I have never been a big runner. I jogged when I was younger. I always had great stamina as a teenager. I was never fast. But, I always liked to run. Well, I haven't run in years. Not just slipping on some tennis shoes and taking off around the neighborhood, but even running short distances. I would try at times. But, it was ugly, slow, and resulted in my heart feeling like it was coming out of my chest.
During the football season, while I was working the half-time contest for Loaf 'N Jug, I was running on the football field with some little kids. My wife told me later that Niko said that he couldn't remember the last time he saw me running! It was both a sad moment and a nice moment.
When I first started walking on the treadmill, and it wasn't that fast, my knee hurt. Eventually it started to go away as I lost weight and my knee got stronger. When I started upping the speed, my knee hurt again. I worried that it wouldn't ever be able to do what I wanted it to. But, it eventually went away. When I started upping the incline, my knee hurt again. I figured I was pushing my luck and that my knee was nearing it's limits. Over time, the pain subsided again. I wanted to run. I realized that at the highest incline and my fastest walking speed, I couldn't get my heart rate up to the zone I wanted to be in. I didn't think my knee could ever handle running again.
About a month ago, I decided to test my knee. I ran for two minutes. My heart rate was up and my knee hurt once again. I decided to run for a few minutes each day and see how I felt. After a week, my knee didn't feel great. But, it was good enough that I thought I could give it a go. I started alternating between walking and running. It felt great to get my heart rate up and to sweat heavily again. But, my knee hurt. My knee hurt worse than it had before. In fact, my knee wasn't the only thing that hurt. My hips hurt from the pounding. My shins hurt a little. I thought I might have taken on a little more than my knee could handle. But, over that first week, my knee started getting better and my hips got used to the pounding. All of a sudden I was running about 15-16 minutes out of my 40-45 minutes on the treadmill!
Looking at my reflection in the window and seeing myself running again was an incredible feeling. On Saturday, I ran 20 of the 40 minutes. Each week, I plan to add a couple of minutes. Eventually, I would like to run from beginning to end for 30-40 minutes. I can hardly believe it is a possiblity. I am not sure the pounding is great for my body. But, I know that I am doing more for myself than I was a month ago when my body was getting used to my treadmill routine. Here's to continuing to do things I never thought I would do again in my life...