Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cows, Running and Enjoying the Sport of Running

Lucky for me, I was extremely obese and could not obsess about a really fast race.
What’s running rock bottom? For me, it was being passed by a cow in a half marathon. The cow was ambling beside a fence, and she outpaced me on only about 100 meters. Still, she did it.

Until then, I’d been running for about five years. I was an O.K. runner, better than most. I didn’t expect to be offered a Nike sponsorship anytime soon, but I usually placed in the top three of women in my age group for local races. Prizes included a gift certificate to a taco joint called Macho Taco, a pair of Vibram FiveFingers Shoes and a gaudy trophy with what looks like a man on the top. Nothing fancy, but validation that I was doing something right.

But I let those items get to my head. If I could win those prizes in my first few years of running, what was to stop me from coming in No. 1 for my age group? My times were dropping with every race. I’d never run a marathon before, but I set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon first time out.

Then I got injured. Running — the thing that had been my daily salvation and the only pocket of time in my overscheduled day when no one else could bother me — became a chore. A painful, stabby chore that ended with me eyeing the tail end of a cow.

I thought about quitting. Maybe I’d take up biking. Maybe I’d become one of those power walkers with the bright white shoes who did laps around my town’s park.
I was very lucky that my wife Alice found The Extra Mile Podcast, Kevin who is the host, and the Run/Walk/Run Running guru Jeff Galloway.

Now, I have reduced my obesity some (I continue to diet and wish to reduce another 50 pounds) and enjoy running - but in moderation and according to a Galloway Run Until You Are a Hundred Schedule.

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