Sunday, December 6, 2020

Early December running report

The good news is that I am still running.

My "by" days are usually two days but sometimes three.

Physical conditioning is the process of stressing and then healing. As I age, the "healing" portion takes longer. That is the simple reality.

Deer season was a two-week period of sloth and sedentary schlepping about.

This past Friday-Saturday was a big "Mom" weekend for us. I ran into one of the local runners on Lansing's Westside. "N" had Covid back in early November. It started in her sinuses and then migrated to other parts of her body. One week here, another week someplace else.

Her frustration was boundless.

She started running again a two weeks ago. She had been running 30 miles on the weekend and now she is down to two miles. Her pace would still kill me.


I tolerate technology. I downloaded an app that promised to tell me my speed, distance, "splits", credit score and general attractiveness to the opposite sex. 

I was disillusioned. My first "split", the marker I had always assumed was 1.0 miles from my starting-point was only 0.92 miles away.

Then every time I stopped the software "restarted" so I have no idea what my pace was for the entire 3.7 mile run (plus 0.3 mile walk-down). Doing the math for the first 0.92 miles and the last 1.432 miles my pace was almost exactly 11:30 minutes-per-miles for both legs.

As a reference, most boys on a high-school cross-country team can regularly knock out six-minute-miles at that distance and the exceptional ones can tickle five-minute miles.

I am not bragging or apologizing. That is just what the numbers worked out to. Sixty-one years old and thirty pounds overweight. Take the data-point for what it is.

Listening to my body

One of the things that amazed me when I was a relatively serious runner was how incredibly consistent my times were.

I was working in a metal stamping plant that was closing in a few months. I had no idea where I was going next. I ran to deal with the stress. Fight-or-flight. In general, flight (running) is more socially acceptable than fighting at work.

Day-after-day-after-day I ran the same 3.8 mile loop. My times were about 34:50 +/- 15 seconds.

Even when I felt like crap. Even when I felt good. Sunny weather. Cold weather. It did not matter.

I run with a relatively short stride of about five feet (counting a left-right as a single stride). That is about 4000 cycles. 15 seconds out of 35 minutes is a bit more than a half-percent of variation.

For a biological process, especially for a fat, middle-aged man, that strikes me as incredibly repeatable.

The downside

---Full disclosure--- 

I get little sympathy from Mrs ERJ. 

---End disclosure---

We have a firm mattress. When I sleep on my back, it feels like somebody slid a phone-book beneath my butt.

Maybe I will get used to it. It just feels...odd.


  1. My wife frequently calls me an ass. Sometimes I try not to be. Then someone almost insists"my pace was almost exactly 11:30 minutes-per-miles for both legs." Did you really think the left leg would be more than the right? Remember to Tip your waitresses.

  2. You are doing great, Joe. Keep it up and it will pay dividends later as well as now. I have a buddy that is 82 and he sure doesn't look it. He attributes his health to running until about 10 years ago. ---ken