Was I Born to Run?
Miles and miles each week. Ice on my knee, but just the left one. Stretchy compression bandages around my shins that hurt for some odd reason. This is my world of starting running. Again. At 42 years old.
I used to run a lot in my twenties — 3 to 4 miles a day during the week, and 5 or so on the weekends. I would run the road, cross country (occasionally), and treadmills. I would sometimes even sprint on the treadmill at a high incline, and that was pretty hard.
And then one day I just stopped. I can’t remember why.
I never ran as a kid, and I never knew how or why I should run. My parents weren’t athletes (well, my dad played baseball when he was young, but it didn’t grow into something big), and I didn’t have the traditional kid-plays-sports upbringing.
I did Tae Kwon Do, but that even didn’t last past the eighth grade. When I started running in college, I was slow, it hurt, and I was generally terrible at it.
Eventually, I got pretty good. Never great, but decent. I never ran any races, though. I knew people who would run a 5k, and even one girl who was training for a half marathon. Even though I ran regularly, competition never crossed my mind.
Maybe that’s because I didn’t grow up as an athlete. At least not a traditional one. Sure, I did Tae Kwon Do tournaments in junior high, and a couple of bodybuilding competitions in my late teens, but looking back I don’t really consider myself an athlete.
I didn’t train then as I did in my twenties, or even as I’ve done lifting weights most of my adult life.
That being said, I was good at what I did. When I trained in martial arts, I could fly. I could do all the fancy in-the-air stuff you see in the movies but would never do in real life because we don’t have to dismount horse riding opponents with our feet anymore.
What does all this stuff have to do with running as I’m rapidly approaching middle age (which I’ve determined is 45 years old)?
It’s simple, really. I was pretty good at running before, and I think I can be good at it again. Maybe even compete.
My body is remembering how to handle itself during a run rather quickly. Well, at least my heart and lungs are. From the top of my knees down to my achilles tendons, I hear occasional complaints…asking me to ease into things a bit slower.
I listen to my body, sure, but I also listen to my training schedule. I pay attention to my diet, my sleep, and I take proactive measures against all the aches and pains that come with starting to run again.
Should I train for a 5k? Or, more precisely, should I train to win a 5k?