Midi-Chlorians like Skywalker or the Mitochondria of a Kenyan…

15 08 2009

…that’s what I need.  I went on my first “long” training run in about 3 weeks today—-only 4 and 1/2 miles, a distance not considered long at all by many runners—-but it kicked my ass.   I had stayed up late last night so I didn’t even get out of bed until about 8:30 am, and it was after 10:00 by the time I’d gotten coffee and pulled myself together.  That strategy worked last fall and this past spring when I was training, but in mid-August it’s a little misguided.  It was already 73 degrees, sunny and humid when I started out and only got more so as time went on.

I ran through the local forest preserve which has more shade than my subdivision with its baby trees and bright glaring concrete.  I made it through the first 3 miles or so in decent order but really struggled the last bit, doing more walking than running, especially up the hills.  I don’t think I’ve ever sweat so much either!  My stamina really does suck right now.

The good news about stamina though is that it can be rebuilt.  As your body endures each new assault upon its energy stores, it responds by making more mitochondria—-the “workbench of the cell”, according to my freshman college biology professor.  And I do love my mitochondria!  When I found out they were endosymbionts believed to be a bacteria-like species that became a part of our cellular structure about a gajillion years ago, this tickled the heck out of the Trekkie in me.  I sometimes smile during a run as I mentally compare myself to a Trill carrying around all of my little symbionts and encouraging them to replicate more and more with every step.  It really doesn’t take much amuse me.

The Star Wars Midi-Chlorians are supposed to be loosely based on mitochondria and Anakin Skywalker had the highest of anyone ever.  We all know what happened to him, the fallen angel of the Star Wars bible, but I’ll bet he could have run a kick-ass marathon!  As I was urging myself forward through the heat today, I wondered if Skywalker would outrun a Kenyan.  I know I can’t, but I sure wish some generous Kenyan mitochondrion would come along and share a few speed, distance and endurance plasmids with mine.

More tomorrow…

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