Resolutions – Running

As mentioned in a previous post, I made a handful of resolutions at the beginning of the year geared toward making myself better. One of the first resolutions was getting more exercise or more precisely running more.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I used to be big into distance running from about 12 years old until about 10 years ago. And you also know that my mother runs marathons regularly. She’s getting close to running her 100th marathon and her current quest is to run a marathon in every state. The 50 state quest has brought her up to the Northeast a couple times now for marathons up here. A few years ago she intended to run two marathons in two days. New Hampshire on Saturday and Maine on Sunday. I brought the girls down to cheer her on for the New Hampshire Marathon. But as she was coming into the finish line, she picked up the pace to impress the girls and ended up breaking her toe. Since she could barely walk, she abandoned the Maine leg of the weekend.

Then late last year, she told me that she was planning to run the Mount Desert Island Marathon in October. I’d been looking for a good reason/goal to get back into shape and running the marathon with her would be a great one. Actually the last time I ran a marathon was also with her for her 50th marathon 10 years ago. This one won’t be her 100th, but she’s getting close. The Mount Desert Island Marathon also appealed to me because we went there for a vacation during my early teens. In fact my mother and I went out for a run along the coast back then, which is part of the race course.

With that in mind, I began attempting to run last winter. But I found that I became much more out of shape that I had thought. Now I’ve always been big on walking everywhere. I can walk 5 or 6 miles and my feet would start hurting before my legs would get tired. But running turned out to be a different story. I couldn’t run more than 100 yds before feeling a bit of tightness in my chest. So I took it slow alternating running and walking 1 mile. It took quite some time before I got in shape enough to do a mile without stopping. But then I started having a problem with another part of my body. It’s hard to describe, but it is like the interior muscle of my calf would tighten up and hurt if I pushed it too hard. Then it would ache for a day or two and instantly start hurting if I tried to run through it. I tried a bunch of different things: stretching, running slower, resting more. Until finally I took some peoples advise and bought a new pair of shoes. That worked great for a while, but then it flared up again in mid-June. By then I had gotten up to 8 miles on my long runs. For a marathon you should run at least one 20-miler before the race.

Since mid-June I haven’t run much. It was part due to the injury, part due to the incredible heat, and part due to my dislike of waking up early to get in the run. As a pair of working parents who alternately take care of the kids in the evenings, mornings are the only time I can get in a run. If I’m up too late the night before, I jeopardize being tired all day by getting up early for the run. So I’m still working on getting myself in bed by a good time (maybe I should cut down on the movies for a while). But since my training is now behind schedule, I’ve had to revamp and rethink the training program. There is the Galloway training program which allows you to alternate running and walking to get you in form for the race. I am working out a modified version of this so that I can be in shape by October. I just need to be sure my legs and feet are ready enough to spend the 6-odd hours to get to the finish line.


~ by Frank on August 12, 2011.

2 Responses to “Resolutions – Running”

  1. Good for you for starting running again. I’ve been very gradually building up to it with a couch to 5k programme. I’m on week 5. I’ve never been a runner but I think it’s a combination mid-life crisis and the challenge of actually being able to run. With my short stumpy legs, I’m not going to be breaking any records. And my run is more like a shuffle right now but it’s more than I’ve done.

    But I agree that it’s a difficult thing to work into your life when you’re juggling home and work duties. I tend to go every other morning at 5:00am so basically, the only time I can exercise is when everyone in my house is unconscious.

  2. Good for you too for starting running. Don’t worry about speed. I was never really fast, so that’s why I ended up doing long distance. When I first started running, I was called Quasimodo since I had a hunched over style. It took a year of cross-country and track drills to get a more standard form. But really whatever works is fine as long as you don’t get injured.

    My problem is still that I stay up too late, so getting up in the morning is difficult. Which reminds me that I should get to bed.

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