Friday, January 23, 2009

Jog My Memory

I have an unhealthy relationship with running.

Oh, it's not like I'm addicted to it or anything. Quite the opposite, in fact. I can take or leave it and mostly prefer to leave it in favor of other cardiovascular exercise, like biking or the elliptical machine.

Because running is a weight-bearing, high-impact exercise, whenever I do it, I'm aware that I could injure myself and get sidelined from the gym. Even my pal Arnold says that, if you're a bodybuilder, your cardio should be low-impact so you don't endanger your training goals with an injury.

And the crazy thing is, nearly every time I do run, I end up tweaking something. A few weeks ago, I ran to the hardware store with a rake handle and my ankle didn't feel right for at least a couple of weeks. "That's it," I said to myself. "No more running for me."

But I live a quarter mile from a great place to run: Portland's Mt. Tabor Park. So I tried it again yesterday. After loping around the lower reservoir a couple of times and humping it up the staircase between the lower and upper reservoirs, I headed home.

Surprise! Now my hip is tweaked. Maybe if I'd warm up or stretch afterward or perhaps wear shoes that cost more than $16, these things wouldn't happen.

Oh sure, these minorest of minor injuries do not impact my other workouts at all, which is why I'm considering an intriguing proposal put forth by one of my oldest friends, who invited me to NYC to run a half marathon with his wife this summer.

* It would be so great to see my old friends.
* Haven't been to New York for close to a decade, and I'm sure my daughter would love to see the city, too.
* It would be fun to train for something as ambitious as a half marathon.

* That dang injury thing.
* New York is kind of spendy for an unemployed student.

So, loyal readers, New York City this summer or not? Can I get myself to the point where I can run 13 miles without putting myself in traction? Weigh in.


Amber said...

I say definitely New York this summer. What an opportunity! If you've (presumably) got friends to stay with, surely you could get away without paying an arm and a leg... maybe. So many of the cool things to see are free so you could just pick and choose a couple of things to pay for. And I don't put anything past you physically at this point, so I'm sure 13 miles would be no sweat (bad pun intended... sorry).

Of course, all of the above is really easy for me to say.

Briar said...

I think you're problem is those shoes. Those aren't running shoes! Those are casual tennis shoes. You need more support for your knees, baby.

coriander said...

I have no doubt that you have a half marathon in you. Stretching before running is absolutely essential though and I'm with Briar on the shoe thing.

Miriam said...

Supposedly, the new thinking is: warm-up first, stretch afterward. But don't ask me, I don't do either one, unless i'm in a class situation and everyone else is doing it!

Salty said...

1) Run a half mile before any stretching, stretch then and after you're done
2) get good running shoes. Many Portlanders (such as Gary) get passes to Nike's 1/2 price employee store from time to time - or try the outlet on MLK
3) for the half-marathon, you should be comfortable running 25 miles per week for a month at least, and take it easy -- no speed goals
4) come join my Thursday night running group -- we passed your house and yelled "MIRIAM!" last Thursday -- Mark

Sarah said...

I'm going to be the dissenting voice, and say don't do it. If you know you're prone to running injuries, you're putting yourself in harm's way. After Jamie and I ran that marathon with 6 months of training behind us, and taking it very easy, I still ended up with an injury that bothers me to this day. It's just not worth it. I say go to New York for fun, and pick an event to train for that won't injure you - like a Century ride or maybe a tri. (Although if you do run, and you need new shoes, I highly recommend Mizunos. )

MamaShift said...

I'm training for the Riga marathon. And I hate running. Go for it! NYC will be worth every drop of sweat.

MamaShift said...

I went through the experience of buying running shoes back in October. I would go to one of the good shoe shops (I went to one on Fremont, but now I can't remember what it's called and I'm too lazy to Google it, though writing that just took as long as it would have to Google :-) and have them give you some recommendations. But then find them for cheaper. Sorry little independent shops, but you're too expensive. I found that it all depended on how the shoe felt. Don't buy online.

Miriam said...

Hey MamaShift, You're training for a marathon? That's the awesome. Let me know how it goes!