Monday, June 4, 2007

Regaining My Training Legs

Under most circumstances, getting caught in the rain isn’t the worst thing that can happen on run. But after Saturday’s run-in with the sidewalk, I felt a little wary of inclement weather and opted to renew my confidence on the long-neglected track at the rec. center.

And, you know, it really wasn’t bad.

I ran a mile to the rec. center, 6.13 miles on the track and then another mile back to work. The day’s 8+ miles put me at 59.1 miles with two weeks remaining in my run to 100 miles goal. I have been targeting the century mark since April, and it appears I might actually make it this time (knock on wood). At this point I am 12.5 miles ahead of my target… so, at least I have some wiggle room in case of emergency.

Today’s run, however, was all about getting my confidence back. I know most people need to retrieve their confidence from memories of a bad race or a bout with injury or illness. Well, I had to get it back from the concrete on the corner of Kent Road and OH-91.

Although I ran on Saturday night, in my pre-Cavs ritual, it wasn’t a comfortable run at all. I was uneasy, scared and wholly unfocused—I didn’t know whether to worry more about unfriendly cars or uneven sidewalks—at that was just a little over two miles. So, I started out slow.

I almost forgot how easy it is to run on the track. No hills, no wind, no godforsaken heat and humidity! Not mention the even and friendly surface. And after an 8:59 warm-up mile, I aimed to build a touch of speed for each mile because it was going to be a short run on such simple terrain.

I picked up mile two to 8:47 and three at 8:40. I wasn’t even winded after an 8:37 fourth mile or 8:30 fifth. So, I came cruising in at 8:00 for the last mile and then cooled down for a few laps for a 53-minute run.

Also: I am most happy to report that my knees have been quite awesome. Despite the Saturday scare and weekend soreness, they have really felt great when running the past couple weeks. All it took was a little doctor scare! My left knee is still scabby and sore to the touch from the fall, but feels great in my stride. (My left arm, however, is a different story: after landing, flipping and skidding on my upper arm and shoulder, weight training and swimming will take some slower getting used to… I’ll see how it feels in the pool tomorrow).

The one-mile runs to and from the rec. center were nice bookends to the workout. It was a little awkward to jog with a tote bag (and trying not to sweat too badly on the way back because I had already showered), but I made it work. It was better than wasting gas to drive across campus… and only took a few extra minutes.

Next on my list of ways to integrate training into my work day: packing my bike. I would like to start bringing my bike to work. I’m not yet in cycling shape to make the ride to work (correction: I’m not in shape to make the ride to work and then actually want to pedal home at 5 p.m.), but it would be nice to have my bike to ride to places like the rec. center or anywhere else wind-blown helmet hair might be appropriate. It just breaks my heart when I have to drive somewhere, and I’d really like an alternative when there just isn’t enough time to walk.

Now, if only I could get my wheels on and off without a big, dramatic and greasy scene, I would be all set.


Landon said...

I don't remember: do you have quick-release wheels?

Jim said...

Nice runnage G. I'm rootin' for ya to get the rest of those 100 miles in sans-wipeouts, foot blisters, intestinal discomfort, or anything else ugly that could get in the way.