Getting Ready to Howl at the Moon

When you're a kid you run because you have to. When you're an adult, you run because you want to. I have never been a fan of running or jogging but I always saw it as a necessity. Whether it was running from trouble, training for sports or preparing for the Army, keeping my knees high and my head forward was how I faced the future. Now I'm lacing up the shoes for fitness and charity.

Why the sudden switch from wheels to feet? You might assume that I was upset about my crash in the Alafia Mountain Bike race but not so, it's more about finances. The MTB races are just too far away and until my TV Show Fundraiser is completed, I simply can't travel for anything except BMX reporting. That only leaves running local races. So, it's time to huff it up.

After the Army I never thought I would run again but now that I'm creeping towards forty, my priorities appear to be changing. Living in one place, working as a writer and having the blessing of a loving wife allows me to pursue sports as a hobby so long as I can afford them.

Thanks to a friend's discount card for Sports Authority I picked up a new pair of Adidas Trail Runners and took to the Oyster Creek woods. My goal is to tackle a 5k race known as 'Howl at the Moon' which benefits the Zoomer's Scholarship fund. They will also be collecting can goods for the Englewood Zombie walk. While I haven't run this kind of distance in almost 20 years, that's not the real challenge. The struggle is how short a time I have to get ready - about 10 days.

I tried the race route to see where I stand and the results were not pretty. I can run a solid mile but that's about all. My breathing was much more strained than what I'm used to on the bike. My best efforts made for a completion of the run in parts, stopping every once in a while to walk out the pain. My calves and shin muscles took a beating.

It's amazing how different the trails appear when on foot but jogging by yourself offers no real distractions. Seeing other runners spurred me to push harder so hopefully the adrenaline on the day of the race will lift my determination. In the meantime all I can do is limp and bear it. In a very short time I will be back in competition enjoying the same old trails in a brand new way. Wish me luck!


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