Once upon a time I could hold my own as a runner and my ability to perform in the upper percentile of age mates brought me pleasure and satisfaction. My speed has fallen precipitously in the last four years and my desire to and pleasure from running has declined in parallel. Throw in some running related injuries and we have a perfect equation for throwing in the towel.
Hey, it’s not like I’m a couch potato. I cycle. Sort of. And swim. Kinda.
Fortunately for me I have a kick-ass goddess for a wife who supports through example and encourages by cajoling. She’ll ask if I want to do a sprint triathlon and I’ll sigh and answer, “If you’re doing it I’ll do it too.” Pretty tepid teamwork on my part but at least I haven’t quit.
Monday September second brought those of us in the USA the Labor Day Holiday and my darling, after acquiring my anemic acquiescence, signed us up to run a 5 kilometer race. Given my state of aerobic impairment I predicted a finish time of 37 minutes, a pace without haste but a goal I felt I could execute. With a lot of heavy breathing I managed to finish in 33:45. This, while a nice surprise, encouraged my beloved to ask, “So, what’s the farthest you’d be willing to race?”
“I don’t know,” replied unawares me, “maybe an 8 K?”
“Okay,” returned the goddess, “I’ll see what’s available.”
I assured her that she should do no such thing.
Running slowly while working hard is not enjoyable. In my attempt to embrace the slow but steady beats a quadruple bypass mentality I upped my once or twice a week neighborhood run of 2.6 Km to 3.8 and today I managed to complete my run in 27:05, a time that may be snail like but at least represents a step, or ~4,600, in the right direction. I will continue to strive for a time in the 25 minute range but I won’t hold my breath, especially while running.