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!