Saturday, May 8, 2010

Addiction

Hi!  My name is Frank and I am an addict!

It's been obvious really for quite some time, but it is time I faced it . . . head on.  I am addicted to long distance running.  And that is not a good thing!

Running itself can and even used to be an addiction of mine, but like a drug addict may move from crack to heroin, I too have moved up the addiction ladder to more, and more powerful stimulants.  Early on I loved running and racing 5ks and 10ks!  Several of us would travel around the area developing our collection of shirts and PRs

One of my goals was to run a sub-20 5k.  I came close often but never was able to break into the teens (20:01 was my best!).  I don't really believe I followed any structured program to improve my times, but I did speed work often . . . and endurance really wasn't much of an issue.

My movement up the addiction chain began quite simply.  After our regular noon run at the Y one day in 1982, someone came up with the brilliant idea of training together for a marathon.  Almost everyone jumped on board, and so we trained for a fall marathon . . . NY for most but Marine Corp for me.  My goal was a sub-4 hour marathon.  Looking back on it, had I achieved that goal I probably could have quit right then.  But that didn't happen.  So I had to do another one, just so I could meet my time goal.

After a bunch of years lost running due to poor medical advice, I finally started back running . . . and I just HAD to run a marathon to know I was "back".  Then I did another marathon, then another.  After a bunch of marathons, my friend Cam Kelly turned me to the "dark side" by convincing me I needed to try a 50k.  Another step up the addiction chain.  Ultra marathons.

Now, it's been 15-16 years since I have run a 5k race.  And one 10k 7 years ago.  Since then, I believe I've only run two races shorter then a marathon (a 15-mile trail run and an 11-miler).  I'm stuck in this "marathon or more addiction . . .  Run a half marathon?  Ugh!  Like kissing your sister.  It's a full marathon or nothing!

But the real problem comes by "mixing" my long distance running addiction with getting older.  I'm slowing down as I get older.  Plus, I slow down to finish the longer distances I run.  And running slower just brings on more slower running.  I walk more.  And then, it just becomes easier mentally to walk again.  And again. And again.

But I am repenting . . . somewhat.  This coming weekend I've entered my first 5k race in 15 years!  I've been "trying" to do some minor speed work but that just plain hurts! I'm stuck running basically one speed!  Slow!  When I try to pick up the pace I go anaerobic within 1 minute, and my lungs explode after 2 minutes!  I have no idea what my 5k pace should be!  Honestly!  I think I'll try to go out at a 9:00 pace and just see what happens.  I'm just hoping I can finish in under 30 minutes!

All I remember is 5ks hurt!

Will this break the addiction? Probably not . . . but it is a step.  Wonder if there is such a thing LDAA . . . Long Distance Addicts Anonymous?  If any of you know of interesting 5k race  around here, please let me know about them . . . my computer can only search for races of 26.2 or further.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds great, Frank! Can't wait to see how your 5k goes. Too bad you couldn't have run the Whirlirun in Wilson yesterday... you would have snagged an age group award! Male 60+ 1st place was 28:07, 2nd place was 50:44.

    Jon and I will be doing the 10k next Saturday, and I'd like to break an hour. That's my goal.

    Now we both have a goal, so let's go do it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I see you're signed up for Grandfather. You're addicted. See you there!

    ReplyDelete

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.

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