Thursday, September 30, 2010

To Run, or Not To Run...

As some of you know, I have recently discovered the joys of running for my health. And when I say 'joys', I really mean aches and pains. At this point, I have been running somewhat regularly for about a year and a half and by now I can tell when my body feels good and when it feels like a forty-one year old going 0n eighty. Luckily, for the most part, the good days slightly outnumber the challenging days, so I'm still motivated enough to go out and keep running. Just like the amazing golf shot on the last hole of an absolutely horrid round. Or the fish that nibbles your line five minutes before you'd planned to pack it in after five hours of taking your night crawler for a swim. As long as you end on a positive note, it's much easier to trick yourself into forgetting about the blood blister that forms on your right pinkie toe.

So here are the things that I love about running, along with the things that try to get me to consider ordering a thigh master and working out from the couch instead.

Number one on the list of positive influences to my running is my Ipod. This little miracle has almost single handedly got my butt into running shoes. At first, I just wanted to play with it, but now it's keeping my mind off what I'm doing so well that I don't notice my lungs burning so much. The down side is that I don't think I could run without my Ipod now. I forgot it once and all I had to listen to was the clomp, clomp, wheeze, wheeze cadence of my running. That 30 minutes was the longest 45 minute run I've ever had.

Another fun thing to use while running is my heart monitor. Lady Di got me one early on. It's a belt worn around your chest which communicates your vital information to your sport watch. So it's kind of fun to see your heart rate rise at the beginning of your run and it also keeps track of your minutes and calories burned. It also beeps if your heart rate gets too high which usually happens about 3 minutes into my jog. That's my signal to pull over and sit on the curb or use some stranger's lawn chair that happened to be left out.

One other thing I like about running is going downhill. If you ever think about starting a running plan, go downhill. It's awesome!

But I hate running uphill. So avoid going uphill at all costs.

During warm days I love turning a corner and running into a nice cool breeze to cool off. But running against the wind is awful. It feels like running through a bunch of wet blankets hanging on a clothesline. So always run into a breeze and never against the wind.

The main reason I run though is to remain healthy. At forty-one I'm no longer the athlete I once was. And the athlete I once was, wasn't all that athletic to start with. I also want to be around for my family as long as possible. I see running as adding time to my life account. Every step I take is another ten seconds of extra life that I can use for more running.

So on the whole, the positives still outweigh the negatives so I suppose I'll keep it up. There is only one more negative that I hope doesn't get worse. I'm really bothered by all of the women who check me out while I run. It's getting to be so many that I'm worried that people will start to talk. So if you are one of the hundreds that sit in your driveway on Tuesday and Friday afternoons, please resist. I know if will be difficult, but it's for the good of us all. Remember, try to restrain yourself on Tuesdays and Fridays between 3 and 4pm.

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Stuff About Me

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.