A week ago, I was enjoying the excellent and talented Hugh Laurie in his inimitable role as Gregory House. It was the start of the third season, and it would seem that during the off-season House spent six weeks in rehab and had gone from needing a cane to perambulate, to jogging 8 miles. Now, of course, I understand that House is a fictional character, but this bothered me. Hugh Laurie is no doubt in great physical condition and it seemed quite plausible that he would be able to run 8 miles at a stretch. So what was wrong with me? I’ve been jogging pretty consistently for at least the past 8 weeks, and I had, at my best, only managed 7 miles.

Last Friday I decided that this would not stand. I was conscientious about keeping my heart rate down for the first 3 miles, and then continued a pace that allowed me to complete 8 miles. And just for good measure, I put in an extra mile and finished 9 miles in about 90 minutes. I was quick to point out to Julie that this was in fact the amount of time alloted to a regulation football match (i.e. real football, aka soccer). I have long wished that I had the body of professional footballer. However, just to make sure that my minor achievement didn’t go to my head, Julie was equally quick to point out that 90 minutes wouldn’t include any stoppage time or extra periods. Which immediately put me back in my place.

So, while I still look nothing like the average footballer, Hugh Laurie, at least, has got nothing on me. Well, except a brilliant prime-time show, an avid fan-base and devilishly good looks. Just to show it wasn’t a fluke, I ran 8 miles again this morning… starting to move into half-marathon territory. Stamina is continuing to improve, and now I just need to figure out how to improve my speed.

As a bit of a postscript, I had thought to post about my individual jogging session on this blog. I thought it would be a good way to track my progress and provide some encouragement to jog farther and faster. However, it sort of felt like too much naval-gazing (even for a blog). So I apologize to anyone who saw those trial posts last week.

– Jeremy

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