Oct 29 2010
Oct 29 2010
Oct 25 2010
Yeah, so. I started running.
I don’t know why. I never liked to run. For most of my life, I operated under the assumption that I couldn’t run, because every time I tried, about five seconds in, my ankles would be all “That’s about enough of that” and send shooting pains up my legs, and then I’d fall down. Not really what you look for in a track star.
But, over the past few months, I’d have dreams about running. Dreams in which I was effortlessly striding over the ground, with a springy step, feeling like I was one second away from flying. I don’t know where the dreams came from, either. I haven’t been watching “Chariots Of Fire” or anything like that. At first, I just enjoyed the running dreams, which were a nice change from the dreams in which I would TRY to run away from the monster/the murderer/the amorphous baddy and I couldn’t. Then, I started thinking “what if?” And THEN I took a good look in the mirror and thought “might as well TRY running”.
I talked to my sister, who told me I should try shuffling my feet more to avoid the hard-hitting impact that most likely was causing the pain in my ankles. I always thought that running meant you came down on your heel and pushed off on your toe, but she told me to try coming down more mid-foot.
I went online. I found the Couch to 5K running plan. I got the podcasts so that I knew when to walk and when to run and had some music to listen to. I learned that a good pace for running is one that allows you to talk while running – which might be much slower than you suspected. And four weeks ago, I drove to the rail-trail and started out. I’m not going to lie and tell you that it was “just like my dreams omigod I felt like a bird!” It was challenging. However, it was just challenging enough. It wasn’t so hard that I wanted to quit. It was hard enough that I felt like I was trying, but it was easy enough that I didn’t feel like dying.
Starting with week two, my knees started to hurt. I did a little pain analyzing and realized that it wasn’t the joint hurting, but the muscles (or tendons) surrounding the joint. Either my body was adjusting to this new motion, or my shoes were not right, or both. I decided to suck it up and buy some good shoes (I’d been using my New Balance cross trainers up to this point). I went to a specialty running store and got fitted, and left with a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 running shoes, and went back out onto the rail-trail. Weeks two and three were about RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) and Icy Hot after every run and during every off day, but starting with week four, the pain subsided and now my knees are fine.
Today was Week Five, Day One, which meant three five minute run/three minute walk intervals. The last five minute run got pretty challenging at the end. During the last minute I was doggedly pushing through, telling myself not to quit, keep moving, only one minute, JUST GET THROUGH IT, and then, suddenly, I did. I got through it. I started my cool down walk, and several times during the walk I giggled to myself because, you guys, I RAN for five minutes at a stretch! Three times! And I didn’t pass out, fall down, or die.
When I think about the fact that three times a week, I tie on running shoes and go out and RUN, it still astounds me. This week I’m supposed to run for 20 minutes with no walking intervals, and honestly, that intimidates me. But, I’ve been intimidated at the beginning of every single week so far, and so far, I’ve completed every single workout. If I can’t make the 20 minute run, I’ll repeat all of week five. I’ll keep plugging away at it, because now I really, really want to be able to run for three miles.
After all, you never know when the zombie apocalypse is coming.
Oct 10 2010
Me: How did you meet Grandpa?
Grandma: Oh, in Big Rapids. I lived there, you know, and he was going to Ferris. Well, I worked in Big Rapids and I would eat lunch every day with a friend at this place called Johnny Rockets – it was a place that was popular with the college kids. Anyway, he came in with a friend, and we kind of got to talking. They had a canoe, and they used to go out into the lily pads where the bullfrogs were sitting. And they’d take their paddles and whack the bullfrogs on the head! (laughs) And they’d bring the frogs back to their boarding house and their landlady would cook them frog legs. Anyway, they asked me and my friend if we’d like to go out in the canoe sometime. And we said, “Yeah, that sounds OK, we’d like a canoe ride”. Well, then the next time we saw them, they said “Oh well, you know, we broke a paddle” and we said, “Oh, that’s just a big story”. In the meantime, my friend and I moved to Lansing to work. You know, this is when the war was starting up, and all the work was in Lansing. So, I lived there, and I went to the pharmacy to mail in my income taxes, and there was a guy I knew who worked there. And he said that Fred was asking about me, and that he’d like to get to know me. He’d like to know where I lived. And I said, “Well, I don’t believe that!” But he did come around, and we went out, and things just took off.
Me: Did he finish college before he went to the war, or -
Grandma: No, he finished college first. He got a – a what do you call it?
Me: A deferment?
Grandma: Yeah, a deferment. He finished his college and then he went into the Army, and they put him right in with the fighters! I mean, here he is, college educated, a pharmacist, medical background, but they didn’t need that, they needed people on the front lines. But, he didn’t spend much time in the service. He was wounded, you know. D-Day plus 16, he was in…(she tries to remember the name of the French town), anyway, he was wounded. He was shot through the neck, and then he was in the hospital. And the Germans kept sending over those bombs, you know, the buzz bombs.
Me: Was he in the hospital in France, or in London?
Me: Wartime London is no place to be. I can’t believe the hospital wasn’t bombed.
Grandma: Well, he was in the hospital for, I think, six months. The bullet went in here (she indicates the side of her neck) and then out the other side. They said it was so close to severing a major…(she laughs a little) but it worked out. He came home on the hospital ship.
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