07 May 2008

the long distance runner


1985 Nike Air Pegasus running shoes. I pounded the pavements of Bournemouth in the 1980s wearing these exact shoes, (at the time, running from myself and delaying the time of evening when I would reach for the bottle.) Eventually it got to be too much like hard work and heck, I was young and immortal. Why on earth would I need to exercise in my late twenties.

Twenty-three years later I have dusted them off and begun running in them again. I have to say they are supremely comfortable and have that certain "retro" quality which is impossible to fake. At fifty I have discovered I am no longer immortal and I definitely do need to exercise. After three weeks of building up I now run 2.7 miles in twenty-five minutes - pathetic really but it is all my old bones can manage just yet.


2008 Nike Air Pegasus running shoes. I am too easily unsettled by anything new and unfamiliar so I was mightily relieved to find the same old model is still available from Nike a quarter of a century on (albeit updated a little). I invested in this second pair of special footwear partly to satisfy my craving for modern technology, scuplted into science fiction running shoes and partly to give my old feet something delicious to slip into as an occasional treat. These beauties were worth waiting for. I feel I have a distinct unfair advantage over my fellow pavement pounders as I gallop along on bouncy pillows of air. The vintage pair will be my workhorse runners and the new ones for high days and holidays.




Even running apparel has come on in leaps and bounds since I last browsed the racks of a sports shop. My new running shirt and shorts weigh precisely nothing and have to be anchored to the rail in my closet to stop them floating to the ceiling like party balloons. They are so light I keep glancing down to make sure I haven't had a ghastly oversight and gone running naked. The same goes for my wafer-thin tracksuit, which is in my favourite and rather eye-catching combination of black and grey. (Well, I couldn't resist having the full set and I will need it [even wafer-thin] when winter comes around.)

Never one to do anything by half, I have a vague notion of running long distances in due course. I like the feeling when my lungs work hard and fill to capacity without a twinge. I like my heart beating fast. My current run of just under three miles would need to be followed by a further nine of similar length to get up to marathon distance. That seems an impossibility as I sit with sore muscles and write this but why not aim high.

10 comments:

Grace said...

Hey like the gear! You'll be running a marathon before you know it, puts me to shame, I really MUST stop smoking!! I dont do things by halves either, already onto tackling the next addiction!!

fathorse said...

"My new running shirt and shorts weigh precisely nothing"

Hahaha! I go to the gym in my school leavers polo shirt and a pair of old trackies that are covered in paint from decorating the dining room. Glamorous? Mos def.

Perfect Virgo said...

Grace - good luck with stopping smoking. I know how tough it is. Running a marathon would be amazingg and has to be my long-term goal.

Fathorse - I am sure your gym garb is a real head-turner. To hell with the spandex brigade!

Gordie said...

I'm amazed you kept your trainers for so long! But please heed this important advice : http://theselfishbastard.com/wp-content/uploads/childcare101/13.jpg

Perfect Virgo said...

I am not what you'd call a hoarder but I do like to hold on to useful things. At my time of life however, I am wondering if I will ever wear them out!

{illyria} said...

i really want to take some concrete steps to be healthy. and a few people i read have done 5k marathons recently. then i read you...and this. it must be a sign. :)

GeL (Emerald Eyes) said...

Determination in one's mind IS the key. That is how Gem described how lost 60 lbs, healthfully in a yr. He made the decision to change his lifestyle for LIFE and he sticks to it. He also re-incorporated regular exericse into his life, building up slowly.

Recently he added a resistance machine which we gave him from his wish list for Father's Day and birthday. Our den is now "decorated" w/ a treadmill and that machine. I wish we had a different room for those items since they are massive, but each time I see them, I ignore the imbalance in the decor and am warmed by the fact that he is healthy, has so much more stamina, and has increased his life span tremendously! I was so afraid he'd keel over with a heart attack or stroke from "sitting at a desk syndrome." For the past year, it's like when we were newly married, except he is so sleepy early at night because he arises at 4 a.m to do his exercise routine before work!-
PV, You have the legs of a runner and the motivation to succeed in whatever you set your mind, too. Classy running gear. Love the colors.

Perfect Virgo said...

{illyria} - squeeze into those running shorts and pound the pavement! I bet you'll feel better for it. No matter how active a life we think we lead there is always room for more action.

Perfect Virgo said...

GEL - you must be very proud of your husband's achievement. It is a monumental task to change an ingrained lifestyle and to stick to it, so very well done indeed to him. That's amazing. Those fitness machines are huge aren't they - I opted for "free" open air running which takes up no space! The only downside is the high temperature and humidity.

I love the dark colours too even if they do soak up the heat. The stretchy fabric is a real figure-hugger so it would look hilarious if I had a "beer belly!"

GeL (Emerald Eyes) said...

I'm sure Michelle likes the stretchy fabric. :)
Gem doesn't drink but that belly area takes time to firm up.

Although, I'd love coordinated workout gear, I use old t-shirts and shorts from college, to my daughter's dismay. (My university is her rival.)