On April 10, 2012, I saw my primary doctor and asked if it would be safe to start a walking/running program. He said it should be fine, but I should start slow: begin with a 30-minute walk and run for two minutes during the walk, for a week. If this is tolerated, then increase running to five minutes for a week, then maybe 7 to 10 minutes. Run most every day; don’t run three miles on Sunday, then not run the rest of the week. Be sure to warm up for five minutes and cool down for five minutes, rather than starting or stopping the running cold.
That afternoon I took a 30-minute walk and ran in the middle of it for 2 minutes and 19 seconds, covering 0.24 mile. The run felt awkward, and I felt pretty rough at the end of it. But I kept it up, walking most days and running whatever I could tolerate, up to a mile or so at a time (I ran 1.5 miles on July 29). Some walks were longer and included extra run segments.
On August 6, I started doing run/walk intervals, where I was running more than walking; this was the start of my actual running log. On August 22, by slowing the running pace a bit and slow-jogging the walk intervals, I managed a 30-minute run with no walking (3.22 miles in 30:02, a 9:20 pace). Now I was hooked on running! I had already signed up for my first 5K on August 14, figuring I could walk some if I needed to. When race day arrived, I was able to run the whole distance.
Races in 2012
- Safe Harbor Run/Walk
Henry Vilas Park, Madison
September 3, 2012 at 9 am
3.11 mi / 28:52 (9:17 pace)
- Hilly street course in the neighborhood around Henry Vilas Zoo. ~ Finished 3rd of 3 among males 50-59. ~ Race supports Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, which helps abused children; it was renamed “Labor Day Dash” in 2013.
- Rockport Trail Run
Rockport Park, Janesville
October 27, 2012 at 10 am
4.00 mi / 42:01.84 (10:30 pace)
- Tough race for me: I had to walk 5 times on steep hills. But it was fun. ~ Finished 22nd of 33 overall, and 3rd of 4 among males 50-59. (read full report on ookingdom.com)
- World Run Day (virtual)
Monterey Park, Janesville
November 11, 2012 at 6:45 am
3.10 mi / 28:07 (9:04 pace)
- This was my World Run Day event in memory of Dana Lee Petitt (1986). Broke my 5K PR… this gives me a time to beat next year. Tough run: the wind was a factor, especially near the end. This was a solo run, with my wife waiting at the start/finish point. Runners could choose a charity to support for the race; I chose the Rock County Humane Society.