Slow as Molasses

I haven’t set foot in the gym since before the pandemic. Plantar fasciitis forced me to stop running last November. After months of foot exercises and tons of ibuprofen, I decided to try running again in April.

The initial goal was three miles, every other day. After several pain-free weeks, I started walking four miles on days I didn’t run. That morphed into a daily four-mile walk/run at a pace faster than 15 minutes per mile. MapMyRun keeps me on track with announcements at the end of each mile about my total time, average time per mile, and time for the last mile.

I’m a Goldilocks runner. If it’s too hot (above 80ish) or too cold (below 55ish), I’m staying home. Things heat up fast on sunny days this time of year, so I’m usually out the door by 7:30 a.m., give or take thirty minutes. I take a day off after four or five consecutive days to give my feet a break. Otherwise, I only miss for rain or early doctor appointments.

Taking care of myself has long been a priority, but sticking to a routine was difficult before I retired. The window of opportunity for me to exercise shifts with the seasons and often conflicted with work. That’s no longer a problem.

An infinite variety of playlists, albums and podcasts on Spotify keeps me entertained. The route varies depending on traffic, my mood, and other factors. My goal is four miles, but I sometimes drop back to three.

Running is high impact. A brisk walk would suffice, but I truly enjoy running. Since moving to the daily routine, I rarely run more than a few hundred yards at a time — mostly downhill. The first mile is always the slowest. The last mile is usually my fastest, driven in part by a desire to get home.

Molasses is my Indian name. My best time per mile these days is in the 12-minute range. That’s two minutes faster than the world record for swimming the same distance.

Nonetheless, I really enjoy my daily walk/run. Getting out the door is the hard part. I’m always glad I did and beyond grateful for the good health and free time that enable me to keep it up.

Weight loss is a side benefit. I’m once again within shouting distance of my decades-long goal to weigh less than 200 pounds. I was ready to resume the gym membership I canceled for the pandemic, but the current surge of morons is forcing me to wait.

I’m looking forward to cooler weather and the widening of my window of opportunity. I’m hoping to add miles when weather permits and to improve my speed without endangering my joints and tendons. Instead of stopping when it gets cold, I’ll bundle up and keep at it.

That’s the plan, anyway. We’ll see what happens. As always, thanks for stopping by.