mistake (?)

I am not a runner. And so I do not run.

Yet all of my friends run.

About a year and a half ago I decided I was going to try running. I probably guilted myself into it because all of my friends run. And so I went and bought my first pair of running shoes, and some running shorts, and socks to wear with my running shoes. Then I started running.

I stink at running.

I’m going to blame it on the church. We live in this townhome development that is not very conducive to running. We have one sidewalk that starts at the top of our neighborhood by our house and then goes straight down for half a mile where it empties out into a highway. And that’s no fun. So naturally, when I run I go to the parking lot of the church next door. It’s one of those mega-churches (so to speak) with a huge parking lot – one in which they have a shuttle service to get churchgoers from the back of the parking lot to the church doors. It’s slightly less hilly than our neighborhood.

I should say it looks slightly less hilly.

When I ran it for the first time and made the turn onto the “big hill” that goes straight up for about 7 miles I nearly died.

That’s a lie. My body would never live long enough to run 7 miles.

For some reason I got the crazy idea in my head this year that I want to run a 5k. I’ve been avoiding this calling for a long time, and by “calling” I mean enduring all of my star-athlete running friends who love to run pestering me every other week to join them for a leisurely marathon.

For reasons still unknown I felt compelled to share this desire to run a 5k with some of my star-athlete running friends last night. Good gosh what have I done?

So, here I am, documenting for posterity the fact that this year, 2011, I’m going to be a runner.

…………… oooh boy……..

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  • Comments (4)
    • Megan Shifrin
    • January 13th, 2011

    And you’re going to run like a rock star…. just you wait…

    • Your Father
    • January 14th, 2011

    Matt, I am going to comment on this blog item from a strictly scientific viewpoint – specifically referring to genetics, psychology, and physiology.

    Genetics (or more appropriately inherited family traits)- Your mother was a fine athlete in her competitive days, talented in volleyball, softball and in several track and field events involving jumping or throwing, including running hurdles. In softball she played shortstop – quickly reacting to ground balls and making screaming hot throws to 1st base she never once threw like a girl); but the longest distance I have seen her run is around the bases. Usually if she had to run more that 3 steps, the next step was a dive to stop the ball from getting through. I have never heard her say nor show any desire to run 5,000 meters.

    I was a so-so athlete – I did participate in track, as a middle distance runner – essentially 800 meters. Occasionally the coach wanted me to run the mile (~1600 meter), so I have some experience at that distance. He also encouraged me to run 3 miles (in practice) to “stretch myself out”. I thought that was a particularly bad idea and I was right, as I can tell you that within several strides after completing the 4th of 12 laps, I was facing both psychological and physiological challenges.

    Psychological – it was not my idea to run 1 mile, much less 3 miles (~4800 meters). I was a frustrated sprinter. I wanted to run 200 meters as fast as I could – alas not good enough though. I recall during these “races” sensing a voice – much like Jiminy Cricket – urging me on during the 1st 800 meters, “Gee, you look great today, keep pushing!”, at 801 meters “Gee, you don’t look too good today, you better be careful”, at 1601 meters “Gee, you look awful, you better stop!”, … you get the point.

    Physiological – at 801 meters – while listening to Jiminy – I experienced these symptoms – the muscles in my legs and arms are screaming for oxygen, my lungs are yelling back “tough luck – we are going to build a bonfire”, my stomach is fed up with being sloshed around, and my brain has gotten the message from Jiminy that it is time to drop anchor.

    So from observed science; I would deduce that 5,000 meters is ~ 7 times further than psychological and physiological evidence would extrapolate you could cover and maintain some amount of dignity and decorum, based off your inherited genetic traits.

    Of course there is a reasonable statistical chance that you can cover 5,000 meters without any of these negative outcomes – but let me finish with this observation attributed to Astronaut Neil Armstrong – when asked if he was a “runner” – he stated his belief that we are only allotted a fixed number of heartbeats and he wasn’t going to waste his on running.

    Your father

    • David Shifrin
    • January 14th, 2011

    Yeah, man, I hear you. Smith knows how to talk people into some stupid stuff.

  1. hahaha, thanks so much for the encouragement…. dad.