Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Running and Knees

I was a decrepit old man in my thirties. Any time I played soccer or tennis, my heels and feet caused me incredible pain. It got so bad that I finally stopped playing altogether. Without any exercise, I became a big, fat, ball of goo.

It became so bad that I couldn't keep up with (then five-year-old) Boy Kid or (then one-year-old) Girl Kid. Eventually, I realized that:
  • Carrying Girl Kid up the stairs left me winded.
  • It took me a couple days to recover from coaching soccer for a team of kids who where three feet tall.
  • When watching a video that was filmed at my office, I saw some guy who looked like me in a fat suit. The fat guy was me.
  • My size 40 pants were getting really tight.
Anyway, I finally went to the local running store and had them watch me jog and analyze my gait. They recommended Asics Gel GT-2010's. Once I had the right equipment, it took me weeks and weeks to be able to run a mile without taking breaks, but now I am able to run 3-5 miles about three times most weeks. Apparently, running in a straight line is not a problem for me (I am not fast--my top speed is somewhere between a saunter and a mosey), but the real culprits were the turning and changes of direction that came with soccer and tennis.

Gretchen Reynolds' New York Times article Can Running Actually Help Your Knees? is interesting. It gives me hope that I will be able to keep this up for a while. I like being healthier. I can keep up with Boy and Girl Kid, but only if they are running in a straight line. Once they discover my weakness, it will be all up to Mrs. Kid to keep up with them.

No comments: