Monday, November 15, 2010

The first mile is the hardest mile

(Headline sung to the first line of the Grateful Dead's "Uncle John's Band" –

The first half-mile, or even mile, is difficult for me even when I'm in shape.

It's hard before it's fun. It takes a while to find my stride and get my breathing in synch.

Even though there's more to think about, tennis is in some ways easier because of the pauses.

So the question is, how do you get through when you're out of shape? Sometimes I stop and walk (then run again) before I give it much of a chance. Now I know that I don't need to prove anything, and I don't even need to run. As long as I'm walking, that's good enough.

But it's funny. Sometimes when I stop and say, "I just don't have it today," I find myself running again. My body must really want to do it.

Last week in New York, I trotted around the Central Park Reservoir with Ben. We chatted the whole way, and before I knew it, we had gone about a mile.

Maybe I need to find a running partner so that we could talk and I wouldn't think about it that much. What I really need is just a fast walker. Any volunteers?


susiegb said...

Well, I'm certainly not going to volunteer, not even from Australia! I have never got into running, and am in awe of those who do/can!!

I think I'm going to stick with yoga!

Jonny said...

You have been so prolific in your entries of late that I'm somewhere back 4 posts and wanting to paraphrase Lao Tsu that "The journey of a thousand clean closets begins with one turquoise glove"; but then there was ultra-coifed crossing guard whom you should run over when you see her next, get out of the car and, while she's sprawled out on the pavement say: "You don't look so bad either!"; and then all the luggage shlepping through NYC, and the "girls", the resevoir jog, the tennis ...and now you want a "fast walking" partner!!!

Forget it, we're all too exhausted reading your posts. Take your dog instead and leave the rest of us to our habitual sloth.

But nice going just the same.

Ann said...

I've never been able to walk/run and hold a conversation. I'm just not coordinated enough. You are amazing and I know it's only a matter of months before you're going to be running like nothing happened. Guess I need to step up my game, again, to keep up with you and PJ.

PJ said...

I would be your partner if you lived closer. I know what you mean about that first mile. I haven't run in a while because I'm so painfully slow and it seems mostly like suffering. Last weekend I managed to run a mile or so, mostly flat. It was okay. Lately, I've been biking and lifting weights at the gym in my building. It's pretty boring though.