The ‘Long Run’

Filed February 19, 2007 at 7:03 am under by Administrator

After a week on the sidelines, I’m back, and up to actually running non-stop ( really!) for thirty minutes! At the end of that time, I’m almost out of the marina gate!
No, really, I am still pretty slow, but can almost do a 10 minute mile, which is a personal best, seeing as I have never run a mile before. In fact I remember at school being intimidated by the track, which looked (to my adolescent eyes) at least 10 miles long. In fact I couldn’t even see the other side of the loop. Well, I was short sighted, after all, and also short legged. All the slender, long legged girls would take off like a shot, leaving me chuffing along at the back.
Not surprizing that it has taken me until now, at the age of 44, to run again, but actually I think I was probably badly served at school. First of all, towards the end of the 400 metres ( which was the longest race we ever ran) I was usually gaining on the field, and still had the stamina to keep running, while many of the faster runners crossed the line on their last legs. Secondly, we had no running coaching at all, and no encouragement to try different distances. The fact is that most of the best long distance runners are hopeless at sprinting, and most sprinters can’t keep up a good pace over more than 5k, but no-one bothered to tell me that, so I just assumed that running wasn’t for me.
I may not be particularly fast, but I am definitely getting closer to average, the further I run. As I lengthen the distance, something interesting becomes apparent- the first mile is the hardest, not the last, no matter how far I go. It takes that long just to convince my body that I am serious, and will not give in to the long list of demands it presents ( I can’t breathe, my left leg hurts, I have a stomach ache, let’s just stop a bit, walking is nice too, it’s too hot today, it’s too windy, my right leg hurts….). After that first mile, breathing suddenly gets easier, and my legs tend to get ungummed and really able to run, as though my body has resigned itself to my strange whim yet again, and has decided to just get it over with.
So, basically, what I really was getting round to saying is that on Friday I did my first ‘long run’, a once weekly run which gets longer each week. I ran 6.4k ( 4 miles) in 51′ 20” , and felt wonderful at the end. Oren did it in about 30′, and was upset because he has a personal best to live up to, unfortunately. ( He ran 5 and 10 k when he was 18.) The dog finished with me, and was in shock from the whole thing. Dogs aren’t great marathon runners, apparently. Next week is 8k ( 5 miles), I hope the dog doesn’t die.
As concerns sailing, cruising and general boating- well, it’s winter, but soon spring will get here, and our feet will be itching again. Mean-time, Hillel, Orens son, is hardy enough to go kayaking and dragged his father along at the weekend!

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