If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you know I graduated from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. Well, as you can likely imagine, we did a lot of running while I was there. We had to stay in shape and that included running. During the school year, at 10:30 PM, we were allowed to leave the barracks and go running for 30 minutes. We also had to take Physical Fitness Tests that included 2 minutes of pushups, 2 minutes of situps and a 2 mile run for time. It was a pass/fail test. I remember telling the other guys if they finished after me, they would fail. I knew what time I had to be at each tree around the parade ground so that I finished on time. Running is not something I ever picked up as a hobby, but, in school, it was a necessity. When I graduated, I told myself, I wouldn’t run again unless someone was chasing me.
Maybe that’s why I put on so much weight after I graduated. I was living life, fell in love, got married, we had some children and I never really worried much about my physical body. I spent more time and money maintaining my car than I did of my body and if the car died, I’d just get another one. If my body died…well….you know the rest.
In 2007, just at the time I was feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, I found P90X and that set me on a course of physical fitness that frankly, I could only have dreamed of in College. I even signed up for the USMC Mudrun with some friends and ran it several times. The mudrun is a 5 mile obstacle course with obstacles along the way that include mudpits. It was so much fun.
In order to get ready for the mudrun, I had to run. I actually worked up to the point where I ran, at most, 9 miles at one time without stopping and the course I ran had several hills. I was in very good shape, or so I thought. That was in 2009. After that, I stopped running until I began training for the next mudrun the next year. I didn’t like running but ran out of necessity to get ready for the obstacle course and that was the only reason.
Half Marathon Training – My Current Journey
I played volleyball in College so, my knees are not the best they could be, but they certainly aren’t as bad as some. I have tried to take care of my knees and my back over the years, with some success. But to get out and run still hurts them some.
A couple of months ago, I attended the Beachbody Coach Summit and was talking to a fellow Coach. They told me they had run a marathon. They confided that they had run most of it but had walked quite a bit. This Coach is also not a runner and a bit older than me, so, I got the wild notion to think about possibly running a marathon before I turn 50 years old, in a little over 2 years. So, I began training for a half marathon to be run in early November. It’s one of the toughest around called The Governor’s Cup.
I read up on it and then decided to hit the road and run 3 to 4 times a week at short distances and a slow pace and work my way up. So, in mid July, I started running again. I ran the 3 miles the first day at a very slow pace and then a couple of days later, I ran 4 and walked 2, doing my best to run up the hills and walk down the hills for the last 2 miles. I ran for a couple of weeks and then I got dared to run a 5k. I knew I could run it so I agreed and at the end of July, my 16 yr old son and I along with a couple of friends went out and ran the 5k night race. I finished it running every step and was a bit stiff the next day. However, the next week, my knees hurt very badly. My knees hurt for a couple of weeks and finally got to where I could run again without pain. I haven’t started running again, but I’ve been doing some research on it to see how I can do it without pain. I also started taking supplements targeted for knees and joints. I ran across some information the other day that told me if my knees hurt after a run, there is a good possibility that I’m overusing my hip flexors. So, I’ve been working on strengthening my hip flexors and core and working very hard on learning to breathe correctly during a run, even though I’m a trumpet player and know how to breathe deeply from my diaphragm.
I will keep moving toward the goal of the half marathon, but now it appears we will have a football game the same day as the half marathon here in Columbia and I may have to run the one in Myrtle Beach in January instead. The beautiful thing is, I have time to work on it and I will get there. One day at a time. My hopes is that blogging about it will keep me on track and maybe someone reading this will help hold me accountable.