In 2010 I went from hating running to enjoying it. From sitting on my couch to running over 530 miles. I ran two half marathons. I ran during the week in the mornings or evenings for fun. From last summer through my injury, on the last day of January, I ran every Saturday morning (8-10 miles) with friends.
I loved it. Loved how strong I felt. Loved being able to run 10 miles at a nice pace, while talking with friends about their week.
I would discuss running at work, with friends, with anyone that would listen and even here on mevsMJ.com.
The pop in my calf muscle ended all of that.
I ran my first 2.5 miles last week in the past four months!
MY GOAL: Play Michael Jordan 1-on-1.
TRUTH: Running long distances DOES NOT help me prepare for my goal.
I first realized this when I attended Impact Basketball training in November. In a short period of time Matt Hiller had me gasping for air as I stood at the free throw line. I had never been so short of breath in my life. At the time I was running 18-20 miles per week and was able to run 5 miles at a 7:23 pace.
The realization hit home again later that month when I handed to ball to the #79th ranked high school player in America, Robert Brown and played him 1-on-1. Fourteen points in to game one, as I went to pick up the ball, I felt like I was going to pass out. I was exhausted. He wasn’t.
Finally, during the rehab of my injury it really hit home. Speaking with numerous trainers and players, no trainer suggested running long distances and no player, and I’m talking even a former NBA All-Star, ran long distances as a way to prepare for basketball.
It made sense.
Basketball is about a series of explosive movements, not a steady speed for miles, even if that speed is considered fast.
Back to Hooping!
I’ve been back to hooping for just over two months and right now my game is feeling great!
Over the past two weeks, of my last 12 games of one-on-one vs. “regular people” I’m 11-1. I’m not just winning the games, I’m dominating! My last four opponents I’ve outscored 60-12 combined (games are to 15 points).
I’m now less than two weeks from my match-up with Andy Gebru (played this past season professionally in Brazil) and besides a couple of nagging injuries (groin/ankle) I couldn’t be in a better place!
I’m ready to test myself again against the best and see the hard work I’ve been putting in turn into a better showing!
To Run…or Not To Run?
Due to understanding what is going to benefit me most in my preparation for Michael Jordan, I just haven’t been running.
Instead, I’ve been doing mostly everything on a basketball court and playing as much 1-on-1 as possible. It seems to be working.
Still, last Wednesday evening I slipped on the Nikes, headed to the trail and ran. I didn’t run very far, just 2.5 miles as I stated earlier, and it definitely wasn’t as easy as it was the last time I had run, though I did manage a 7:35 pace.
I didn’t run for conditioning. I ran because I kind of missed it.
For me at this point right now, the answer to whether I should run or not comes down to what this journey is all about: Doing something I’m passionate about!
While I can tell you I won’t be running 20 miles a week anytime soon, I may slip in a 5 mile run here and a 10 mile run there.
I’ll do it on days because I miss it, or for the comradery and most importantly because it brings me a little joy.
After all, a little joy is all we are ever really in search of isn’t it.
me vs. MJ…the journey continues!
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