Boilermaker Blog

A Memorable Memorial Day

This year Memorial Day was special for me but not for the reason you might think. It marked the first time in nearly two years I have run. Some might be a bit struck by the seemingly strange disconnect between some in charge of a rather large road race and not being a runner.
Well, our parents give us all kinds of stuff some of them before we’re even born! One of the gifts I received was bones and cartilage that are a bit more fragile than most. In January I had an experimental procedure done that if successful would combat some of the damage I’ve incurred over the years.
For the past few weeks I’ve felt very good and the siren song of warm temperatures and sunshine whispered in my ears: “Tim, remember the good old runner’s high? Come on back, you’ll love it!”
The plan was to employ the Jeff Galloway technique of training which basically has you start running for a predetermined time/ distance, walk to recover, repeat running, walk… As you gain strength the intervals of walking (theoretically) become less.
I slowly stretched, pushing against the fence. My calves said: “Hey what’s going on here; haven’t done this in awhile.”
Prior to running I tool a warm-up walk around the track the anticipation building as I reached the start line. Normally I hated track running (pretty boring) but its advantages of a flat, cushioned surface were overwhelming.
I took my first tentative steps. The knees were not the first to complain; it was the lungs. I felt like a lawnmower being cranked up that’s been sitting around for a couple of season with old gas and unchanged oil.
While I have not led a sedentary lifestyle, frequently using both elliptical equipment and stationary bikes, running seems to put a much, much heavier demand on the old breathing. Soon I felt like I was breathing through a straw which would be bad enough if you were sitting down, downright awful when in motion. Clearly it was going to take some time for me to get my second wind back.
I reached the walking point and strolled along the course eventually coming to the point when I was to resume the run.
As I again began a slow jog my legs screamed “What; you’re doing this again?” Restarting a run is clearly harder than beginning. The second rep was worse than the first and the third was worse than the second. When I was done I was sweat-drenched and exhausted.
The good news the knees seemed to weather the experience well with no need for any pain meds.
Let’s see what happens….

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