Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10-Day Post

Phwew, what a week. I've been researching in Pennsylvania and have found myself somehow too busy to update this and all other blogs. The good news is: I've been running.

Friday (03.16): I ran my varsity cross country course, something I haven't done for fifteen years or more. What a course! Back me up on this everybody who ran cross country in Western Pa: one of the best courses in the state. Hills, open spaces, one long stretch, hills, hills, hills.

For instance:

This is the one long stretch I mentioned: we called it the flats. In retrospect, every workout was a hill workout growing up in this place.

But before we get to the flats, we had to share elbows and snot with three hundred other runners up this hill, the beginning of the course:

Up the gravel, through the pines, past the pavilion at the top of the hill -- it might have been half a mile to the flats, but it often felt like five.

I was never a good runner. I was above average. But in the mid-nineties, I'm pretty sure everybody running cross country was above average. My best time on our course was 16:30 (2.9 miles, a very fast course, considering the standard 3.1). I would have considered myself good at 16:15 or better, and my senior year, we had three great runners on my team, all running sub 16:00 -- it was always awesome to watch the three of them for the first quarter mile . . . also, to see them finishing post-race meals as I crossed the finish line.

Speaking of which:

Here's a picture from the pavilion up top back to the start / finish line. At this point, we've been running down hill for nearly a mile, and here's the final stretch -- fastest finish, I'd imagine you'll ever run.

I ran the course today in 22:35 -- not quite my own course record, nor was I pushing particularly hard, though I did feel like a kid again down that last stretch.

When I was in school the course record was 14:10. 14:10! It was held by Mike McWilliams of Grove City and Amy Rudolph of Kane, whose time I don't remember. Anyway, I only have to take nine minutes off my time, and I'll be back in business.

*     *     *

Saturday (3.17): I met with my famed chiropractor Dr. Stick this morning. I told him that my back had been hurting for some time. He said, "Now, the back is the part you can't see, right? The front is the part that's in the mirror? I always get those two switched."

I said, "I seem to be having some problems with my sciatica, maybe my fourth lumbar. Any advice?"

He said, "Have you been running?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "Well, I'm stumped. Have you tried running farther?"

So he and I went for a 12-mile run through the "Valley That Changed the World." We either ran it in 1:43:18 or 1:48:13 -- I wrote it down, but can't remember. During the run, he wisely distracted me from my back issues by talking about high school basketball. Sometimes I forget how awesome I was when I'm alone, but Dr. Stick reminded me of how great we were, or how close to greatness we were. Almost certainly, if it weren't for one or two minor details (particularly, our height and our ability) we would certainly have won just about every state championship during the early 1990s. What fun!

We talked running and local politics and oil and industry and of course made slight mention of how sad all of the high school girls, who never dated us, must be now that we are both spoken for. Long story short: my back felt much better. More great healing. Thanks, Dr. Stick!

*     *     *

Sunday (3.18): Okay, normally I take the day after a long run off, but I felt great, and went out for a few miles. I ran 24:15 out, but remembered that I told my spouse I'd be back in 40:00, so I ran like hell to get home in 18:30.

*     *     *

Monday (3.19): Ran with my girls. Well, the big one ran, the little one biked, along the Rails to Trails. Three miles (40:00 minutes).

*     *     *

Tuesday (3.20): Had another appointment with Dr. Stick today. We ran 5 quarter-mile hill repeats at about 1:50 per. The run was great -- beautiful late winter PA weather -- a great time and place to sprint.

This will be my last appointment with Dr. Stick until Saturday 20 May when we'll meet in Cleveland for my first marathon.

*     *     *

Wednesday (3.21): My spouse dropped me off on the way to the camp. Ran seven miles at what I would call a 9:00 minute pace. No mile markers for the first three miles (28:45). But then I ran half miles at 4:30, 4:22, 4:26, 4:28, and the final two miles at 8:41 and 8:58. Plus an extra little kick at the end for a total of 1:05:45. Another lovely run along the Allegheny River Rails To Trails.

*     *     *

Thursday: Dr. Stick told me about a workout that I might enjoy for my back. He said he recently ran 8X800 meters, shooting for 3:20 for each repeat. I decided to try this today.

After a ~two-mile warm up (20:00), I found a track. Here's my times:

Lap 1                 Lap 2                800 meters
1:34                   1:39                  3:14
1:42                   1:38                  3:21
1:42                   1:40                  3:23
1:44                   1:36                  3:21
1:38                   1:36                  3:15
1:36                   1:32                  3:09
1:41                   1:34                  3:16
1:42                   1:40                  3:23

So I ran 4 repeats over my goal pace and 4 under. If we agree to call the 1:32 and the 1:44 anomalous, I'd say my pace is fairly consistent. Overall, I'm pleased with this run.

*     *     *

Friday: Ran four miles with the crapradoodle today at an adequate crapping pace (40:23).

*     *     *

Saturday: I ran two loops today. Lap one: 1:14.20. Lap two: 1:09:22. Total 2:23.43 (~15.5 miles) with a twelve-minute break in between loops. We'll call the break a ghost break, and strike ghost-pepper sauce off the list of things to eat on a cheese burger the night before a long run.

When I got home, I signed up for my first half marathon, which will take place in Athens, OH on April 01 -- hey, six days!

Also, my first marathon. I signed up for that, too. Dr.'s orders. Cleveland: May 20. I'm gonna hafta learn how to run farther by then.

*     *    *

Sunday: Off, reluctantly.

*     *     *

Monday: We're back home now, after about two-weeks worth of travel. I think, at this point, I'll be able to get back into posting more frequently.

Ran the same loop as Saturday (1:05.30) . . . probably faster than I should have, but I was excited to get home.

No comments:

Post a Comment