Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Running pains

Last night I went to the gym. I try to go three times a week. If you're up to date on my previous posts, you will know that I go running. My eldest son urged me some time ago that purely running - to train for running - was not the best way to train for running. I needed to be more holistic. I needed to develop my whole body and not just the bit that does the running. I was a bit dubious about this at first. I've never fancied "pumping iron". The most pumping I'd done was inflating the tyres on my push bike. Anyway, my wife and I finally joined a gym and the rest is history. Back to last night. I am on a mission. My mission is to try and run the "Henlow-10", a ten mile road race I am aiming to run this November, in 70 minutes or less. For someone like me, that is a tall order, as I've never been anywhere near that good. Even so, despite my increasing great age and other hindrances, I'm determined to run my guts out and give it a try.

Central to my training efforts is the treadmill. A lot of people don't like the treadmill because they find it boring, and let's face it - you don't go anywhere! I am of a different mentality. I positively love the treadmill. I love the treadmill because it is so controllable and you can see how fast you are going and how far you have run at any point. You can even check your heart rate - and watch TV as you plod along on its never-ending belt. When I started my current training regime, I started off relatively slowly, and gradually ratcheted up the speed on each successive work out. I do all this of course, as part of a complete work out which includes pumping iron. I have now reached a seminal point in my speed increases as I am really starting to feel the strain. I see how far I can run in 20 minutes. This is followed by a 5 minute warm-down. A lady was running on the machine next to me last night. She was disturbed, because I was struggling to maintain a steady speed of around 14 kilometers per hour. I started to really pant and groan, as well as moan. My breathing was extremely laboured and I was suffering. Even so, I was enjoying it. I like the pain of a challenge. As John Major (a former prime minister - remember him?) once said, "No pain - no gain." When I was sat in the steam room this same lady was also sat there near me. She commented that she thought I was going to collapse. I explained that if I had died, I would have done so doing something I enjoy. I told her I'd like to die with my running shoes on. She didn't think this was a good idea. I later told her that my wife wouldn't be bothered so long as she got the insurance money. My wife and I are a rare breed of long term happily married couples. We can have a morbid laugh together. We can also have a dark laugh together. We have a cunning plan to shoot each other if we get into a really bad state of knackeredness!. I guess we'd better stick with the gym. I don't like guns anyway!

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