Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Take Your Marks...

It's time for a change in my life. I am tired of being out of shape to the point of deciding to do something about it. Recent health issues with several family members have caused me to realize that my procrastination about fitness needs to come to an end. Now.

My friend Sara (who recently completed her first marathon)has been quietly encouraging me to become a runner. Frankly I think runners are a bit odd. Of course this from someone who used to keep bees as a hobby and now ties flies to fish with. Draw your own conclusions.

I am amazed that anyone could become so addicted to running. It's pretty boring...I only used to do it because the football or baseball coach made me. It was a means to an end...but not an activity to pursue in of itself.

But Sara is addicted, and since I trust her judgment on many other things (she introduced me to my bride, Caymus Conundrum, and sushi), I decided to stow my objections and give running a try.

Today was my first day of training. I am using a method espoused by running guru Jeff Galloway, that promotes pain free running by including walking intervals in your run. Galloway also stresses lots of rest and very slow increases in distance or speed. So far so good.

I began today with his conditioning program...but in typical Mark fashion, it seemed too tame, so I jumped in at the level recommended for week 6. Week 1 day 1 was a 10 minute run/walk, running for 5 seconds and walking for 55 seconds. Please. I walk farther than that to the refrigerator. I wanted something a bit more manly.

So I did a 30 minute run/walk, running 15 seconds, walking 45. It felt great both during and after the run. But tonight I am having some knee pain...a sign I overdid it. So I will drop back to a lower level (curses!). Tomorrow I will just do a 15 minute walk...and hope the senior citizens don't run me over with their walkers.

What does this have to do with fishing or hunting? Everything. The more fit I am, the longer I can enjoy these pursuits. I don't know that I will become addicted or run a marathon. Right now I am focusing on just improving my conditioning, and maybe training for a 5K, as a way to motivate my training. I'll keep you posted from time to time on my progress as a newbie to running.

Tight Lines


Jocelyn said...

Woo-Hoo!!! I love running!!! I'm so excited you're joining the ranks! Are you running on a track? If so, that's why you think it's boring. When you trail run, then you're surrounded by nature or when you run just through most areas in austin. haha. But you need to start with the track to build up your endurance. You have me so motivated Papa Dillow! I am so severly out of shape and miss running. My finger has become another crutch to overcome to get my feet pounding, getting my temple in shape and losing some weight. Keep it up Papa!!! I'll be praying for your knees. :)

Mark said...

No, I am trail running this time. I have done track running when I was in the military...complete with stylish combat boots for running shoes. You had to be there.
Anyway. I have a great set of trails in my neighborhood, so I am using them.
Knees are muy better this morning...yea Aleve!

Sara Lisch said...

Love the blog and am so excited for you. You will eventually learn to love the solitude that running can provide you, just like fishing. Let's run together - I can talk NON-STOP (ask my running group - I did it for 26 miles) - that should make you appreciate solitude after. Ha ha. And seriously - running has changed my life (for the better). Oh, and thanks for the kind words!

Mark said...

Would love to run with you Sara..but give me a few weeks to get to where its more running that walking...:-)

Of course, we could do laps around Kerby Lane after some migas tacos!

Jocelyn said...

I agree with Sarah. Running is so freeing! It's just you and nature and pushing and stretching your body to its limits. I love it! It's also very cathartic. Running with someone and in groups is fun too, but there's nothing like running by yourself, just you, God, other fellow runners passing by or people riding their bikes and God. I'll picture that God is running beside me and I enjoy his company and He mine and we run together. Love it!

Anonymous said...

You can do it, Mark!!
My husband is now training for his first marathon. He's not your typical runner. He's built like a linebacker and weighs over 200 lbs. He finished his first half-marathon in October!
He never imagined he could do it, but he did!!

He's lost weight and feels so much better. You can do it.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you and your precious family!

Mark said...

Thanks Pinky..yeah I am not built like your typical runner either. I am more your Garth Brooks than your George Strait. :-)

Thanks for the encouragement! Merry Christmas to y'all.

Salubrina said...


This is an awesome post. How's the running/walking/endurance building going so far?

Are you changing anything about your diet along with your fitness?

One thing that has really helped me with my fitness and energy level is a whole food supplement called Juice Plus. I lost close to 40 pounds over the summer, but have put a little of it back on with work/stress/laziness/etc...

Basically, Juice Plus is a capsule that provides me with 13 servings of raw fruits and vegetables. It doesn't replace eating more healthfully, but works in conjunction with a healthy diet to help your body heal itself, and work more efficiently for you.

I have been slacking off in taking it. Thanks for the blog post as a reminder to take better care of myself. :-) hee hee

(shameless, I know, but I do sell Juice Plus if you're interested in learning more about whole food nutrition and health)

Merry Christmas!!!!! Enjoy the warmer weather for running while it's available. :-)

Mark said...

Yes, the diet will need to change too, but I haven't been stressing about it just yet. I decided I would enjoy Christmas without guilting myself about eating goodies.

However, now that we are at the morning after, I will get back on South Beach, which is an eating strategy I have used before and found pretty simple to stay with.

Thanx for the info on Juice Plus. I may have to look into that at some point.

Lumberjack said...

The only reason to run is if a bear is chasing you - and we don't have bears in Central Texas!

Mark said...

True no bears here, but I go to Colorado each year. I don't have to outrun the bear...I only have to outrun you ;-)

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