Thursday, February 17, 2011

Running for Beer Drinkers

I swear to you I am not a runner. I am built more like a Jeep than a sports car. I always considered runners as sort of sub-species of humans who are genetically predisposed to move across the landscape quicker than most. Running was written in their DNA. It was not written in mine.

I attempted running several times over the years with the same results. After a couple of weeks I would get tired of fighting the internal voice screaming at me to stop…and I would stop. I convinced myself that I was not built for running and that I simply lacked the mental fortitude to “tough it out”.

Turns out we humans are exactly suited for running. Our ancestors acquired the ability to walk (and no doubt run) upright, up on two feet, millions of years ago. In fact, we humans are unique among primates in that we always prefer to move forward on two feet.

On October 18th, 2010 I ran for the first time in almost a year. It sucked. My head filled with the same negative thoughts; exactly why are you running again Jim? I made it about a mile before stopping to walk. I finished the 2.7-mile loop in an unimpressive 35 minutes.  That’s 13 minutes per mile for those of you keeping score at home.

But, I finished.

A couple days later I did the same loop. This time I made it a mile and a half before stopping to walk. I walked for five minutes, and then finished the loop in a slow jog.

Two days later I ran it again. Only this time a strange thing happened; I didn’t stop! I ran the entire 2.7-mile loop in a bit under 30 minutes. I felt proud, invincible, and the next day a little sore.

It has been four months and I am still running. I run every other day and am up to about 25 miles a week (28 miles a couple weeks ago). I rarely run less than six miles at a time and my longest run so far has been twelve miles. I am down over twenty pounds and feel strong.

Just for fun the other day I ran my old 2.7-mile loop. Official time: 21.5 minutes. Not bad for a 41-year-old beer drinker. 

On March 17th 2011 I will run my first official half marathon (13.1 miles) in Tucson, Arizona. I am signed up for another half marathon in Nashville on April 30th.

The moral to the story? Slow down, way down. Take all pressure off yourself and remind yourself to take it easy. Don’t run too hard or too fast, if it hurts stop, and if it feels good keep going.

Oh...and running is very Eco-Logical. Once you have a decent pair of running shoes  it costs nothing but time. I bought my Nike shoes off the discount rack at Ross for $25. eBay has good deals as well.

Good Luck!


  1. love this post Jim! Good luck at the 1/2 in Tucson...hope all goes well!

  2. Oh...and click on the image of the man and woman running for a larger image...then read what is dropping off of them.