In my quest for physical fitness, I've generally avoided running. Largely because I *already* have intermittent knee pain in my left knee, and running just seemed like asking for it.
However, a few things combined to make me consider changing my mind. First, I've noticed that the pain in my left knee seems to be inversely related to the amount of impact I dish out to that joint. A really great hike with lots of hills leaves me pain-free for days. Four hours in an airplane seat, on the other hand, and I hobble for the rest of the day. Second, I've been upping the intensity of my workouts on the elliptical machine a lot lately, and so I think I might actually have the aerobic capacity to manage some jogging. Third, I've signed up to do a 3.5 mile run/jog/walk event with a bunch of my coworkers in mid-September. I was basically planning on walking the bulk of it, but wanted to see if it would be practical for me to jog some of it.
So, I put on my running shoes and set out to walk/jog 3.5 miles.
Good news: I covered the 3.5 miles. Bad news: Something about jogging/running makes my left hamstring/hip muscles tighten up like nobody's business. I can jog for a block or two - after that I have to revert to walking to loosen up the muscles. Good news: At no point did my feet, ankles, or knees complain in the slightest. Weird news: My quadriceps are sore as heck today.
Conclusion: I'm definitely walking the 3.5 mile course in September, and I think I'll swear off jogging unless and until I can sort out the tight muscles in my left leg. However, it's nice to know that I can at least make the experiment without horribly injuring myself.