Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Early and Often

Lucky for me, getting back on track with running hasn’t been as difficult as getting back into the blogospheric swing of things. Running the Turkey Trot and cooking my first major Thanksgiving dinner are also on my to-do.

Cast your ballot!Last week, though, I took off the day after my first run to let my body relax and respond to this new but very familiar activity. I wasn’t surprised on Thursday then when my lower back was achy as I kicked out to my first lunchtime run since starting my new job.

After a two-mile warm-up around University Circle, I headed to Cedar Hill, a 1/3 mile steady climb from Cleveland to Cleveland Heights, for hill repeats. And isn’t it just so me to do way more than scheduled? The plan called for 1x30-second hill repeat at relaxed sprint pace (it was my first week), which I read and remembered to be “30 hill repeats.” Duh.

I trucked up the hill 30 seconds and jogged back down. Then repeated 3-4 times. Talk about boring! So, I sprinted all the way up the hill and timed myself a little over 2:00. Instead of doing 30x30-second repeats, I figured I’d cheat a little and do 7x2:00 repeats. Obviously not the same effect as the short sprint… but when you’re mistakenly doing 30 times the reps assigned, there’s bound to be some adjusting.

Surprisingly, I made it through a total of 5 full repeats. Every time I hit mid-hill I’d feel some serious burn and fatigue, but pushed past it each time with mental strength and the empty promise that it would be the last. I was really just punishing myself for doing zero hill training to prep for Akron.

Cross-training—from pilates and cycling to yoga and resistance bands—have played a huge role in my “break” training. And I’ve been working to make room for the cross-training and running in my schedule. Soon, I’ll have to find an opening for swimming too.

In fact, I was still on my bike when the kids began trick-or-treating on Friday evening. Neil and I sat outside on our front porch to hand out candy to all kinds of cute kids from the neighborhood. The weather was incredible that evening, which made for perfect conditions for my Saturday morning run at North Chagrin.

My mileage is still relatively low—20 miles last week will become about 21-22 this week—but I haven’t felt the overtraining fatigue and breakdowns I couldn’t shake in September. Thank Hermes!

The lower back that plagued me for a couple days following the over-the-hill repeats, however, was no surprise. Even if it did curb my plan to run on Friday afternoon and almost stop me on Saturday. The slow two-mile warm-up on the trails shook away most of the ouch, and I was able to get 6x30-second relaxed sprints sprinkled into a 4-5 miler.

What really helped the work out was a legitimate cool down! I walked with Salty for 90 minutes around North Chagrin, and I actually took time to check out the natural scenes and animals I’m too afraid to spy when I’m by myself. The walk really relaxed my muscles, and I made it to breakfast with CJ, Daisy, E*Speed, JenC and Salty feeling like I hadn’t run at all. Talk about good therapy!

And even more so about good weather. My Sunday morning 5-miler was easy in the cool morning air. But not as awesome as my Election Day jaunt this morning.

I woke up a little before 5:30 a.m. this morning to don my Obama shirt and run around all the polling locations within a few miles of my house. I wanted to get pumped up with Election Day spirit, spread the Obama love and just see how the day might shape up.

What made my morning, however, was an elderly lady at one polling spot who stopped me as I ran by and said ‘good morning’ to a long line of voters. She said “I’ve been waiting for a sign about who to vote for; I think you’ve made up my mind.” See? Running is good for the world order.

So, one more vote, 70 degrees and a five-miler before 7 a.m.? Not bad for a Tuesday in November.


triguyjt said...

good job on the hill repeats.....killer to you..but so ohh good for you...

i vote at holy cross c. never usually go before 9am in past years...but today me and The Bride went at 7am and it was very very crowded.. but it was exciting to see so many people getting into the process...

i am at 20 ish miles but doing little weight work due to a shoulder situation..however...will boost miles to about 30 by late nov..and then in the 40's in dec...

goodluck to you gina

kelsalynn said...

Yeah, I'd say your Tuesday was quite a success! way to Barack the vote!

Your hill repeat "error" makes me laugh- 30 times would have been killer. I picture you walking/jogging home disappointed in yourself for not doing it the full 30 times, only to realize you were mistaken! ha. too funny!