So, I decided to try running again. Many years ago at a former job, I fell in with an evil crowd who did this sort of thing, and dabbled in the sport. I'm not sure what I do would actually be called "running" by any of the Real Runners. It does involve periods where both my feet are off the ground, but a speed walker could blow my doors off. After leaving (i.e. being forcibly ejected from) that job, I hung up my sneakers. I did have one later attempt, when on a business trip and took my sneakers instead of my bike. Did a few miles and could barely move the next day. So I figured that was the end of my running career.
But lately, I've been thinking it would be a good alternative to biking on those rainy days. I don't like getting wet, but I can survive. The rainy, sandy and in winter salty conditions takes a heavy toll on my bikes. I can take a shower but when all this crap gets into the bearings, derailleur, brakes, this means expensive maintenance, or more likely riding around on a squeaky bike. So, running on those days seemed like a good solution. I get some exercise to justify my massive feedings, and the bikes stay clean.
I have a trail right behind my house and someone whom I'll call Bill Inman just gave me a new used pair of sneakers, seems like the planets were aligned correctly for the venture.
The first thing I noticed was that this was not nearly as easy as cycling. Nowhere to sit for starters. And there really is no way to coast, except for reducing myself to walking, and I was too proud for that.
My legs started hurting after about 100 yards. The same legs that pedal thousands of miles could barely manage a half mile run. I soon noticed that everything from the waist down was burning (not in a good way). My initial goal was to run down to the VA (about 2 miles) but I figured I'd better cut my losses and turn around at Fawn Lake (maybe a mile).
Looked good for a while, no one else on the trail to see my poor excuse for running. But then another runner approached. Would he think me a kindred spirit or a poser with a pair of hand me down sneakers? He passed without acknowledging my existence.
All the runners I passed seemed an unfriendly bunch. I said "hey" to all of them as I am wont to do when passing cyclists, not a single one said "hey" back. Don't know whether they didn't feel like wasting air on someone unworthy like me, or they just had their eye on the prize and didn't brook interruptions. Of course, I didn't look the part, with my CRW T-shirt and civilian pants. Maybe I would have gotten more attention had I worn my powder blue cycling tights.
I made it to Fawn Lake and turned around. I immediately realized it was uphill on the way back. Uphill in this case was about a 0.05% grade, but in my weakened state, it could have been Mt Everest.
I kept looking for the fire hydrant, which I knew was an early warning sign of being close to home, but it was a long time coming. Finally passed it, on the home stretch. I could see the shed that the path to my house was nearby. So I turned it on for a final sprint. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite as close as I thought, and my sprint was good for about 50 yards, so I limped the rest of the way until the path.
When I got home I realized that things already hurt. From experience, I knew if it hurt this bad now, tomorrow would be really interesting. Walking down stairs was a challenge, I usually only get that level of pain after a century.
So much for cross training.