Monday, October 29, 2007

Nature's Rules, Danielson

"First learn walk, then run. Nature's rule, Danielson, not mine."

Mr. Miyagi was probably telling Danielson to master the basics first, but I've decided to take Mr. Miyagi's advice, passed on to me last week by a somewhat anonymous poster to by blog, as telling me to take it slow.

Actually, he was probably telling me that I should master walking, without falling, before I decide to run. But I'd like to think the Mr. Miyagi isn't quite that sarcastic.

Plus, who can't use a little advice from Mr. Miyagi every once in a while?

I showed up for yesterday's team run feeling a bit more uneasy than normal. I had only run once during the week and it didn't feel good. My knee was bothering me and I walked the last half mile.

My training schedule had me set to do seven miles, which before my fall wouldn't have been a problem. I left the mileage box on the sign-in sheet blank as I checked in Sunday morning, deciding I'd wait to see how I felt. I could always turn around at any point.

The runners training for the Seacoast Half Marathon coming up in a couple of weeks would do six miles. Maybe I would make it that far, maybe I wouldn't.

I started running with the usual group, but soon found that their pace was a bit too fast for me on this particular day. I hung back a bit and took it slow. Scott, who had run four miles before the group run, decided to slow his pace a bit, too, and joined me for a 10-minute-per-mile run.

I noticed a few more aches in my legs than usual. Who knows, they could have been there on past runs but I might not have noticed. I seemed to be more winded. I attributed this to a week with only one short run.

Around the two-mile mark, I told Scott I wasn't sure I'd make the whole distance. If I turned around now, I'd finish four miles. Would another two miles, which would complete the six-mile loop, make that much of a difference? Probably not.

So I continued on, with a few short walk breaks along the way.

Somewhere between Miles 4 and 5, I wanted to stop. Just make it to the Old Mobil Water Stop, not far away, I told myself. And I did. I had run at least five miles.

I took a longer-than-usual break for Gatorade and a stretch, then made a right turn to head back to the school. It was roughly a mile away.

I ran just a short way when I noticed a stronger pain in my right leg -- the opposite side than my affected knee. The pain went almost from my hip to my ankle. I ran a few more steps. Then walked a few. Tried running again. Then walked.

So I decided to walk the rest of the way. I walked at a pretty brisk pace, rationalizing that a quick walk was better than a painful slow jog.

As I approached the cemetery on South Street, I crossed the road and made my way through the gate.

I walked along the paths, looking at the gravestones as I passed. Many of the people buried there had died in the 1800's, some at a young age. Most were marked with "mother," "father" or other family labels. Some didn't even have names, at least any that I could see as I walked past.

I wondered how long it had been since someone visited their graves -- someone other than a person out walking their dog or a would-be runner taking a shortcut through the cemetery.

The cemetery was a lot bigger than I thought, and as I approached a part where paths converged from all sides, I wondered if I really knew the quickest way out. Was this really a shortcut?

I realized it didn't really matter at that point. I was enjoying the change of scenery and taking in the history of the cemetery.

I've always been intrigued by cemeteries. Who are the people there? What did they do during their lives? Why had people forgotten about them as life went on?

I made my way to the South Street exit, just a few steps from the school entrance.

I walked up to the group of runners who had completed their six miles. I was feeling relatively pain-free. I told Jack about the pain in my right leg. He explained, as I had expected, that I was compensating because of the injury to my left knee. Happens all the time.

He told me to take it easy this week, get in a couple of short runs and do what feels good. That advice is almost as good as Mr. Miyagi's.


Have you donated to my fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society? If not, please consider doing so. You can donate online at Please pass this link to everyone you know. Every dollar helps me get a little closer to the Disney 13.1!


No comments:

Post a Comment

You can post a comment here by selecting any of the options below. If you do not have a gmail account, choose "Other User" or "Anonymous." All fields are optional.