December 12, 2007

I am psyched!

Well, I had a good run today. I was not expecting it, but it turned out to be much better than I'd hoped. No, it wasn't a continuous three miles - there was walking. But again, the walking was due only to shin pain. My lungs were handling all the running at whatever pace.

It is maddening to go from problem to problem. I rarely get stretches where everything is A-OK and I can just train. But I'll take shin splints any day over being unable to breath! Shin splints I can handle - I know what's needed. And, if necessary, I can "outrun" them. After three or four miles, the pain goes away until the next run. That's a typical symptom, you know.

Anyway, I was able to get in a few stretches of a half-mile at a time and I was even able to vary my pace. In fact, I'm finding it hard to stay at a consistent pace. Running uphill is fine, nice and consistent; but I'm speeding up too much on the flat parts. I tried throwing in a hard 200-yard stride to get that out of my system, but it didn't work. My pacing skills are rusty. But just the fact I could run at a 7:30 pace for 200 yards amazed me! My lungs are really working well now; with little mucous production. I was able to run right through a couple of short coughing spells.

Furthermore, I didn't turn around where I thought I would, but continued to Prospect Park. The whole round trip was about 3.3 miles (I walked the last long block as a cool-down). And, if you subtract the six or seven minutes I spent stretching at the park (the huge dip in pace you see in the chart), my total pace was pretty good. Definitely covering more ground, faster. But I've GOT to get looser, more flexible.

I passed two other runners - or, actually, they passed me. One was a very cute girl who was headed downhill ahead of me on the steepest part of 26th street, next to the cemetary. At the end of the long block, she did a hard 180 and went bouncing past me back up the hill. Nice.

The other runner was, believe it or not, attired in slacks, dress shoes, and a blazer. I was moving along pretty well around 16th street and he came up from behind on my left side. Surprised the hell out of me. I thought maybe he forgot the oven was on or something. I mentioned how he wasn't even wearing running shoes and was still going faster than me. He slowed down a bit and explained in a very nice Italian accent that he was 55 - he didn't look a day over 40 - and that his friends say he walks too fast. He turned off into a business just then and waved goodbye.

So did that happen? Or am I just hallucinating? I know it was a hard workout today, but it wasn't THAT hard.

I'm stoked. It feels great to have a decent workout and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel - where I'll be able to run continuously and relatively fast. Where I can get to the point of beginning serious training for the St. Louis half marathon, April 6th, for which I've signed up. I'm going to run it with my sister, like we did in Houston. Now, maybe her training will go better and she'll just be faster than me again - I wouldn't begrudge that. :)

Hm...looks like I'll be shoveling snow tomorrow.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Fantastic! ...Feels so good when things click into place.

That would be an awesome goal to run a half marathon in April!