A Return to Running

In a few weeks, JP and I will be leaving the frosty Pacific North Wet to teach a class in the balmy Carribean…I know, tough job, right? Unfortunately we’ll be leaving the bikes and gear behind so our main method of exercise will be running.

Now, I’m not really much of a runner. In the past few decades I’ve been known to focus on running, for a while, primarily for its ultimate simplicity…shoes, socks, shorts and t-shirt. That’s all it takes.

I’ve even run six marathons along the way. In fact, the last real running I did ended back in April, 2011 when Janet and I ran the inaugural Vernonia Marathon. It had been 13 years since my last marathon but I wanted to run with Janet on her first.

So yesterday I strapped on my new running shoes to head out and see where I was. I knew this would be a short and demoralizing act, but it needed to happen. I’ve run in Asics as long as I can remember but this time I bought a pair of Brooks Glycerin. They fit just as well, felt very comfy in the store and were noticeably lighter. Walking around during the day confirmed their supportive cushioning so I was excited to get out on the road.

The only real problem was the weather we’ve been having. It’s not been as bad as the frozen storms throughout much of the nation but it is unusual for us to stay below freezing for so long in early December. As I headed out, the fog hadn’t quite settled into the valley yet but the temperature was a balmy 28 F.

The run was a relatively flat 2 miles, as expected. As much a brisk walk as a run. It has been a few weeks since spraining my right ankle, for the upteenth time, and it responded with only the slightest grumbling. The cold air opened my lungs to new depths, releasing layers of epithelial debris. My relatively brief warm-up and lack of recent running led to a strained left Achilles tendon.

All in all…a slow, slightly painful, chilly realization that I’ve got a ways to go before I will, once again, be comfortably fit running. In four short weeks, the temperature will change from the 20’s F to the 20’s C and another adaptation will need to happen – but I’ll manage.

Whether you are in your 20’s, 40’s, 60’s…take care of that body. It’s the only one you get!

Enjoy the ride,

Jay

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