Friday, September 21, 2012

Extreme Jogging

Inspiration struck this week when one of my favorite Southwest Florida runners, Maria Andrews, shared an anecdote from a runner she had coached.  The runner said his mother had called Maria a jogger.  Now, while Maria is a master of running at a sane pace, she is hardly a jogger.  In fact, Maria is an adventuresome ultra-marathoner with a work ethic and knowledge of running that puts me to shame.

Then Jami Maxwell, one of Maria's training partners and race companions went into jogger mode in a post of encouragement to Dana Pucin, a great gal who kept me company on a bicycle as I raced across the Lake Okeechobee dike last spring.  All of this Facebook fun started my simple mind churning, inspiring me to coin a new term which I now will  fully claim, extreme jogging.  Don't we need a new sport?

I have to admit my own faults when it comes to the fine line between running and jogging.  There was a time in my life when I considered any distance run at a pace of more than 8 minutes a mile, jogging.  A lot of  running snobs would tell you that anything over 7 minute pace qualifies as jogging, but I digress. 

It's been a half dozen years and 20 pounds ago since I've trained at sub-8 pace on a daily basis.  I rarely, if ever, do a training run anymore at a pace under 8:30 a mile.  In fact, thanks to four months worth of injuries, I'm quite happy to trudge through my runs at 10 minute a mile pace.  This is definitely jogging.  However, if you're like Maria or Jami, then you regularly crank out 10 to 20 plus miles or more at that pace. I would say we're into extreme jogging territory.

So I've decided to officially retire as a runner and become an extreme jogger.  I'm not quite ready for the 20 mile training runs, but that's the goal.  Extreme jogging should help me shed another 15 pounds or so and help keep me competitive in my age group at the local road racers.  Steve Riley do you hear me?  Extreme jogging is now the name of the game! 

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