Friday, September 12, 2008

3 very long miles, sort of

Let's just get things started by saying I used to run a lot. It was actually my primary form of exercise. Most of my running was on the trails of Annadel State Park, which is simply a great place to run while enjoying nature. I had 2-3 different running buddies but I also enjoyed being out there on my own. Then I turned my ankle quite badly one day (I actually fractured it) and my running was put on hold.

As part of my rehab, I borrowed a friend's mountain bike so I could exercise while still enjoying the trails of Annadel. Well, mountain biking led to short triathlons which led to road cycling. That's where I am today - a roadie! I am such a hard core roadie that when I log other activities in Fitness Journal, I do not include the miles, only the time. Why? Because I want my miles across the US map (see below) to only reflect road riding. (BTW- The constant crashes eventually led to me abandoning the whole mountain bike thing.)

Still, after a year so far dedicated to cycling it was time to bring back some cross training. So on Wednesday I went for a 3 mile run. Now you tri-geeks and marathoners might find this distance pedestrian but I expected it to be a big deal.

So shoes on (but first the whole tie my laces to exercise threw me) and I hit the road. I start out nice and slow. No heart rate monitor today. I just want to ease back into it. I am feeling ok so I just need to settle in to a nice slow rhythm (I have I used the word slow enough?).

Well, my route takes me right past Sarah's house. She just finished third in a local sprint triathlon and she is also mastering the art of talking trash. So, just in case she's making coffee and sees me out the window, I better look good. So one block before her house, I get my form in shape, lengthen my stride and cruise by her very dark and closed up house. Oh well! I still looked good.

Continuing on, I pass the house of a young lady I work with so I repeat the whole process of making sure I look good. This is all based on the philosophy of my cycling coach that if you can't be fast, look fast. The rest of the run was fine and I was over 2 miles into it before I started getting a little tired. Still, I ran smoothly all the way home and felt good.

It ended up being a little shorter then I thought. Only 2.8 miles. I ran at just under a 9-minute pace, which is normal for me when I have not run in while (my last run was in January). I had fully expected to struggle through it but overall I felt pretty good. So now I am thinking "Oh look at me. Mister cycling dude can just go kick out a run whenever he wants. It's no big deal."

Then came Thursday morning. I could hardly friggin' walk. It's now Friday and my legs and back still hurt. I am just grateful I live in a one-story house. All day at work I kept getting the question, "What's wrong? You're walking funny." I simply replied, "I ran yesterday for the first time in while." That answer always seemed to suffice.

So once again, I have a new found respect for those of you who can pound yourselves on the pavement for 10, 15, 20 miles or even more. I don't know how you do it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go hug my bike.


4 Comment(s):

Nadine said...

Lee!! This is so funny because as a runner that gets on a bike for cross training after that first long ride I am sitting down very gingerly wondering how in the world you cyclists do it on those skinny hard seats!! :-) You already know this, but you will get use to pounding out those miles the more you do it. Dean Karnazas wrote in Runners World about the more he ran the marathon distance in those 50 days the easier they get. So, I have put that into practice as I train for Marine Corps Marathon and the more I run 20 the easier it gets.
Have a great day!! Nadine (Clackamas, OR)

Sarah said...

Har har har. I WISH I would've been in my kitchen to see you run past! That would've given me some GREAT fodder.

Hm, Wednesday morning, I believe I slept in. Yep, that was AWESOME. I've been enjoying a week of just waking up when my body tells me to (except Mon and today...teaching spin).

I'm going to try to up my weekly miles by adding in some short slow runs - want to join me? Also, I want to find out where you went through the hood - I 've got some great little routes I've found in there.

Sarah said...

p.s. I LOVE the new design. It looks fantastic!!!!!! Where's the pic from?

Anonymous said...

Lee, I have to say I share the same "pick up the pace and form" as you pass by others on the path. However, I find I see too many people and end up running too fast all of the time and in the process start turning purple, foaming at the mouth and meandering quite dangerously all over the path. Beware of vanity running!

P.S. Keep running fast past Sarahs house.