Friday, April 5, 2013
Running while old
I used to own a 1960 MGA convertible. Going for a run now is like driving that old sports car: I feel like I'm theoretically capable of going fast...but, you know, why risk blowing a gasket?
The first mile of every run is basically easing into it and staying hyper aware of what part of my body is likely to fall off. "My left knee is sore...my right heel is hurting...my left calf muscle feels like it could pull." And by the time I'm into the second mile and more loosened up, I'm too tired to will myself to go faster anyway.
When I was younger I used to run with a stopwatch. I liked to go fast, and I liked to see exactly how fast I was going. At this point, there's no reason to run with a stopwatch. I already know I'm slow. Why call attention to it?
But I went for a run on Saturday, and for the first time in probably a year, I wore my watch.
Three miles: 6:54 pace.
Faster than a jog. Slower than a fast run. Fast enough not to get passed. Slow enough not to pull a muscle.
I was feeling so good that I ran again on Sunday. Whoa. Two days in a row. As if I'm 30.
I ran again today, and even though I told myself I'd take it easy, I was actually thinking, "I should be able to hit, say, 6:52."
Okay, back up to 6:58. My left calf is sore. Hey, I'm an old sports car. At least I still run.