September 03, 2007

Excerpt From A Beginning Jogger's Journal

Last night was the big night! That's when I sent in the registration form for my local newspaper's Annual Distance Classic. They promised a free tee shirt to the first three hundred entrants, and I couldn't pass up something for free. So, I filled out the form, enclosed the check for my registratiion fee, addressed the envelope, stamped it, and walked across the street and mailed it immediately--before I had a chance to chicken out! Of course, I could still chicken out, but it's only a measly (?) 6.2 miles, and besides, I've already blabbed to everyone at the office today, what I've done, so I have to save face. I'll think about my feet later. What do I have to lose, other than my way back home? All I'll have to do is to be sure that I'm facing the right direction when the starting signal sounds, right? Right?

Just to be on the safe side, I asked a lot of questions of our office jogging expert, Dave, (who runs five miles everyday) but I had to keep asking him if he was being straight with me on the answers, because I know the logical working of his mind, and after all, a guy can't be too careful when it comes to his competition.. He did inform me that it is essential to wear a good pair of shoes, so I went jogging shoe shopping today. I went to a sporting goods store, or something like that, because I figured if anyone wold know about all that stuff, they would.

I tried to look very nonchalant as I sauntered in, trying to look as though I always just drop in to pick up my joggers as the old ones wear out.. After about an hour or so, of looking at Nikes, Adidas, Brooks, etc., etc., and not being able to tell the ladies's from the men's, except I figured that the size thirteens must be for the guys, my nonchalant look must have changed into a what-have-I-gotten-myself-into-look, because a salesman finally came over and asked if he could be of help. Boy, could he ever! I finally had to admit to my ignorance, and explained my situation. He made some suggestions, and after trying on only three different brands, I decided on the Nikes. I said, "There now--that wasn't all that complicated, was it?" For some reason, I thought I detected a confused look on his face, as he led me over to the cash register.

Never having done this before, I thought all day about how I was going to get started jogging. How would I look? Would I know, instinctively, how to hold my elbows at just the correct angle? Do the heels have to go down a certain way, or does it have more to do with the toes? Should I thrust my chest out, or should I just sort of hang loose, like, "Hey, man, what's happenin'?" or should I throw my head back, like, "Hey, world, here I come!", or should I keep my eyes looking down toward the ground at all times, so as not to hit a crack in the sidewalk, and fall flat on my face--or other places?

Gosh, I was getting all worn out just thinking about it, but I knew I had to start training sooner or later, and preferably sooner, if I had any plans at all of making it from the campus, across the road to the planned route to be taken. So! I put on my Nikes, and walked around the house, just to get the feel of them--you can't do everything all at once, you know! Then I put on a tee shirt and shorts, which I admit was a little discouraging. With jeans on, the shoes looked neat and petite, but after I put on my shorts, and looked down at my feet, they looked like something resembling canal boats! I ran for the shoe box to see if the number thirteen was printed on there anywhere! By that time, I realized that if I was going to have to look like that, that this was serious business, and I'd better get down to it--so, I decided to go get a Big Mac! I mean if you are going to do something as strenuous as jogging, you must have energy to sustain you. Everyone knows that.

After I came back home, I did a little more walking around the house. Testing, you know--then I definitely made up my mind to go, just as soon as I finished my chocolate-covered ice cream bar, but I was so absorbed in planning my strategy that I didn't realize I'd eaten it, so I had another. After that, I got in front of a full-length mirror, and sort of practiced my style, which really wasn't too bad! My only problem came when I looked back over my shoulder to see how I'd look jogging from behind, and fell over a box of books that I had left sitting in the middle of he floor. I could have sworn I'd bought a book on jogging a couple of years ago!

Finally, it was getting dark enough outside, so I threw open the door, and took off before I could conjure up anymore procrastination! I wasn't half-bad, either. I ran until I was out of breath, and then walked briskly, until I could breathe again. I was really, really tired, but very happy when I made it home, again. I only had two chocolate-covered ice cream bars, before jogging off to bed.

Heck, if I stay disciplined, and keep training like this, I should be able to finish off a whole box of twelve of those ice cream bars--no sweat!


Even though I had never run before, and had little time to train, I actually finished that 10k, in a pretty decent time for a beginner!


Olivia Kroth said...

Good luck to you with jogging.
Too strenuous for me - I go walking.

Jan said...

Well, Olivia...I'm afraid that has gone by the wayside for me, too.

I only did one more 10k after that, and the Goldenrod plant which was in bloom, just about did me in...I ended up walking most of the way, but I did finish., I just received a new Schwinn 21 gear bike for my birthday, so now, that's what it will be for me.

Olivia Kroth said...

When is your birthday, Jan?
Will you tell me?

Jan said...

Olivia, my birthday is June 7th...and if one believes in such things, one of those strange Geminis!

Olivia Kroth said...

Ah, Gemini. I get along well with Gemini. Bettina, a colleague and one of the "cold readers" for the new novel, is Gemini. Dominique, a friend in France - we have been friends for 45 years now" - is Gemini, too.

Jan said...

How interesting. I know that there are a lot of people who believe that the traits portrayed in the astrological signs are pretty acurate, with some signs being more compatible with certain others.

Perhaps, some of the other readers would like to give their opinions on the subject, too.

sue said...

Good for you, Jan!

Jan said...

LOL...thanks, Sue!

I surprised a lot of people, including myself!

Anonymous said...

Just enjoy the jog, and toodle along at your own pace. I'm not sure of the economics of getting a free t shirt and buying niki's to facilitate the deal, but if you have fun, that's what matters.

Of course, I have known people who went out jogging and fell down stone dead of a heart attack, too.

Jan said...

Hey...thank you so much for dropping by!

I should clear things up by saying that that was some time ago, and it was one, of only two, 10ks that I ever attempted.

I found that walking is just as beneficial, and a lot less stressful on one's body.

Believe it or not, I sprained my ankle while trying to train for the first one, and foolishly ran, 90 degree heat, at that.

Is it neccessary to say that I could hardly see when I came over the finish line? :)

Olivia Kroth said...

Jogging is bad for your knees. That's what I keep telling myself when some inner voice says that I should go jogging.

I agree with you, Jan, that walking is healthier. Also you can have a look at the landscape all around you, another benefit of walking.

Jan said...

Yes, it can be very bad for your knees, as many have found out too late!

Still, there are many who are addicted to it, and stop only when they are physically unable to continue.

Olivia Kroth said...

The only thing I am addicted to is eating chocolates. Alas!

Jan said...

Olivia...join the club! There are lots of folks around who confess to that...and lots more who won't!