Why Add Running to One Foot In Reality?

Marine Corps Marathon – 1983

Running has been a passion of mine for many years and it is something that has been a very important part of my life. I originally started a niche blog that focused on running, but as I thought about it and got feedback from others, running is an important part of my life and I don’t want to separate it out from my personal blog.

No – One Foot In Reality is never going to be professional blog that brings in anything more than accidental money, it is a personal blog for my wife and I to practice our writing skills and to give others a chance to glimpse into our lives. So with that being said – running has become one of the categories that we will write about on One Foot In Reality.

Running to me really is part of simplifying our lives and we have made it a higher priority part of our retirement, now that we have the time to do it, without feeling pressured to get it done at odd hours or times after we get done work.

Thinking back running has helped me through some very tough times, is part of some fantastic memories and allowed me to meet some very interesting people that I never would have otherwise.  That is why I love to write about my experiences with it.

It has been how long?

I have been involved with organized running since the summer of 1971 when I began training for my high school cross country team during my Freshman year – thank you Jay Brown. It was supposed to be something todo to get ready for basketball season and turned into a lifelong activity.

That means I have been doing this “running thing” for a while – over 40 years of experience isn’t too bad. I guess that I can now in good conscience call myself a veteran runner.

During my running career, I have seen the highs of being fairly competitive, finishing a marathon, meeting some really great people and the lows of being injured for extended periods of time and then fighting to come back to being a runner again.

What can you expect from me adding running?

Writing about my comeback attempt after a couple fairly serious injuries, ending when I had arthroscopic knee surgery in May.

I have had quite a few false starts (running for a while, then having to stop again), so now after being out for almost 4 years, I am returning to running. Even during this period I have always considered myself a runner, just one on the long-term disabled list and did things like being the assistant coach for my school’s cross country team to keep in contact with the sport.

I will writing about that trials and successes that I have coming back and what new things that I learn along the way.

Before I was injured the first time, I had just started doing a lot of local trail running and was loving it. As the knee gets better, I plan to make trail running a part of my regular running routine. Trail running just seems to be a natural extension of what I really enjoy – being out in the woods a lot and seeing nature in all of her glory.

Not that I enjoy the face-plants and barrel rolls that seem to happen when you trail run, but when you get back to the parking with blood running down your knees, pine needles sticking out of your hair and mud in places you would rather not think about and the guy getting out his car says to you “good run huh?” and you look down at yourself and go “yep, good run” and look up with a big grin, it is priceless.

Yes I will even be talking a little about lifting weights, which I happen to think sucks! However, it does help and I am doing some – not as much as I should, but more than I used to.

Reflections on different parts of my running career, both the highlights and the lowlights. I have plans for a series that will span the decades that I have run.

Reviews on different shoes, clothing, techie stuff and other gear that I use when I am running, when I can afford new stuff :-).

I also plan to use my blog as an off-beat way of doing my running log. I am not as into numbers, totals or time as I used to be. Writing a blog post as my daily running log has a certain amount of appeal to me and is a holistic approach to my log – yes I still have a Google Spreadsheet that I use to track some stuff, so I haven’t completely gone away from numbers.

Since my daily running log will be open to the public, I will feel guilty if I don’t post my daily running results. If I have too many in a row, I can’t say I didn’t realize that I hadn’t run in a while.

Finally, I run year round, which isn’t always easy up heah in Maine, this year I don’t have access to a treadmill (I retired and didn’t renew my gym membership – that $$$$ thing) and plan to run outside, so that should make my return to running even more shall we say “interesting” and some of those runs and posts this winter should be rather entertaining.

The reality is that

running is something I do and even though I no longer am a competitive runner (never was that good either if I want to be totally honest), I do love to run.  When I am not running consistently there is a huge void in my life and it has been this way for far too long, now I am starting over and it feels great to just be running again.

I hope that you enjoy my adventures during my return to running, I know that I am excited about it.

RunLog – 11/11/11 – First Run With Bennie that Worked

Today was one of those crazy day, SD2 got married just after 11:11 and our schedule was completely changed by that happy occasion. The young man she is marrying is a really nice guy and they should be happy together.

When it came time for the Bennie long walk this morning, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t have much of a chance for a run later, so instead of just walking him, the two of us ran.

Now this is the first time that I have taken Bennie running for more than a couple of hundred yards, usually he is too strong-headed and doesn’t do well running on the leash.

In the past when I have tried, he thinks you are playing and pulls this way and that, puts the leash in his mouth and tries to pull you along faster, while he is going backwards, he can make you feel even slower than you really are or is really are. Surprisingly, he didn’t do any of that this morning, for the most part he just ran along nicely, but jerked me to a stop a couple of times to do his business (which is part of the reason for the long morning walk), until I could tell he was getting tired – oh wait that was me.

We did two miles and he was breathing funny, so I stopped and walked for a couple of hundred yards, to let him catch his breath (he hasn’t run this far for as long as we have had him and I didn’t want him to be too exhausted the first run, actually I think he thought I was slowing down too much and was trying to pull me along faster), then we ran the last part home without any problems.

One thing about running with him is that you do get an upper body workout, he still doesn’t do great on the leash switching from side to side and will try to pull you along faster, every so often, so there is some natural fartlek training when running with him. Unfortunately for him, there was just too much mass on the other end of that leash to get it going at the speed he wanted to go at times, 20 pounds vs 177.

I didn’t time the run because, I figured we would be stopping all the time and it would really not be indicative of the workout that I/we would get. The time would have been slower than usual, but not really that much slower. I think that Bennie enjoyed the running, that is what a Long Legged Jack Russell was bred to do, especially when we would run faster, he acted like he just wanted to keep going at that speed.

The Peregrines did a good job, I was running on a recently fixed dirt road and some stretches were mucky or slimey, but I didn’t get that squishy-slipping around feeling, which gave me confidence to just run. The knee is a little sore and tired, after all I have run more in the past few days than I have in a long time. It might be time to have an easy day tomorrow, we will see.

Good run

Weight: 177
Time of Day:  8:50 P.M.
Temp:  44
Weather: Sprinkling Rain