This Old Marine

When I was young I enjoyed going for long runs.  While I was in the military I often ran five miles over the lunch break.  After the military I moved into a new neighborhood and went for my first run on city sidewalks.  Running on the concrete hurt my knees.  I could hardly walk up the stairs to my house.  From that point every time I tried to run, as soon as I reached any kind of distance, something would hurt.  My back, my knees, my hips, something would force me to stop running.  I didn’t run for years.

One day I decided that I wanted to try running again.  I ran a half mile on an inside padded track.  It was ok.  I slowly built up to a mile and did that at the end of my weightlifting workouts for many months. 

One day, my son, who was planning on joining the Marine Corps and was running a lot in preparation said to me “Dad, don’t Marines run three miles?”.

I was challenged to try again to build up to a three mile run.  I very slowly increased the distance that I ran until after many months was again running three miles.  I felt very good about the fact that this old Marine could once again pass the Marine Corps physical fitness test.  (The situps and pullups are not, and never were a problem for me.)

This past summer I wanted to try something different.  I thought that I would try doing the triathlon routine.  I swam, biked and ran: first for twenty minutes each, and then for thirty minutes each.  It then occurred to me that if I was going to enter a triathlon, I would have to run on something other than an inside, padded track. 

The first time that I ran outside I was very concerned.  I ran on the grass or on the gravel shoulder as much as possible. 

It worked.  I was able to run outside again without hurting.  I have been routinely doing this triathlon training now for a few months.  It feels good.

On Labor Day, the gym was closed.  I couldn’t swim, and I had the urge to try for a longer run.

I ran for an hour.  It went really well.  I checked out the distance with the car and I had made 6.6 miles!  That was the longest run I had made in over twenty years. 

The problem is… now I want more.  I am going to try going for long runs every other week.  Yesterday, I ran for an hour again.  This morning there are no ill effects.  I am going to try adding four minutes the next time that I run.  I will continue to do a long run every other week ( in addition to other shorter runs in between) adding four minutes every other time, until I reach the ten mile mark. 

We’ll see how it goes.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: