Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On The Run While Getting New Tires

On another one of my multipurpose mornings last Thursday, I drove down to Allen Tire Company in Lakewood to have the four balding tires on my 14 year old car replaced. After canvassing around for prices, they had the best deal I could find. So I dropped off the car and was told it was going to take about an hour - enough time to put in a run and that is what I did. Starting out with a plodding, flat footed stride which never changed from beginning to end, I proceeded eastward on Carson Street. Last year, I found a dirt path along the San Gabriel River flood control channel but I didn’t know how far it went so that’s where I headed  to find out how long that trail was. The path was flat and well groomed with all types of plants on both sides and it ran underneath huge electrical transmission lines. It was over a mile from where I left my car and the trail turned out to be a about slightly over a mile long too extending from Carson Street to Del Amo Boulevard. As I exited the trail at Del Amo, I turned left to loop back to where I started from. By the time I got back to the tire shop, I had completed 50 minutes of slow, non-stop running. Just enough time without straining my ankle tendons. Hard for me to believe but I think I’ve run 3 times a week for the last two weeks. After all, I’ve gone weeks without running when my ankles were hurting badly.
So anyway, I picked up my car and noticed the huge difference between my old bald tires and the much deeper grooves of the new ones. When I started slipping and sliding in light rain, I knew it was time for a replacement. By the way, someone mentioned to me before that I shouldn’t buy Chinese made tires but when I called the tire shop, they said that just about everything comes from China now. I ended up getting Blacklion tires ( . What’s up with filling tires with nitrogen gas anyway? That’s something I forgot to ask the tire shop. Why not helium to make the car feel lighter? So here I am more than $300 poorer with another repair coming up to replace both front axles costing about $400. I suppose that’s the price I have to pay for having an old car.
I mentioned the multi-purpose day earlier right? A few doors down from the tire shop was Harbor Freight Tools and I picked up a couple of carabiners to use as key chains, then drove down to Winco Foods for some brown rice (61 cents a pound! Good price!), before heading back home. It was a productive morning.
As far as running goes nowadays, nothing comes easy because it’s always a struggle putting one foot in front of the other. No smooth stride at all. The reason for that is I have to propel myself from my thighs because I cannot push off  with my ankles. The satisfaction is in finishing the run regardless of how tough it felt. Maybe that short trail saved my ankles because the underfoot was more giving. Unlike my bald tires which can slip and slide, all my legs could do is drag and plod. My car has new wheels, I wish I could do the same and get new ankles.
Miscellaneous observation: While running, I noticed that the City of Lakewood seems to have a lot of reserve cash to be able to repave their streets while Long Beach is having a hard time just filling its potholes.

p.s. I must have written this when I was tired because when I  reread it hours later, I found a lot of grammatical errors. My apologies to those who read it in its original form.

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