relay race in our hometown in April and a few of our former teammates were joining in. Without hesitation, thinking it would be a blast,  I agreed. That's when Mark dropped the bomb.

This race would be a 150 mile relay (Holy SH*T Balls! - may have been my first reaction). He proceeds to explain that this is a 24 hour relay with teams of 10 members running three legs a piece. Sooo...after changing the shorts I had just soiled, there was some salvation. I was going to be tasked with just 15 of those 150 miles and not in one gauntlet of self loathing and a slow, painful death. But rather three legs fulfilling the 15 miles, my mind began to relax...sort of.

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Visions of what I used to do as a runner still linger and overpower my thought process whenever it so chooses. I haven't been a runner for about 15 years and haven't been "running" for about five. And everyone will tell you that getting back to it after years off is extremely difficult. It's as if your body is telling you, "F-you man, we aren't doing that again." It doesn't help that I turned 40 eight months ago. As a matter of fact I think most of our proposed team is, just turned or is about to turn the big 4-OH. And our former high school track coach has agreed to be our, I mean..SUPPLY...van driver for the race.

I gave myself a hard start date to begin running something of some kind on August 1st - giving me nine full months to prepare. Lets just say it could have started better, but it wasn't absolutely awful:

Monday, August 1st - 

Con: I knew this would happen - I worked from 11:15 to 8:15 on this day and didn't feel much like running after work - also it being 88 degrees outside didn't help either.

Pro: I drank two beers - and GOOD beers at that!

Tuesday, August 2nd -

Con: Damn it! This is my nine hour workday and just the same as yesterday. Didn't I tell you this would be as much a psychological thing as it would be physical?!

Pro: Our new kitten enjoys my company! Can I transfer his energy into my body somehow? I think I'll leave that process up to President Trump - I think I just puked little.

Wednesday, August 3rd -

Con: "Hello mind, this is your body. This correspondence is to inform you that we are gathering clans from seven nations and all over the globe to destroy your rogue plans to get us to join this ridiculous crusade to be something you once were. You have been warned: Cease and desist.

With Regards,

Your Neck Down
P.S. We control all imports and exports - just remember that.

Pro: I did it! I actually ran. It may have been only three miles, but it happened. It started well - then pain and exhaustion set in, but I didn't stop until I completed my route. Crap that was rough and I so wanted to stop, and came damn near close to doing it.

And why have my lungs shrunk to the size of almonds?!

Thursday, August 4th - 

Con- There is no way on god's green Earth I was going to be able to do that for a second straight day. Are you serious? I'm not a freakin' miracle worker!

Pro: My calves are on fire and may have been surgically removed without my knowledge. Rest is good - that is all.

Friday, August 5th-

Con: "Dear Sir, you obviously are taking our previous communication lightly. Please understand that continued disregard of our stern warning will result in serious detriment to this endeavor and will likely not turn out well for you.

Hugs and Kisses,

Those of us below

Pro:  Same route, same result: no stopping and the focus on form was good. A decent pace and no attempt at being superman (high fives!). It hurt just as much though, but I worked through it. Just two days - but I'm proud of myself.

My legs - what did I do with my legs?

Saturday and  Sunday, August 6th and 7th -

I should mention that I'm easing back into the running thing. This weekend was the first full weekend off with nothing planned in months. I did nothing constructive - other than the day trip to Findlay, on Sunday.

I will bite off more than I can chew in due time. For now - baby steps...or, rather, middle age steps (cautiously optimistic strides with a bit more pain and suffering than, say, 20 years ago).

Interesting - that parachute looks a helluva lot like a knapsack, doesn't it?

I will keep you posted.

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