Running: My First Week

At one time I ran thirty-five miles a week and seventy miles a few times. I grew tired and bored of it. Through the urging of my son, who enjoys running, I’m starting again. This is the weekly chronicle of my progress.

Nearly twenty years ago is when I stopped running. At that time I was running three miles a day.

I always thought there would be a time to start again. I never thought it would be this long.

I’m probably thirty-five pounds heavier than I was then.

A few days ago I told my son that I run until I can’t run any further. The first morning it was a little less than a quarter-mile. That crushed me mentally. I walked a little and ran some more. At the end of the run I was never so disgusted with myself. My son gave me a reality check. “Dad, if twenty years ago you just went out and started to run with a thirty-five pound weight on your back, how do you think you would have done then?” (Smart Alec kid.)

In addition to the running there is an adjustment in my diet. I’m trying to cut the caloric intake of my diet about 30%. This is done by just eating less.

For example, I used to have a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast; now I have only half bagel. My lunches are lighter; sometimes only a salad, but if I eat anything else it’s normally a half to a third less. The same with my evening meal. It was not unusual for me to eat half of a twelve-inch pizza; now I will have a quarter. My between meal snacks have been cut by at least half.

What this all means is that I’ll probably lose twenty pounds in about a week.

My goal is not so much loosing weight. It is just to move a little and feel better about doing it.

Most of my life I’ve done physical work and suddenly my stamina for such is a concern for me. It’s not that I expect to work like a twenty-five year old. I just don’t want to feel like an eighty-five year old. In fact, I hope to feel better at eighty-five.

Here is my running diary for the first six days:

May 1

At 6:30 AM I slipped on a pair of sweats and laced up a pair of Converse All Stars and jogged half of a 1 ½ mile course. Later I discovered it was only a mile course. Rats!

I’m in my mid sixties. I must be crazy.

My goal is at the end of July is to run three miles.

At 12:45 I mowed the lawn.

At 3:15 PM I picked up the grandkids from school.

“Why are you limping Grandpa?”

“Shut up.”

My left calf hurt so much that I limped.

At 5:00 PM I tried to take a nap. I was too sore to sleep.

At 6:00 PM I gave in and took an ibuprofen. I felt good again; not eighteen year old good; seventy-five year old good.

At 7:00 PM I watched Deadliest Catch. Those guys work hard. Man, I’m out of shape.

May 2

I almost had myself talked into running every other day; makes sense to me.

At 6:30, on the road again.

I ran a little more and walked a little less. I’m out of breath after a quarter-mile.

Later my wife pointed out that I put my sweat pants on backwards. So tomorrow I will run twice as far with my sweats on frontward.

May 3

Started my run (stumble) at 6:15 PM.

I ran past a fenced in dog park (where dogs go to crap). There was a dog there.

As I ran by I said, “What are you doing in there?”

“Taking a crap,” he said.

I gasp for air. “Lucky you.”

May 4

At 6:08 AM I put my sweats on and made sure my pants weren’t backward.

My inspiration!
I started my run looking for inspiration. I started thinking about Chris Farley and the Chippendale’s skit from Saturday Night Live. I ran.

Towards the end of the run I walked. A black cat came across the street and stopped short of crossing my path. I reached for my heart.

The cat stood motionless in the middle of the street and said, “I’m confused; is it you cross my path or is it I cross yours?”

A guy in an ‘89 Grand Am ran over the cat.

I was about to say to the cat… Never mind.

May 5

This is my Cinco de Mayo run. Those Mexicans sure love their mayonnaise!

Ran half my route without stopping.

I saw two male ducks together this morning. I’ve heard the expression “queer duck,” but this is my first sighting. I got to report this to the Audubon’s.

Come to think of it; I’ve seen a dog, a cat, and now two ducks, this has become a regular nature run.

May 6

As I write this I’m still panting. Six days straight.

It was a quiet Sunday run. No breeze to unfurl the flag at the storage unit business. This was the second morning in a row there was frost.

This was a hard run today. The last fifty yards I thought of quitting. I ran it and slowed to a walk as I turned the corner. The garage door of a home was open. Inside, on the wall was an illuminated Guinness beer sign. It was angelic. If that ain’t a sign from heaven; I don’t know what is.

I stopped panting.



  1. This made me laugh out loud. I don’t always get a chance to click over to read your blog, but today I’m glad I did (BTW, you have some of the most intriguing blog titles). I run, too, but sometimes I just want to stay in bed with the covers over my head. I do think it’s a good idea to give yourself one day of rest, but I understand that opens the door to slovenliness. The Chris Farley skit is classic. Hope your books are selling. jf

Blather away, if you like.

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