Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fitness Stud, or Lowered Expectations?

Okay, so maybe I'm not as fat and out of shape as I thought.

Yesterday morning we had our APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), in which I scored 280 out of a possible 300.

I maxed the push ups (75)in under a minute, just like I used to in the old days (1994-1998).

I maxed the sit ups (76) in the alloted two minutes, just like in the old days.

And then came the two-mile run.

Ten years ago, after returning to Korea from the Olympic trials, I could run my two miles in under 12:00. I stopped jogging after 1998, and two weeks ago, I ran two miles for the first time in almost eight years in 16:05. On Sunday I knocked about 30 seconds off my best time on the course I run through the Old Division area, but both times I absolutely felt like death-on-a-stick during the second mile. So I went into yesterday's PT test with some serious doubts as to my running ability.

But suprisingly, not only did I not have a heart attack, I actually started to feel myself gaining strength on the sixth or seventh lap, and on the final homestretch I outsprinted a fellow Captain who used to be a running back for Notre Dame. (Okay, he was a fullback). I ended up running a 15:25, good for 80 points.

My 280 was only the second time in my army career that I scored below a 290. But of the eighty officers in my class, I had the 12th highest score. So the question remains whether I'm in better shape than I was giving myself credit for, or whether the standards for my age bracket are so generous that I couldn't help but scoring well.