Sunday, July 31, 2011

Minimalist Running (AREC Training 7-30-11)

Waking up to the alarm clock in mid-dream isn’t the best way to rise for the day but that was exactly what happened Saturday morning at 5 o’clock. It must have been a good dream because my first impulse was to turn the darn alarm off and resume the pre-alarm reverie. But, I’ve been looking forward to this run all week so I jumped out of bed before I could even press the snooze button. Wait, wait, I can’t do any more jumping whether it’s out of bed or elsewhere. Let me rephrase. I rose slowly out of bed before getting tempted to press the snooze button. After the usual routine of using the bathroom and checking email, I donned my running garb for the day. It was another surprisingly cool summer morning so I opted for a t-shirt day instead of a tanktop. It wasn’t one of those bare buns runs so I put on a pair of running shorts too. After tightening the shoelaces of my Asics Gel Foundation very snuggly, I was all set and headed out the door for the short drive to Joe’s Crab Shack.
                My previous warm up routine before both ankles were seriously injured was a mile to a mile and a half of slow running with a few strideouts towards the end. Nowadays, I am only able to do a few short jogs so as to save the ankles for the pounding that was to come later.
                I didn’t know who I would be able to pace with on this day but I espied Rosie, who I’d run with before, and her pace matched mine at the start so I joined up with her. She was one of those girls that I couldn’t catch up with three weeks ago when I started running again. For the first couple of miles I felt that I might be able to until later when I may have to do some walk breaks.
                It was one of those busy weekends in Long Beach along our running route. Between miles 2 and 3, there were dragon boat races going on at the beach side, so we had to run on the street side. We passed this area on the way out and on the way back. Somehow the dragon boat races didn’t look as crowded as in previous years. Anyway, Rosie and I chatted until club president Todd caught up with us, upon which we talked briefly about his and Rosie’s dog. I could feel the pace gradually pick up since Todd is a lot faster than us even though he was chopping his stride. I brought this to their attention so Rosie and I pulled back while Todd forged on. Rosie and I had a couple of pictures taken while coming and going at this point. Our club VP and intrepid photographer Dave just got back from Rwanda and Brussels and we missed him taking our photos while he was gone. We joined up with Nancy at about 4 miles and talked about real estate, wine, Rosie’s and my jobs, and Long Beach marathon history, which, helped me dissociate from the anticipation of pain in my ankles. While all this was going on we barely noticed that we had made it to 6 ½ miles. Nancy had to stop to re-tie her shoelaces so it was up to Rosie to bring me home to the finish. And bring me home she did and we even managed to tack on an extra half mile, thus completing 8 ½ miles for the day! In mid-run, I asked Rosie what her usual pace is for long runs and she said 10:30 to 11:00. The woman had that pace dialed in because when I checked my watch at the end, our pace was 10:28. I thanked her profusely and felt so happy that I forgot to stretch afterwards. I only remembered about it on the  way home and did it when I arrived. Did I have any ankle pain? That goes without saying, however it was more of a dull rather than intense pain and that was most likely due to the distraction of talking with people while running.

So how times in the previous week and how many miles of running did I do? Forget about minimalist shoes, this is minimalist training at its best. Last Tuesday, I ran/walk for 4 ½ miles then my only other run (without any walk breaks by the way!) was the 8 ½ miles on Saturday. Hurray! Almost a half marathon for the whole week! You won’t hear any complaints from me. After all I managed to run didn’t I?

Postscript: My pee was slightly dark yellow post-run because I sweated 3 pounds of fluids, but ingesting 48 ounces of fluids later, I was back to normal hydration.

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