The addiction of long distance running is probably the best kept secret in the world. Otherwise we would see way too many people taking it up. I got hooked over the last three years. I took up running about 3 years ago to combat post marital bulging. I got started with a great group of guys from work. None of them have continued with the knight-templarish zeal that I do.
3 years later I found myself out on a 19 mile run around the vineyard encrusted hills of van buren county. There is a point of pride and pleasure in knowing you can cross the county on foot in under four hours. It separates you from the crowd. It gave me a sense of confidence, a bit of swagger to my step that perhaps had been lacking before. More than anything I think it decreased my need for alcohol to release stress, it increased my indepence, and allowed me to deal with a number of events that before would probably have driven me over the edge. Being unemployed for 6 months was one of those events. Looking back I’m not sure I could have handled what happened to us without running. Nothing else could give me a sense of satisfaction or achievement during that time period. Nothing else could give such a buzz of contentment and accomplishment during a time in my life when everything else made me feel like I had failed.
My worth became wrapped up in running, and in some ways it still is, every day I don’t run is a day in jail.
Ever since Dec 26th 04, I’ve had the proverbial electronic tether tied to my leg. My Ilio tibial tract is very tight, and I’ve been through two boughts of physical therapy to deal with it. During this process I discovered a lot more about my body. I ‘m a mutant. One leg is shorter than the other by 1/8th of an inch. My gait is very dorky. I run duck footed because of 20 years of dribbling a soccer ball. This causes me to land with feet splayed wide. I also land on my forefoot, instead of my heel. So I am retraining myself on the treadmill to run heel-toe in a more neutral position. The new orthotics should help some too, I hope.
So now I have a series of stretches and excercises to do daily.
It’s tough going sometimes, but every time I get out for even thirty minutes, I feel like heroin is running through my blood. See velvet underground and nico song…