Thursday, June 01, 2006

Dead is Too Restful

Running can be tiring, but being dead is a little too restful for me right now.

I got in an early morning 7-miles today. While I was out running, I was thinking:

I’ve been running for 5-years. I don’t get tired too quickly. An hour run isn’t something that my brain tells me is all that hard or even all that long. My body doesn’t hurt after running for an hour. It feels good! Unless I’m really pushing hard, I’m not even out of breath.

I’ve had loads of people tell they can’t run because their knees are shot. I used to believe this. My knees WERE always sore. Even walking around a mall made my knees hurt. A doctor said I had arthritis in my knees. Suggested I start taking some prescription. (I didn’t.)

After the arthritis diagnosis, I spent a few years of getting more out of shape. My cholesterol got higher, my stomach acid/aches got worse, my heart fluttered more often, my body hurt, I was flabby and I got headaches.

I finally got serious about living healthier and getting in shape, I tired to run. It was painful. Everything about it. I ran ½ mile and gave up. My knees hurt so badly. My side hurt. My stomach didn’t feel good. I got a headache. It was kind of like I felt when I wasn’t running, but worse. I wasn’t a runner anyways. I never liked running anything longer than 50-100 yards as a kid. Running further made my side hurt so much I wanted to puke!

I had to walk instead of run…not because my knees were actually shot, but because I was completely out of shape. I walked for 5 months with 2 lbs weights that I pumped with my arms as I walked. I moved up to 3 then 4lbs still only walking. I then started walking for 5 minutes and running for 1 minute. Over time I was running 2 miles then 2.2 miles without walking. I matched the exercise up with eating much healthier foods and reading about running to improve my form.

I’m a bit competitive so races fit my personality well. I ran my first 5k fun run not knowing if I could run that far without walking. I completed it, but was beat on the final stretch by a guy 30 years older than me. (He wasn’t even out of breath.)

It was a year before I ran a 10k race. It was hilly and hard, but I ran it in under an hour. Even though a dog on a leash beat me by many minutes, I realized I was becoming a runner.

I’ve completed two ½ marathons and 1 full marathon now. I’ll run more of these. Each is a short term goal that keeps me motivate, but the long-term objective is staying healthy.

My knees never felt better!