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Went for a (Very) Short Run

Since after you turn 30 things don’t get any better and it takes an increasing amount of care and effort to keep them from getting significantly worse, I had decided to start running as soon as the weather will get warm enough in spring. The original plan was to go once per week, but I had since realized I’d be unlikely to keep it up quite like that, both because I’ll sometimes have other things to do outside and not feel like going out again specifically for this and because it’ll likely be far too hot for it at some points during summer, so had simply decided on 26 runs before the weather will get too cold again at the end of the year, to count as one per week for the warm half of the year, regardless of whether I’ll try to keep some sort of schedule or do it two or three times one week and not at all in others.

Well, since today’s high was supposed to approach 10°C, it wasn’t going to rain, the ground was dry, and there was even some sun earlier, I decided to wear what I had recently bought just as running clothes over what I’m wearing around the house these days, put my jacket over that, intending to tie it around my waist once I’ll get to the park, and went out to see what I can do. That obviously wasn’t an ideal situation, but at the time I left, around 12:15 PM, the temperature was just a few degrees above freezing, so it had to do, and I also had to do without some sort of timer, since a quick decision to glance around the living room for some old watch I could use for that only resulted in needing to spend some 15 minutes getting a lock unstuck to be able to close a door again, as it tends to get stuck open and there’s no way to close that unless you lock it.

Then again, there was no need for a timer, since I found out just how much effort this will take when I had to give up after only five minutes to avoid needing to be picked up off the pavement by someone. Admittedly, those five minutes did include climbing up and down some paths on one side of the bridge, and then once again up and down the stairs on the other, but that was just about it. Had been wondering whether I should aim for half a lap around the lake or a full lap and had decided to attempt the full lap, but I had barely started when I realized I was unlikely to even make it a quarter of the way around while maintaining any decent pace, so went under the bridge, up that first path, back down the other side, back under it, once again up and down to return to the side I had started on, and then got back to the starting point, already needing to mentally whip myself to even keep going that far.

Walking at a pace of five to six kilometers per hour for up to about two hours, which is when something in my right knee tends to start acting up, has never been any sort of problem, and even managing to cover some five kilometers in about 40 minutes, like I did last week, is all right as well, though I was quite sweaty by the time I arrived where I had to be, but running perhaps not much more than half of one, admittedly including the short climbs, doesn’t agree with my current level of fitness. Worse, if you run some numbers you’ll see that my pace wasn’t that much above what I managed last week in order to get somewhere on time, so even though the distance may actually be around 700 meters, if not for the short climbs this could have hardly been called a run at all, at least when compared to what’s otherwise my usual quick walking pace.
Of course, that only means I’ll need to start slowly and work up to that full lap, which according to Google Maps would mean some 3.2 kilometers. Half a lap would mean 1.6 kilometers, but it would require climbing up and down those stairs to cross the bridge, so it’d be more than half the effort and once I’ll manage that all right, the rest should be within reach… Although it may not be the best thing to aim for.

I’m saying this because my first thoughts when the idea of running started crossing my mind, probably back in 2012, was to start with two laps on the track around the National Arena, so 800 meters, which I know I could do right now, since it won’t involve any climbing, plus that the track’s surface is easier on the joints than pavement. I had stopped seeing that as an option since there was an announcement stating that, after being initially freely accessible to anyone except when matches, official training sessions or other major events were to take place there, the track was to only remain open in such a manner for two hours each morning, but I have now found articles stating that’s no longer the case, although the notice may still there. They also state that it does tend to get crowded, however, though mostly during evenings, so I may have a look at some point and see whether it’d be a better idea to go there instead and try to work my way up to the eight laps that’d make for a similar distance to one around the lake. Once I get there, may even try ten, to get to a nice round number.

But those are plans for later, and at the moment I’m not even sure I’ll actually start doing this properly. I guess I have the next two or, at most, three months to perhaps try a couple more times and decide if I’ll do it and where, and what the specific targets will be in terms of distance. Don’t think I should care much about time until I’ll get to at least those 3.2 kilometers, except of course to make sure I’m at least noticeably faster than while simply walking quickly, as otherwise you can’t consider it running.

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