Monday, 13 April 2009

Walk... Don't Run

Many years ago, I used to run. I loved running. I started running in 1980. Just a 30 minutes run most days. At a leisurely pace, but one that turned my thighs to steel and my body lean.

The photo below was taken in June 1980, after I completed 16 miles of a marathon. I had to quit when I developed hip pain, which turned into chronic tendonitis that plagues me to this day in certain positions, and with a loss of full range of motion.

Running for me became a space to travel to... a place in my mind... although I had to have a small portion of my awareness on the road, the traffic, paying attention to all the pertinent dangers that exist to one trekking along, rhythmic breathing, cooling sweat trickling from my face and body.

Over the years, running has taken its toll. My left knee complains at times now, so running has given way to walking. My feet aren't too fond of that constant pounding either.

But my brain misses the endorphin rush that zoning out while running would give me. At one time, I could be 'in the zone' within minutes of starting a run. It all became effortless and timeless. At times I would extend a run simply to keep the runner's high going. But in the end, I had to admit defeat and give it up.

This year, I have convinced myself that I need something to attain as far as physical fitness goes. So I have decided a start is this: The Inaugural Air Force Run. My dad was in the Air Force. I grew up on AF bases across Canada, and even spent six months in Biloxi, Mississippi when I was four and Dad was on course down there.

My brother-in-law is in the Air Force as well, so I have convinced my sister and her good husband, the Captain, to join me in this 5 km fun run/walk. I won't run but I can walk for hours, as can my sister, all from taking the dogs for daily walks. But I am going to try and push myself a bit and see if I can keep a steady pace that is more than just a leisurely amble.

So... I have six weeks to get into a bit better shape for this walk. I know a lot of people who run for exercise will think that this is probably a wussy thing, but for one who can't run anymore, it is what I can do. And it is for a good cause too, as it is a fund raiser for support services for military personnel and their families.

Besides, I will get a t-shirt for my efforts too!


  1. Good for you doll. There's nothing like exercise to keep you fit and on top of things.

    I'll be out there myself now that the weather is decidedly better again.

    Blogging is definitely a winter sport...

  2. Sounds great to me.
    Walking (with waddling hips and elbows out)used to be an Olympic event .
    Do they still do it?

  3. Any exercise is great, especially for the head!
    My teenagers are just starting to realise this.
    Man, mood swings! Good on ya Pon.

  4. Great exercise plus a t-shirt. Good all around.

    I used to run several times a week and did a few 5k and 10k races. Never got the "runner's high" myself.

    PS: Labatts bib and hockey band. Canada, eh?

  5. Good morning Ponita,

    It's not a wussy thing! You've set your sights on something good...if I could...I'd be there cheering and holding a cup of gatorade (or whatever they drink at those events).

    I can still cheer for you ...all the way from start to finish.


  6. Running?
    I never was a runner and will never be. In school sports I liked to throw things like a discus, a hammer, a spear, I very much liked climbing - but running, no. I can walk pretty fast steadily, don't know how long, surely more then an hour. Since I stopped smoking breathing became really better and with all the good weather here I'll start a walking routine again, a one hour's march, but you'll never see me running.

  7. Good luck with the walk and fund raising.

    Unfortunately, I am not 'built' for running, having a couple of things that tend to get in my way. Most ungainly.

  8. Jimmy: The weather is improving dramatically here as well.... ice and snow almost gone, with birds returning and tree buds showing. Definitely time for more outdoor activities.

    Kaz: Power walking... don't know if it is still an Olympic sport, but I think I would dislocate something if I walked like that! ;-)

    Map: Gotta love those hormones, eh! *NOT!*

    XL: The t-shirts are great for these events... kinda like proof you actually *do* something once in a while! Definitely Canada, eh!?!!

    U: Thanks, my friend! Any cheering at all is good. It will just be a long walk, but it's for a good cause. And I'll take a Smirnoff Ice, please... in the bottle is fine! Thx!

    Mago: Good for you for quitting smoking! (hugs!) That is the best thing you could have ever done for yourself. I am very proud of you. Walking is excellent exercise and certainly easier on the joints.

    Madame DeFarge: I am not actually 'built' to run either, but I used to keep those puppies bound up so I wouldn't lose an eye... Walking isn't quite so risky.

    Oh Map... ... such a guy...!! :-D

  9. As you know, I love running! It's actually been over a week since my last run as I've been giving my manky leg time to heal properly, but I'm itching to get back out again!!

    The Air Force run sounds like a cracking idea - best of luck with it!!

  10. Good for you! That's a wonderful idea. It's great to have goals.

    I started running before I became pregnant with the twins and lost about 40lbs in the process. I stopped when I became pregnant (doctor's orders) and I'm DYING to get back into it, but it's just so hard finding time or the energy. I guess I'll just have to make the time. I still have my own goal - to run a full marathon when I'm 40 (only 2 years away!)

  11. Congratulations! I can totally relate to what you mean by runner's high. It's an incredible zen like state when you feel like you're in tune with the cosmos and energy is limitless and it feels soooo goood!

    And I totally get what you mean by the aches and pains that come from pounding the pavement repeatedly. The only other activity that I can think of that can really wear you out is swimming. You don't feel the aches and pains like in running, but your feet will give out and you'll lose your balance when you get out after doing numerous laps!

    I'm happy that you've found something fun and healthy to do now that the weather has gotten nicer. And it's for a good cause!

  12. P.S. Powerwalking is still an Olympic sport! And what a hilarious sport it is!

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  14. Wussy?!? No way! I used to run (cross country in school), and then that gave way to walking. Sadly, since my plantar fasciitis, even my walking has stopped. As it happens, I think I'm going to have to book in for another steroid injection, as the last one feels like it has ceased! So, when you walk that 5km, know that I shall be cheering you on, and if you lived here in the UK, I would even have offered to sponsor your walk! Well done on setting yourself this challenge, and well done for finishing, in advance - because I know you will do it!! :)

  15. Excellent idea! Best of luck with getting fitter, and raising some funds :)

  16. I totally hear you re. running but can't seem to do it without injuring myself now. My much sturdier husband has started again for both of us (just ran a half marathon -- first long distance run in over 4 years), though I do run on the treadmill fairly regularly just for the endorphins! :) Love those '80s shorts we used to wear!

  17. I would do almost anything for a free T Shirt...almost.

    I was a sprinter until my bunyuns were chiseled off of my tottsies..that pretty much ended all running type used to kill me until I learned to coast as a fullback.

    I gave up on endorphin highs and settled for the pharmacological type...until my lobotomy.

    Now all I can do is blog.

  18. You only get one set of knees and they're troublesome beasts.

    I like running too. I also had to pull out of a marathon once. I'll blog about it one day becuase it's quite a funny story.

    My brother's just been told he cannot play football anymore because his knee's knackered, so the timing of your blog is very timely.

    The very best of luck in your run.

  19. Good luck! I have been walking about 4 miles a day for quite awhile now and it has helped me a lot, both physically and mentally. I'm not sure I could have gotten through the last couple of weeks without my daily trek.

    Have a great time!

  20. good luck. I am a wuss when it comes to running (i can NOT seem to get enough support for my boobs) but love the endorphin high of ... well, just about any other form of exercise. Enjoy yourselves


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