Friday, March 16, 2012

Running: Week Three -- Reflections

Toward the end of my previous blog I noted this:

I'm on a new journey of fitness, discovery, and self-mastery. I'm living my dream for 2012: "I choose to be in charge of my habits. I let it be easy." Running is a part of that dream. 

Being in charge of my habits is the dream. Improved fitness is the result of improved habits. Improved habits is the result of discovery and self-mastery.

I've discovered a few things over the past week:

1) I'm more out of shape than I thought. 
2) My joints (especially my ankles) are a potential weakest link, and they require strengthening.
3) Muscles can be transformed quicker than joints, so I need to progress at the rate of joint health.
4) Running for life requires a balanced training program.
5) A balanced training program requires attention to cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility. 
6) A balanced training program also requires built in time (patience) for recovery.
7) I have accumulated sufficient knowledge and equipment to build a balanced program.
8) Improved fitness is a day-to-day way of life that needs to be savored and enjoyed: the journey needs to be fun!
9) Logging miles (in a spreadsheet) is validating.
10) Firing up my metabolism once a day, if not twice a day, will help me to burn more calories, especially the fat ones. ;-)

One of the other habits I wanted to improve was my independent reading. As a side effect of becoming a more knowledgeable runner... that is happening as well. 

Ain't life grand?


  1. Are you able to savor the running while your are running, in and of itself? Do you listen to music while you run?

  2. @Dennis: Yes, I am able to savor the running while I'm doing it. The key is to slow down. I should be able to talk while I run. So, I may have to slow down to a fast walk sometimes. But the day after daylight savings hit, and I was up at 6 (which was 5 the day before), I felt like a kid up to go fishing. I was up before the neighborhood dogs. A cat and a bird greeted me. (The cat came from a yard to be petted.) I feel the breeze, the outdoor air, my lungs working at capacity, the cold on my neck. It's a very alive feeling. I don't listen to music while I run... I want to discover the music of the run. I also feel the thrill of self-mastery... showing up... warming up... slow run to "that tree," then walking to "that tree over there," etc. Three laps, the cool down on the walk home. You might like the book "Running for mortals." John Bingham teaches a person to think like an athlete. He ends his book with "Waddle on!" He's a back-of-the-pack runner... who has used running to face many a fear, and launch into a life he never imagined could be his.

  3. Discovering yourself is certainly an important part of the secret of success. Keep up the good work, Don.

    1. Thanks, Scriptor. One of the things I appreciate about you is your can-do attitude. You are a life-long learner and encourager, despite personal health challenges. You are a mini-miricle, like the burning bush, which keeps on burning and is not consumed. You and I, let's keep up the good work! (I know you will!)

  4. Just glanced at the "Amazon-inside-look" of Bingham's book (as I do want to escape from writing my sermon) and noticed that he mentioned that small children just naturally run. Then I realized that I do run; between the church and the manse (60feet), from front to back yard (another 60 feet run) from the school to the manse (about 250 feet) without thinking about it. I just do it when I don't want to dally around, and I don't think about it. In high school PE, when we had our baseball season, we were sometimes given the option of running the fence line instead of playing baseball, and I always availed myself of that option (because baseball was a dehumanizing experience for me). But it was an option, not a "must do it". I ran as the hunted, not as the hunter; I was prey in high school. Does a rabbit run when there are no coyotes or cougars around?

    1. Well, it sounds like there is a runner in you after all. A short runner. (One who does short runs.) That's what I did in the rain. I think rabbits do run for sport with each other. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was one of my favorites: he flew for the sake of flying. An old S.I. Hinton book is entitled, "That was then, this is now." Hunter and hunted are not the only options. Perhaps that's part of what Bingham is getting at as he strives to teach the reader to think like an athlete. I've found myself using vocabulary I've never used before... like "my training schedule." That's new for me. A lot of what I'm reading pertains to walking as well, but running takes more effort... and maybe yields more rewards: physically, emotionally, and self-esteem wise.