I am starting to use my body as more than just a place to hang my clothes, and more than a way to get my car between home and work. I have been running and doing a little weightlifting as I start my preparation for my first sprint triathlon in the spring. I have started looking for a few local 5K’s to enter starting on October (jeez… that is only 3 weeks away!). I think that actually entering an event is like my ‘red line’. If I enter an event then I am committed to it, and obligated to finish it. It is said that once you’ve put it out there that you are going to do something, you have have made a commitment to the Universe, and therefore, you must do it.
I have been getting after it, and although watching me plod and stagger around my neighborhood will not bring back any images of Sebastian Coe, at least I am out there, moving through world as best as my penguin legs will carry me, which by the way, ain’t really fast at all. My goal is not to be fast. My goal may not even to be able to run the entire running leg of the sprint triathlon. My goal isn’t even to seriously compete. My goal is to participate, complete the event, and have fun! On that note, today was quite exciting for me actually. It started off innocently enough, you know, coffee, wife, cats. I was off from work today so I could take it a little easy. I did have some other business to take care of, but outside of that, the day is pretty much mine. I went to put on my new running gear, and it was, well…very…GREEN. The shorts are a very bright lime green, with a darker green stripe, and my nice dri-fit shirt was also the color of a lime rind. My running shoes (more on them in a minute…) are whitish-gray and green, and my running hat is white with green panels. I must look like a Key Lime Pie with Marshmallow Fluff as I matriculate down the road. While my time and distance is not all that important right now, allow me to note that I ran 2.7 miles in 43.40! That works out to be…pretty damn slow. It is about a 16 minute mile and like I said, pretty damn slow. There was one or two walk sessions included, so I guess it is not too bad…Again, my main goal is to participate and finish. This is all nice, but it doesn’t mean a thing without a target to shoot for, so I am going to register for a 5K that will run October 12th, and then maybe another one a week after that. I need to get in these training races, so that when it comes to triathlon time, I am comfortable at distance. I was also able to buy proper triathlon swim goggles today. My wife kept after me to look on the internet, and she was right. The best deal was at a local sporting goods store, but the internet sites allowed me to browse. I believe that is called ‘reverse showrooming’. Besides, I hate ordering stuff online, generally. I like to plunk down my money and walk out with my purchase. Call me old fashioned…
NOW, about the shoes… I have really bad plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Add to that, the same ankle has arthritis. Not exactly a prescription for running, is it? Well, after reading about barefoot running, and how it seems that barefoot runners do not have to deal with my particular affliction, I would try it. About two years ago, I bought a pair of Vibram Bikila running shoes. For the uninitiated, Vibram’s are the funny looking shoes that look like toe socks. They are VERY comfortable and light weight, and they are the closest thing to running barefoot you can get. Well, I used them, and sure enough, the demon scourge of plantar fasciitis disappeared. However, I have never been further than 1.5 miles in them, so I had no clue how they would suit me at distance. Well, sports fans, today I found out! Not only was my ankle screaming at me after 1.75 miles, my right foot went completely numb! One of the major contraindications to any athletic activity is numbness of an extremity, so I stopped and walked for about 100-150 yards. The ankle still hurt like hell, but I could feel my foot again. I was still a fairly good distance from home, so I started to run again. Do you know how they say that the clinical definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result’? Well, I must be nuts, because after about 200 more yards of running, my foot went numb again! This time, I cured myself of this episode of insanity, and walked the rest of the way home. My wife started her new job at New Balance today, so I can guarantee her at least one customer for their fine running shoes. I still want to go minimalist (because of the plantar fasciitis), but I guess I need more support than the Vibram’s will ever be able to provide. Stay tuned for more on the saga of my foot.
I am happy to report that the Boston Red Sox, after sweeping three straight games from the Evil Empire New York Yankees, have reduced their magic number for clinching the AL East title, is 4 games! On the same note, hats off to the Red Sox for the tribute that they paid to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. He is retiring after this season ends, and what greater tribute can be paid to a man than to be celebrated by his enemy? I wish all the best to Mariano Rivera in his retirement. Vaya con Dios, senor. Salud y felicidad para ti!
I would like to take a moment to mourn the victims of the nutbag, piece-of-garbage gunman, who listened to Satan, went to the Naval Station in Washington, and ended the lives of 12 innocent people. My heart cries every time I hear about things like this. These victims did nothing to deserve their fate. What about the families that are now left without them? Is there a just enough, severe enough punishment that we can mete out here on earth to this (these?) monsters? I can go off on a tangent about this, but I will save that for another day. Right now it is time to bury our dead…
Lastly, a healing prayer for my friend Robert Clay Gibbs III. It seems that ‘Gibbsy’ want camping with his loyal best friend Diesel Dog, and while on that trip, the Lord called Diesel Dog home. Robert, there are no words to express my grief over your loss. Know this…the Lord will heal you, and He will care for Diesel Dog. Just step back, let go, be still, and know that He is the Lord.
Until next time….