Sunday, January 11, 2004


posted by Michael Piwonka 5:15 PM
I've always hated to run. Primarily because I was never very good at it. I had decent speed, but little or no endurance.

Last year a neighbor and I started jogging around the neighborhood in an attempt to stave off weight gain. I believe that we were running only about 1 mile per run, 3 times a week. We're now running over 10 miles per week (we weren't very disciplined over the holidays, but we're getting back into the routine, having run over 4.5 miles yesterday).

We ran a 5k fun run a couple months ago, at about a 9 minute/mile pace.

And a couple more guys have joined us, giving us an informal neighborhood "running club". The two new guys are better runners than us two originals, which is good because it presses us to improve. One of the guys is particularly fit, having completed a mini- (or perhaps full) triathlon(s).

He's been trying to convince the others of us to do a mini-triathlon in June, but we've all been somewhat hesitant. None of the rest of us are willing to commit enough time to do it right (and our families don't want us out of the house training all the time). I think we all agree that our weakness would be the swimming; it would no doubt be mine.

Perhaps the biggest accomplishment for me is being able to run in the cold weather. It was about 35 fahrenheit yesterday, and I didn't struggle too badly. I had asthma as a kid, and occasionally would have an attack as an adult, particularly in cold weather. The fact that I've built up some tolerance is encouraging (but I still run noticeably better in warmer weather).

I'm starting to rather enjoy running, especially since it requires little special equipment, and I don't need to go to the gym, pool or field. I just need to put on my shoes, and step out the door. Then I'm off and running. (I used to play soccer, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, each match required about 4 hours of family time on the weekend, between travel, warm-up and game time.)

The next step for me is to set some realistic goals; perhaps I can slowly build up to a 10k, then maybe a half marathon, and then a full marathon. In any case, I'm feeling good about getting regular exercise, regardless of the distance and pace.


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