Moving to Freedom, .Org(on)

The Running Bug

I seem to have come down with the running bug. I wonder where I picked it up, and how bad it’s going to get. And is there an effective treatment or cure for the disease? I hope not, because it feels so good.

I was hoping I could keep the problem under control, with three mile jogs in better weather conditions. I’ve been getting by all right with my New Balance 609 “cross-trainer” shoes, for which I paid $54.99 back in early August. This was before I came down with the sickness. The 609s are my standard walking shoe, with this pair being the third generation. But they seem to be doing the job for running, so far, with 80+ miles logged and my body still not rejecting me.

Up until now I hadn’t invested in any paraphernalia specifically for running, although I already own a Polar heart rate monitor that I bought for my weight loss project this year. I’d prefer not to spend a lot of money supporting this habit, even while regularly thinking about and looking into treadmill options in the face of the oncoming winter menace.

As the temperatures started dropping into the ’40s, I switched from shorts and t-shirt to shorts and long-sleeved shirt and then sweatpants and long-sleeved shirt, and wondered how sick I would progressively become. I wouldn’t be running in freezing temperatures and slushy/salty Minnesota streets, would I?

running gear

And then I found myself at Target yesterday, buying some gear to fortify myself for a run in the day’s 34 degrees F temperature.

And lo, it was good. My head was so warm, and my fingers so thankful, and the jacket so lightweight and wind-resistant. The first mile presented a brutal headwind, but the next three were quite manageable. I got back home and said to my wife that we might have to buy that treadmill this year after all. Because at this time, I can’t see running in the slushy/icy streets of January and February, and I don’t know if I can survive the winter with just our dilapidated old Nordic Track ski-machine to hack on.

I started to think about a five mile route for today, and then later I spent about an hour and a half reading running and jogging articles, and wondered if I needed a first layer made of moisture-wicking material instead of the cotton shirts I normally wear, and what about proper stretching and hydration? And…

And then I started wondering how deliriously ill I might become.

Would I attempt a marathon? Surely not. (And please, friends and family, arrange an intervention if it ever appears to be heading in this direction.)

A half-marathon? Maybe. (Really, friends and family, it’s okay, I can quit whenever I want to.)

For today, I stayed with the four mile route at 26 degrees F. And again, it felt so good. There’s a great sense of well-being as you get into the flow and just keep moving your legs and keep breathing in and out. The solitude is golden. There’s this feeling of accomplishment; like I can do anything while I’m out there.

So, it seems I have the running bug. I guess there are worse problems to have, but still: how bad will it get?