Day 21, from “Runner” to “jogger”

I missed day 20, I failed yet again, however I did actually START this one yesterday.

I used to be a fairly competitive runner. I certainly wasn’t the top guy around, but I would usually place fairly well in local road races, and in bigger events(with hundreds or thousands of paticipants) like marathons and half marathons I was always in the top half, and sometimes close to age group awards.

Regardless, about 7 years ago or so I read the book “Born To Run”, and fell in love with the concept of ‘Barefoot Running’. It made sense. People weren’t born to run on their heels, they were born to run their forefoot, like the Tarahumara in the book, who run astonishing distances and pace over mountainous terrain, wearing little more than flip flops.

Of course, doing this at 40 years of age, I got injured. (That’s a common thing) It’s not the book’s fault. I went too fast, tried to do too much too soon.

So, I waited out the injury, and was still convinced that “minimalist” shoes were the way to go. I bought “Zero Drop” running shoes, to run outside with. I bought “minimalist” shoes to walk around in. (Big Mistake) One day I was teaching PE and wearing my minimalist shoes, and I did a mile run, with each of my 4 classes on a hard tile floor.

I got hurt again. So I took some time off, and while waiting to return to running I tried the “Insanity” workout. You know how they show all the dramatic body changes from those workouts? Well, I had some significant changes, but I actually gained 7 pounds!

So when I decided to take up running again, nearly 2 years after I had ran regularly, I weighed about 15 pounds more. It was a struggle. I hurt like I hadn’t ever run before in my life. I decided that while minimalist running makes sense, it didn’t work for this older guy. Too many miles spent running the wrong way.

The following spring, I trained for a half marathon. About a month before the race, I hurt my knee. So I took the month off, and then ran the slowest half marathon of my life (by a long ways).

The next year, I decided I would only run outside, no treadmill, no “hall runs” at the school, try to stay to soft surfaces. I started training for a Full Marathon. Mid-April, less than 2 months away, I went on an 18 mile run, and my hip started hurting. I had to cancel the marathon.

I thought it would go away. It did. About 2 years later. Honestly, for 2 years I could only run every other day, and could only run 3 or 4 miles. If I ran back to back days, or ran like 6 miles… my hip would start to hurt.

Until this year. I have been able to run several days in a row. I have been able to run 6 miles.

However, I am so much slower. I have no big race plans in my future. I’m no longer a “runner”, I’m a “jogger”. I don’t do anything competitively. I run in the occasional local 5K, but I don’t really have any objective, except to enjoy the experience.

Thanks for reading.

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