Milestone Achieved

IMG_9531.PNGMade you look!

I cracked 1,000 miles running/walking since Feb. 27, 2013.

I know it may not seem to much to some, I know people who have exceeded 1,000 or 1,500 miles in just one year. They don’t have my schedule, commute or medical issues, so my 1,000 miles running/walking in the just over three years since I started using the Nike+ Running app will have to do. I was out for a run yesterday, finished just under ¾ of a mile from 1,000 and went back out and ran another ¾ of a mile to hit that number plus give me four miles for the day. It was my best run in weeks.

I have been experiencing a knee problem that I was told was left knee patellar tendinitis. The pain has migrated to different parts of the knee so I have no idea what it actually is. Well, this whole thing with my knee has caused an alignment problem or imbalance with my back. If you’ve been reading the blog on the regular, you know how bad my back is. In fact, two medical professionals have told me to quit running.

Running hasn’t been pleasurable or therapeutic in more than a month. I’ve continued my weight-lifting sessions, spent time in the pool and played more than my fair share of basketball. Running just happens to be my chosen form of cardio.

I’m not sure at what point it became “running.” When I was a kid it was called “jogging.” I’m not sure if what I do can be classified as running. But, whatever it is, it helps me relieve stress, clears my head and solutions to problems present themselves. In fact, your humble narrator is working on a novel and the ending came to me during a run.

13450151_1107595859286771_2895690082547379467_nI don’t mind weather either. I enjoy running in weather – nothing crazy mind you – but mist/drizzle, light snow and cold, heat…I almost prefer weather to perfect conditions. Last year, I ran in Denver and Kansas City in the winter, in blistering heat here in Northern California, cold and wind in Chicago.

Since I started walking and then running for exercise, I have battled a variety of injuries, some minor and a few very serious. From shin splints to back surgery, I’ve been through the ringer but each time I am determined to come back even stronger.

This past week was rough though. Fatigue got the better of me and I didn’t get all of my usual workouts in. I tried a run Monday afternoon but my knee just didn’t want to cooperate. What I accomplished yesterday was encouraging. Four miles and no real knee pain made me feel good. I still have fitness goals and I don’t think I am going to achieve them without running in my life.

I’m nothing spectacular on the running trail. My average per mile time continues to rise despite my best efforts. Every time I take a little time off from running my cardio-vascular system seems to take an inordinate amount of time to rebound. I blame it on 18 years of smoking cigarettes. Although I quit eight years ago, I know I am still paying for it. I’m carrying 10 pounds more than I’d like right now and the extra weight doesn’t help.

In the past few weeks I have made some mental notes and decisions about what I want to do and how I want to do it to achieve my fitness goals. The problem is sticking to the plan. From the protein and creatine to the lifting and the running. I just haven’t had the energy for it all the past week or so. If I want to lose these 10 pounds I am going to have to cut my calories back down to about 1,200 per day. I’ve done it before, that’s part of how I lost 60 pounds. But, I forgot how difficult it is and how diligent you have to be. If you read my last entry you’ll know that I now understand how difficult it is to keep the weight off once you’ve lost it. I am just thankful I didn’t let it get out of hand. I went back to a few old, bad habits but I eat so much less and so much better than I used to. That, and exercise is part of my daily life. Even on the days I don’t actually “work out,” I’m tossing the football around, swimming or shooting hoops.

Hopefully yesterday’s run is a preamble to being able to go back to it on a regular basis. Three runs a week was my normal schedule about six weeks ago. I’d like to get back to that. I’ll give a go tomorrow afternoon and see what happens. I enjoy it too much to give it up. I’m just too impatient to let these nagging injuries heal and it always seems like I don’t have the time, or don’t take the time to do the things to treat and recover from them.

So, as I mentioned, I’ll get back out tomorrow and hopefully I can start working on my fitness and times and finally get rid of this belly fat once and for all.

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