Magee: Running the streets of Oxford

Published 8:42 am Sunday, October 9, 2016

Yes, that’s me trying to run the streets of Oxford early these fall mornings.

I’m the guy with the wife far out in front.

She turns back every so often, giving me a “come on” look and wave. But I never seem to catch up.

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Mostly, I am just trying not to stop.

That’s no easy task, either.

Some people were born to run and some have to work harder at running.

I’m in the latter category.

I will play most any sport all day long, including full court basketball for hours still today, and that’s a lot of running.

But learning to go a distance on foot without a ball requires learning to keep going when it is not comfortable. That is much more like a diet than a sport to me.

Eating caramel cake is comfortable. Stopping and walking is comfortable.

Put the two together and that’s a very good day.

Being overweight at this age isn’t an option, however, especially in light of a recent health issue (cancer).

I also enjoy being active and energetic, and being able to eat some caramel cake every now and then without regret.

With little time in a busy work schedule, running seems like the best option at the moment.

So, one day last month I decided it is time.

That first mile wasn’t easy. After the first quarter I looked at my watch to see how long I had been running.

Eight minutes, maybe?

More like two.

But the next day I went back for more, deciding not to judge the effort from a negative perspective.

Weeks later, I am still giving running a go, even though I am not going as far or as fast as I want.

One mile feels like four. Two miles feels like eight. I see friends out dashing for miles and can’t imagine how they do it.

But I have learned that running the streets of Oxford presents the city in a beautiful light and silence that makes getting up and going worthwhile.

When the rising sun finally makes a peak onto the landscape the orange glow puts a warm and fuzzy spotlight on the city that is a Robert Malone moment.

The only cost: waking up and getting moving.

The day of a morning run also is also better than a day without running. Work is better. Sleep is better. More energy. Fresher perspective.

I listen to music, but mostly I think about what I didn’t have time to process during the busy day before.

I also think about stopping. But I hope to break that habit soon.

It’s all about getting started, and taking it one laborious mile at a time.

We signed up for the Great 38 race this weekend and the 5K portion of that fabulous event was perfect for a beginner. There will be a 10K race at Thanksgiving on 30A.

Not that I will sail through six miles by then.

But I have learned from participants in the popular half marathons that running, or trying to run, isn’t about impressing others. It is about doing something to challenge yourself.

And challenging yourself is more enjoyable when it is done with others.

So I don’t mind that my wife runs so far ahead at this point. It’s good inspiration to try and catch up.

David Magee is Publisher of The Oxford Eagle.