September 10, 2010

Why is Running So Complicated?

Why is running so complicated these days? Even when I look up the definition of running in Wikipedia, it’s hardly recognizable as that thing we learned to do so naturally since just about the time we learned to walk. Have you ever seen a baby run? They just do it instinctively on their short fat robot legs that barely even bend at the knees. They toddle back and forth with their arms spread out for support, and grin and laugh at how clever they are. Sort of like how I run now, at 50, only I’m not nearly as cute, and it hurts more when I fall down, and it takes longer to recover. In my own defense, though, I do not pucker up and cry (but I do moan and groan quite a bit).
What I really wanted was an uncomplicated way to lose weight and get in better shape, without having to go to a gym or hire a personal trainer. So I joined a running club (I’m there without fail to run two miles on the first Saturday of every month!) and subscribed to a popular running magazine. So now its official; I am a Runner. Please note the capital “R”. And I swear I don’t understand half of what my fellow runners are talking about! Take these abbreviations, for example:
  • PR/PB:      Personal record and personal best – pretty straight forward. I get this.
  • LSD:         Not the drug, but Long, Slow Distance runs.
  • Master:      Runners over 40 – hey, that’s me! The first time I’ve ever been master at  anything. I  love running!
  • Pick-ups:   Not the attempt to pick up someone of the opposite sex, but accelerations done during a run;   and  they are of shorter durations than Fartleks(?!); and,
  • Fartlek:      Not a typo, I did not mean Fartlets (although at my age, sometimes when I run I have those too), but Fartleks; which is variable pace running – a mixture of slow and moderate running, with short, fast bursts.
There are so many other terms and abbreviations that you could spend a lifetime trying to figure it all out. No offense to the diehards out there, but life is way too short. I just want to run, which I do three times per week. Two hard sweaty miles on the treadmill at 4 mph, which is pretty much my PR and PB. (And yes, 4 mph really is running, I checked – more on that later!)
No LSD, Pick-ups or Fartleks for me, because I am Master!

No comments: