Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Blog- The Running Dan

(This is actually the first post of a whole new blog. If this intrigues you, follow that link!)

This last week I turned 37, and left behind the halcyon days of “mid-thirties” for the far less entertaining days of “late-thirties.” Yeah, I know, me and some 15 billion people before me (though let's face it- for a lot of human history age 40 was considered “aged”), and it's going on all the time. I however cannot speak for them, I can only speak for me. I am not, I stress again NOT, having a mid-life crisis, but it has come to my attention that the days I can tell my body what it will do are coming to an end, and eventually, my body will tell me what to do. I am really only just recovering from an injury back in May where I tore a calf muscle. That injury put a halt to my fairly standard running schedule, and I am not the type of person who stays in shape if I am not trying. My firm has made me run for years, and I have always fought it. Even when my run got good, I didn't like it, I didn't want to, and therefore slipped back into lazyness. Excuse or no with this injury, I did all my physical therapy and have been running regularly again for about two months. In that two months I brought myself back from not being able to really run two miles (my last bit of therapy was to do three miles alternating between two minutes of running and two minutes of walking) to a 16:30 two mile on a PT test this week. Now, the week before that the weather was better and I did it in 15:50. Sure, I am not breaking any land speed records, but it's been nice to run again.

The lovely Jennifer, who has recently been on her own new fitness plan and taken off quite a few pounds, enrolled us to participate in the Bisbee 1000 Stair climb. See, for those who aren't familiar with Bisbee, it's my favorite Arizona town. It was a mining town built into a bunch of hills over a century ago, and is now a quirky little hippie town full of people who like to take life a little slower than most. In short, it's like a Washington town right here in the desert. Anyway, the whole town is built on various levels and riddle with an Escher-like system of stairs. Each year, the town puts on a 5K run/walk which involves climbing 1000 of these stairs. Jennifer and I had never done anything like this together before, and not only had a great time, but got a good workout. I started thinking about running it next year.

Then I started looking at myself. I'd never liked this kind of thing before, but I was feeling good doing it. And on my birthday, it hit me.

I was going to run a marathon.

Now, I don't know a damn thing about this stuff. I started doing internet research, and quizzing friends- turns out I have a remarkable number of friends who have done these. Some of them are even geeks like me (yes, you Jim. Well, you too Siddhartha). To help me along, the Lovely Jennifer bought me a book for my birthday called “Born to Run” about the psychology of endurance runners. The idea of embracing the fatigue and operating outside yourself. Making yourself like a child and just running with no thought of time or pain. Stepping out of yourself, while being acutely aware of yourself...

Hey, wait a minute. This was starting to sound a bit spiritual. And it is. If God's in all of us, an dwe have to dig deep inside to make 26.2 miles (though many people in the book are doing 100 miles races!) then what, or who, will be looking back when you dig?

So, I have a basic training plan, starting out this week. I cheated a little and went out to do four miles this morning like a preview... and you know what? I quit fighting it, and with a whole new attitude, I liked running this morning. I did an extra mile just for fun, and felt like I could have kept going. Endorphin euphoria or God-seeing trance, it felt good. I can't wait to do it again. I'm not even sore.

So begins a new Blog. As I go through this plan, I will share what I am thinking and feeling. I am sure it will not all be as nice as it was today, so I don't always promise to be so positive. I will keep you all appraised of my progress and plans. There's a marathon in February in Apache Junction, but that one seems too soon. I may do the half marathon then. The run I plan to do is in Prescott in May. Seven months away. No pressure, just what I want to do.

Welcome to The Running Dan.

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