Sunday, February 12, 2006

It's Time to Start Running!!!

Yes, it's one of those cultural references that has been running through my head for twenty years. Richard Dawson would be proud.

I used to be big into running. It started in late elementary school when my mother started running. It continued through running 1000 miles in 3 months during high school. Then I had spurts of occasionnal intense training until 2001 when I accompanied her on her 50th marathon (my 3rd). I have only run rarely since.

There are many events that inspire me to get back into it. Every year I would accompany my mother for a few miles during the Chicago Marathon. The excitement surrounding the event, the fans lining every block of the course, running shoulder to shoulder (literally) with people accomplishing such a feat, and my mind saying 'I could do this again' all got the wheels turning I should get back into it. Unfortunately, winter came soon after and the inspiration waned by spring. The Summer Olympics was another inspiring event. The marathon, the quarter mile, the relays, and even the pole vault reminded me of the days on the high school track team.

But now I have some other inspiration. Firstly, I need to shed some pounds and diet along has not been working well enough. OK, hospital food didn't help and my mind gives up on the diet (I actually binge) when my family comes to visit. Secondly, the weather is unusually warm and the streets are actually clear of any snow as of this writing. Lastly and probably the biggest reason is the company I work for is participating in a hockey tournament in Boston in early April. I already know I am the least experienced on the team and my stick handling is pretty poor. But the aspect where I could make up for that is through endurance and speed. The stationary bike won't cut it to get into the shape needed. It's time to hit the pavement doing long runs and fartleks. Fartleks because they would best simulate the sprint/coast sequences on the ice. I will also need to get some practice on the skates, but running is the only way to get back into that kind of shape.


Anonymous said...

Good luck! I haven't done any running since the Fall. Other than at the gym on the treadmill, that is.

Unknown said...

I went out for 20 minutes last Saturday and I was in major pain until Wednesday. Even a run on Monday didn't flush out the aches. I probably hadn't gone for a real run since last spring. We'll see if I can do this 5am run routine.

Treadmills are decent during the winter, but they just can't replace moving on solid earth.

Jack Ruttan said...

What's a fartlek? Is that like a loppet? Is it a word everyone knows except me, and is it used in everyday conversation without cracking a smile?

Unknown said...

Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning speed play. I don't think it is very common outside of runners who have done various types of speedwork. Yes, we learned about it during cross-country in high school and we all thought it was a funny name also until we actually had done a few.

Basically it consists of jogging with periodic sprints thrown in. I think in high school we did about 300 yards of jogging then sprinted for 100 yards. We must have done about 3 or 4 miles like that. Quite similar to an indian run except you don't need a group.

An indian run is when a group of 4 to 10 runners run in a line. The person in the rear must sprint to the front after the previous person reaches the front.

They were a real pain, but they got us in good shape.