I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. And I don’t really aspire to be one. But I do want to jog a little. Just some intervals on the treadmill now and then. Not too fast; not too long. But more than walking.
I don’t like the jogging very much when I am doing it. Some body parts hurt and others jiggle in strange ways. And I sweat, a lot. But the amazing thing to me is that I like that I did it. And even while I am not enjoying going through the motions, I am enjoying the e-motions. Because while jogging makes my body feel bad, it makes the rest of me feel really, really good. I’m not sure it classifies as a runner’s high, but maybe I could call it a jogger’s medium? Whatever it is, the endorphins kick in and my mind clears and when I am sweaty and tired at the end of my workout I am loving the afterglow.
But here’s the problem: I think that my little jogging intervals may be wreaking havoc on my aging body. It’s not just an excuse! I could come up with plenty of those – believe you me. But there are legitimate aches and pains that may actually not be worth the short-lived high. And the pains seem to work their way around my body as I try not to compensate for this twinge or that ache. Sometimes it starts with my feet. The insoles hurt when I walk. So I walk funny and then my calf hurts. Or my hamstring. Or my quad. And then I get on my bike with all those twinges on my left leg and start pedaling and my right hip hurts. And it is uncomfortable to get on the elliptical. All thanks to jogging. And age. Or bad form?
I have been inspired by so many of you who are runners or who are beginning to jog. Like Anna, who ran her way right out of her fat pants. And Siobhan, who is working her way from the couch to 5K, a newbie like me who has also felt some complaints from her body. And Kirsten, who ran a marathon in her own way: one mile a day for 26 days. And too many more running/jogging/C25K bloggers to name. I don’t aspire to run a race, long or short. I just want to push myself a bit now and then. Just want to feel the good sweat. The sweat that tells me I accomplished something. The sweat that means I worked hard.
I haven’t decided if my jogging days are over or if I have many more yet to come. Right now I spend most of my time riding my bike outside if the weather cooperates or on the elliptical while my husband takes over the treadmill beside me. (He runs faster, longer, and more often than I do.) I am casually paying attention to my post-jog aches and pains. To see if they are worthy of deterrent status. Or if they are just a temporary annoyance, worth the suffering. No pain no gain? Or no gain from pain?