Thursday, June 16, 2011


In 1954, Roger Bannister ran a mile in less than four minutes, a barrier that many considered beyond the capacity of the human body.  They said it couldn't be done.  He said 'fuck you' and clocked a 3:59.4 right in their faces.  In honor of that indomitable spirit, and in the name of not dying of coronary heart disease before my son reaches his teens, I decided to go for a little jog yesterday.

5:43:97.  That's exactly the time it took to haul my dead-legged carcass across 0.7 miles--exactly the distance from our driveway to the entrance of Happy Hollow Park and back again--of mostly flat terrain.  By the time my 'run' was over, I was cursing Roger Bannister and his lunatic, ego-driven need show the world what a great big fucking deal he was.

Then, as I slumped to the grass, something funny happened.  My oxygen rich blood made its way to my brain.  I was swept into a nether realm of strange colors and geometric shapes.  I was full of energy and thinking clearly for first time in years.  Suddenly I had visions of the man I could be.

I wanted more.  That's when I decided to launch, as an alternative to the more recognized exercise regimes of the world, a personal campaign to shatter the five-minute 0.7 mile barrier.  I call it the McBone 0.7 Mile Challenge!

Keep in mind that I haaate running.  I've heard long distance runners speak of the mythical 'runner's high,' a state of being in which all sense of pain and exertion are displaced by some sort of endorphin-rich surge of energy and even, dare I say it, enlightenment.  I confess that, in all the miles I ran in a four-year career on the Firestone High School cross country team, I never once came close to experiencing this sensation.  Scarcely can I remember a moment when running long distances that I wasn't desperately wanting the ordeal to end.  Why the hell did I do it year after year?  I don't fucking know.  Why am I doing this now, when I was on the cusp of achieving an almost perfectly sedentary lifestyle?  Beats me.  All I know is my quest began today, with startling results.


I realize that I can hardly expect to shave off 15+ seconds every time I lace up the New Balances, and I am aware that running farther than 0.7 miles on a regular basis would do wonders in shrinking my time, but let me reemphasize how much I hate running.  My lone incentive, other than setting a good example for the McBonerito, is to shorten these daily torture sessions little by little until they are barely more than a five minute afterthought in my day. Inspiring, right?  I know!  Don't think I can do it?  My hero Roger Bannister has a finger he would like to show you.

Oh, and by the way, when I say 'daily,' that does not mean I will never miss a day.  On the days that I do attempt to establish a personal best, I will post my time on a 'widget' on this blog's handy sidebar.

All those wishing to join me, I say misery loves company.  Feel free to post your own times in the comment section!



Cinematheque for All said...

I foresee a 5k in your future -- maybe at least two years into the future, but there nonetheless.

McBone said...

No way! All my 5ks are buried deep, deep in my past.


Kid Shay said...

The most important decision when you go for a run: shirt on or off?

My pale white skin doesn't allow me that choice, but you should take advantage.

McBone said...

I was thinking shirt on, shorts off.