I Did A Dangerous Thing
May 26, 2015
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Regular readers will know that I’ve been struggling with remaining physically active since tearing a groin muscle four or five years ago. After about five years of running regularly, including running four half marathons, my running ground to a halt while I tried to rehab the muscle tear. The rehab never really took, and I’ve tried off and on to start running again. Each time I do so I tell myself that my objective is to be able to run three to five miles three or four times a week. And nothing more. I’ve been doing better at that over the past six months, but I went through a lull for a few months. Until about a month ago. I decided I had to get back to running. For several reasons. First, just for the overall health benefits. Second, because I’m going on my first backpacking trip next month and I need to have some level of fitness to do that.
So, I started running regularly again a couple of weeks ago. Just three to five miles several times a week. That’s all. Nothing more. There is no half marathon in my future, so longer distances are unnecessary. I’m just doing this for the general health benefits. Right? Right.
This weekend, I did this. On Saturday, I went for a three or four mile hike near Auburn. I was breaking in my new hiking boots and exploring the confluence of the North Fork and Middle Fork of the American River. On Sunday, I went for a run. Five miles. As I approached the end, I was itching for more because things were feeling good. This is the thing I have noticed about running. The first couple of miles are always difficult. My calves are typically tight and a joint here or a muscle there complains. But then things start to loosen up, the endorphins kick in, my breathing evens out, and I get in a rhythm. The tightness and discomfort of those first couple of miles go away and the next few miles are almost … enjoyable. Which leads me to consider more miles.
I didn’t do that on Sunday because I figured with the day off on Monday, I could go for another run. Which I did. 7.5 miles and when I stopped I was still in that “I could run further” zone.
Which all leads to why this is a dangerous thing. If I can run 7.5 miles relatively comfortably, can I run 13.1?
I’ve told myself that I’ll never run that distance again.
Yes, I’ve told myself that.