When I had my foot surgery in October 2006, the doctor told me I shouldn't even consider running for at least a year or two.
Which was fine with me, as I was never that keen on running in the first place. I took a few stabs at it back in my 30s, and managed to get up to three miles on a couple occasions, but my efforts were at best sporadic, and were all but abandoned once I moved up into the mountains, where the closest things to roads were dirt tracks at vertiginous angles.
Since then I've made half-hearted attempt at getting back into it once in a while, especially when I was in Australia, but found I didn't have a lot of endurance and that the whole thing seemed more of a pain that it was worth. But since I found a spot to do my t'ai chi that happens to be right next to a running track, I've been looking almost enviously at the people zipping past me (and looking bewilderedly at the people who get on a running track and walk - I mean, if you're only going to walk, why not use the sidewalks and go someplace more interesting, or at least someplace where the view doesn't repeat itself every quarter mile?).
And because my foot has been feeling noticeably better this past month, maybe because of reflexology treatments, maybe because of the warm(er) weather, maybe because of the 21 pounds I've lost since January, I decided it was finally time to give running a retry. So yesterday, the first truly summerlike day of the year, I slipped onto the track and ran, well, not much, only half a mile, but considerably farther than I have in a long, long while. It wasn't bad at all, and I repeated the exercise again today. I think I'll take tomorrow off and then try increasing my distance bit by bit.
I'm still a bit dubious about this whole running around in circles (ovals, whatever) business, but since you never know when New York might be invaded by wild beasts or zombies, it's probably best to cultivate enough endurance to give oneself a fighting chance of escaping. Also, I seem to be becoming a bit of a physical fitness nut, what with t'ai chi, the gym, now running, and probably back to swimming before long as well. Quite a change for someone who spent the first half of his life assiduously avoiding physical activity of almost any kind, and typical, too: why, I keep asking myself, didn't I get into this sort of stuff when I had not only the energy to do it, but the youthful body that could have really benefited from it? Well, I guess I'm still in reasonably good shape now, but still...