Aside from the “tongue in cheek” misleading headline, the rest I profess to be true.
*This Just In* This Just In* This Just In*
Joggers Blog – Stardate August 22, 2011
Well until today, I have been an aspiring 1/2 Marathon Runner. Today, I can proclaim that I am indeed a 1/2 Marathon Runner. It’s a distance of 21km or 13 miles. However, I write this not totally out of joy. Read on if you will? This morning – I don’t know why – but I got up earlier than usual. Somewhere shortly before 6 a.m. I felt unusually spry and invigorated, ready to take on the day! All was well and good. So good in fact that I felt what I need to do was to go out and complete a task I’ve been wanting to do after a year of training. That, of course, was to do my first ever 1/2 marathon. I was looking to head out at about 8:30ish. After a few javas and enjoying my National Public Radio broadcasts I switched over to CBC Radio One. No sooner than I had tune in, the new broke that Jack Layton had died after a courageous battle with the disease. Not ashamed to say, but I did shed a tear. I know how it touches families, including my own. With condolences sent, and having read the many heartfelt bestowed in his honor during the course of the morning, my feeling ebbed and flowed between grief and anger. My thoughts also turned to my 2nd cousin who I believe just completed yet another round of chemo – much too young to have to do so. So, without rambling on for too long, I went about doing chores and my thoughts turned back to my intent to jog first thing today. And that’s what I did! ” I remember a tweet I read today saying “cancer sucks” and it truly does! With those thoughts, I took that anger and went out and completed my first ever 1/2 marathon. My thoughts and prayers to those families who have to contend with losses and the struggles this terrible disease presents. God bless!
P.S. You can read on if you’re so inclined to learn this is one of the reasons I turned back to jogging. Thanks for the visit.
Well it’s been a year since I first got back into running. It’s been too many years. So many, I can’t even say it has been in “recent memory”. I think, perhaps, it has been since shortly after high school. WOW,that’s eons! In any event, I was reflecting today upon this past year since re-boosting my running career. Pun aside, I have made some great strides in my running ambitions. In fact, for those who read posts on Twitter or facebook, I periodically do post status updates pertaining to these “strides”. With on mere weeks, my newest ambition and goal is fast approaching. You see – come September 18th – I’ll be running my first ever official half-marathon in Thunder Bay Ontario. “Why only half Clarence?” you ask. Hey, I said I was ambitious, not crazy! However, having stated that, perhaps by next year I’ll in fact have turned crazy to that. Time will tell. So, just how far along have I got this year? Read on and learn. As they say…
MY FIRST STEP
In any event, it was about this time last year I was reflecting on my health to which I felt was good overall, in terms of mind and spirit. However, the “body” part of that popular trio seemed to have inflicted some anxiety on my psyche. Alarms went off, as it were. As per my general health, I believe all to be fine internally. In fact, I’m pretty sure I do have the cleanest lungs possible, because I never have smoked. Other organs, quite good too methinks. Well, maybe aside from my liver which may need some further speculation, but that would be a whole ‘nother blog! Anyways, the long and short of it, is that I had assessed that I could stand to lose a few pounds. I was 208. Not the heaviest I had ever been, but getting up there. More alarm bells sounded! It was almost immediately I started to diet. That meant a few lifestyle adjustments. In short order, I was able to lose 10lbs. How? Well first off, I simply by cut out my 2L-a-day pop addiction. Following that, I felt I still needed to make myself accountable to someone to keep me on the straight and narrow. So, in turn, I marched myself to the local Friendship Centre which conveniently had a Program that was tailored for people with health concerns like mine and other matters. As a part of the program, I did a weigh-in and calculated my BMI [Body Mass Index} To no surprise, I was overwieght and nipping at the heels of obesity! 26 BMI btw, wit 30 being obese. Yikes! So, I signed up. Thereby, now committing me to continue on my quest for a healthier me. If you dare to, a good BMI Calculator can be found here!
MY FIRST JOG
As a part of my new healthy regiment, I had to employ other things beside what I have always done. So, I looked at what I could also do beside the physical activities I was already doing. I have always, and continue to walk and cycle on a regular basis. Snowshoe avidly in winter and come curling and skating. Well the only thing then was jogging. “Could I still do this?” I asked myself. “Well let’s see Clarence let’s see.” I answered to myself. Then I began to plot a file like a prisoner planning his escape. With that, I went set off upon my first jog. Not even knowing how far I could go I donned some jogging gear and headed toward the golf course, not but 2.5 km down the road. I have to tell you, I was having second thoughts about this whole new idea after the first kilometre by the “Old Arena Rd.”. Yet, I fought that first bit of angst and carried on. Surprisingly, thing got worse! Silly me thinking it would get easier. Moreover, I was now approaching the small grade hill leading to the golf coarse. That grade killed me, but what kept me going was the haunting voice of my former gym teacher, Mr. Amm calling out to me. “Keep them arms up Clarence. The arms, keep them UP!” As I did then, I mustered the strength to get my arms up and pump them more vigorously. What seemed and eternity, I reached the crest of the hill. Looking around, seeing no traffic, I raised my arms in the air like Stallon after have completed his run up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum the top of the stairs in ROCKY whilst “Gonna Fly Now” seemily floated in on the prevailing South wind. It was “fight” of sort, thus, I felt I deserved a good rest after that initial grueling 2km jog. So, I did.
Now it was time for my return. This time, however, down hill. Unexpectedly though I encountered yet another ghost from the past. It was Stanley Pete. Stanley was a neighborhood kid, a few years older than I, that grew up in our “hood”. Stanley was a lanky red-head teen dude, who was known and admired for his avid running abilities. I recall how he had run that hill and beyond daily. No one really knew how far he went. But, as kids, we raised him to hero status and would guess. “Probably to the Park” someone would postulate, only to be out-guessed. “No way! All the way to the Forestry Base I bet” someone else would pipe up. Only to be out done by another ” You Dinks! He goes to Longlac everyday!” “Oh yeah.” we all agreed in unison. With those thoughts fresh in my thoughts I conjured a mirage of Stanley running up the hill toward me now in the approaching darkness. His image nearer now, then the apparition soon passed on by. “Hey Stanley.” I nodded as I turned my head to see him fade into the shadows. To this day, on each subsequent run, I do on most days still see Stanley or hear Mr. Amm. On those days, I need it most, I see and hear both. In addition to the wise words that call out from the past, I also employ the use of my mp3 player. of the many tunes I have there, I found my current pace in perfect syncopation whenever Don Henley’s ” Boys of Summer” Comes on. One of my favorite influences as a songwriter too. So, doubly inspiring. So, for your listening pleasure…
As I mentioned previously, I’ve been jogging close to a year. As you recall, my my first grueling 5k run with a longish pit stop half way. Today,however, my longest run is at 83 minutes non-stop at a distance of 16k. Moreover, there is 30lbs less of me. My goal, for this year, will be concluded as I set out to complete my first ever half-marathon. A distance of 21km. I’m hoping for a projected time of around 100 minutes. Not too unrealistic I’m thinking.
This is to take place on September 18th in Thunder Bay, as mentioned, which coincidentally coincides with The Terry Fox Run. As you may be aware, Thunder Bay was where Terry sadly had to conclude his Marathon of Hope. In addition to this being a personal ambition, I am also looking to run to have my proceeds of sponsors directed to Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. Moreover, in recognition of the event being associated with the Terry Fox Run, I’ll also be running for those families, including my own family members who have passed – in addition – to those who continue to courageously take on their struggle with Cancer. So come September 18th, I know I won’t be running alone. Physically, yes, I there will be the many participants. More importantly though my thoughts will be those families with Dilico concerns and my own family members. And when I’m feeling “tired and torn” I’m sure both Stanley and Mr. Amm will make their presence known. “Keep them arms up Clarence! Keep them arms up!” In closing, just a tune I wrote as a tribute to whom the day will belong to. That being Terry Fox! The song is “Courage Highway”
FYI, you can learn more about my writing of “Courage Highway” ,if you are so inclined, here!
In closing, what’s next? Aside from more running I looking to get some corporate sponsorship to get me there. Once that is in place, then it’s to get individual sponsors for the run on per/km pledge. Well that’s it for now. Thanks for the visit. Wish me luck!