“Free Moter”

June 22nd, 2007  |  Published in etc, pictures and photography  |  1 Comment

On yesterday morning’s jog I didn’t take my camera along, and so I missed a shot of a pair of gigantic raccoons who probably would have let me walk up on them, considering the way they watched me go by from just a dozen feet or so.

This morning was a ride day, so I packed the camera along, vowing not to miss anymore raccoons, but there were none to be missed. I did catch a rabbit eating in someone’s yard, and a minivan with a “Kennedy/Johnson” campaign bumpersticker. That struck me as either wistful or snarling, depending on where you find yourself on the left end of the political spectrum.

I also found a free automobile engine someone left out on the curb. If you need one, I’ve plotted its location precisely.

I initially thought my rides would be longer and more ride-as-task-oriented, but this morning I really liked just gliding around the neighborhood. I was out the door just after 6:30, so it was still very quiet. I could smell every patch of flowers I rode by. Any animals I spotted were sort of relaxed … just hanging out and waiting for the hairless apes to start making everything noisy and smelly.

On the run days, I’ve decided to pick back up with the Couch-to-5k routine from Cool Running. My big exercise issue (besides doing it at all) is always the same: My brain remembers doing stuff my body hasn’t been able to do for a while, so I always hit any new attempt at regular exercise hard, then I wear myself down or strain something or give myself shin splints and quit “to mend” only to never go back to it.

The initial two weeks of Couch-to-5k are going to be mightily frustrating, because I’ve got the cardio to deal with that and more. But running involves an additional toughening, too, and I definitely don’t have that. It’s the sort of thing I don’t want to just gut out, either. Running pains seem to have a way of gathering momentum then manifesting too late to adjust bad stretching, warmup or intensity habits. At least, that’s my experience. I’ve had three major running phases in my life, and I’ve screwed up the acclimation stage twice, once after only a brief layoff from jump injuries. It has hurt a lot to get through that and keep going.

So … a few frustrating weeks before I get to more extended run times … then more frustration until I’m just doing my 5k. By the time I get there, though, we’ll be living 10 or 12 blocks away from Wilshire Park, where there’s a nice dirt jogging trail. Just in time to make impact injuries less of a concern as I lengthen my distances.


  1. pk says:

    June 23rd, 2007 at 5:28 am (#)

    Thanks for the Couch-to-5k link. I’ve always had the same dumb macho problem after a hiatus from running of trying to do too much too soon and then getting shin splints. I also have an Achilles problem that’s a real nag. Playing drums regularly, I stay in good shape cardiovascularly, but that only compounds the pounding on my frame when I start running.

    I’m up to 3 miles this time, but I have a hard time keeping up a steady 2-3 times a week–two kids, a band, the occasional drink with the wife. Plus early morning is the only time I can work it in, and I am not an early-morning person. Or, rather, I am an early-morning person–I love it once I’m out there–but I am not a get-out-of-bed person. Especially after a drink with the wife.

    And my knees and right Achilles are not being cooperative; the first trip down the stairs every morning is like the part of the movie where Burt Reynolds or Harrison Ford or Dennis Quaid make us chuckle at the indignities of old age. I wonder if going back to Week 1 on this plan–much as it would feel like putting on training wheels–would build me up and break me in better.

Leave a Response

© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.