I say “almost” because the idea had, in fact, been lingering somewhere along the edges of conscious thought for a few weeks, at least. As evidenced by the fact that lately on drives home I’d been mentally noting the distance between certain intersections and my doorstep. Lots of sidewalks, not too hilly (I’d also noted, vaguely). Let’s see... If I ran to that spot and back, that’d be a mile, two miles, three miles...
Then I’d go home and forget about it.
I’m not at all adverse to physical activity, but I had gotten out of the habit of regularly exercising over the last few months. Would hit the gym once every week or two and ride the bike for half an hour, and take occasional walks around the neighborhood with Vera. But that was about it.
Anyhow, I’d seen that report on CNN. You probably did, too. The one they were running during the holidays over and again that said something about a new study showing that people who run regularly live longer. Can’t say I paid too close attention to what exactly Dr. Sanjay Gupta was saying, but I suppose it must’ve encouraged me to think more concretely about actually going out and hitting the pavement.
So, as 2009 dawned, I dug out a pair of sweat pants, found a suitably masculine-looking toboggan (i.e., the one without the tassels), and took off.
About eighteen or so minutes later I was back home, having made it two miles. Was sore the next day (knees, calves, back), but ran it again, anyway. Felt even worse on January 3rd (neck, thighs), but did the route a third time. When I woke up feeling even worse on the fourth, I found it impossible not to curse Dr. Gupta and all the other quacks espousing the running thing. Live longer? Okay, fine. But who wants to live like this?
Nonetheless, I made myself do it again.
Now we’re nearing mid-month, and I have managed to run every day here in the new year, save one when it rained (that day I went to the gym and rode the bike). Yes, the pain did eventually wane, though not entirely. My time hasn’t really improved much, but that isn’t such a concern.
Yesterday, as I reached my usual turnaround spot, I took a deep breath and kept going, making my new goal that intersection I’d mentally marked as one-and-a-half miles from home. I was literally going the extra mile.
I motored along, Can’s album Future Days thumping out a sympathetic rhythm in my earbuds. (Love that 1970s krautrock, don’t you?) Several more paces down this new road and I found myself thinking about all those short little sessions of $0.50/$1.00 six-handed limit hold’em I have been playing here in the new year.
Following several months of enduring daily swings of $50, $75, or sometimes even more playing pot-limit Omaha, I recently moved back over to LHE (wrote about that here), where I’ve been very consciously restricting my play, only logging 50-100 hands at a time, often cutting sessions short once I’ve made even as little as a few bucks. After eleven days of such modest play, I’ve managed to trip up over the $100 mark already. Have run well, I suppose, but have lost my share of pots, too. A slow, steady climb, without much in the way of peaks or valleys.
Can’t help but think I’d probably wouldn’t be sitting much better having played PLO50. In fact, just glancing at my win rates for each game and the number of hands played, chances are good I wouldn’t have made any more. Of course, even if I’d made the exact same amount of cabbage playing Omaha, plodding along fifty cents or a buck at a time somehow seems like a healthier way to go.
I made it the three miles not too worse for wear. Will likely be sticking with just the two-mile run most days, though, perhaps saving the extra mile for Sundays. When I talk about the new exercise thing with some people, I’ve been joking that what I’m really doing is running a marathon. It’s just taking me two weeks to finish.
I know I’m essentially going in circles. But I still feel as though I’m getting somewhere.