Friday, June 1, 2012

AREC Training With Train 4 Autism

I won’t be able to participate in the Wrigley River Run this year which falls on June 2 because I have to work on my birthday. Instead, this post is about last week’s run.
If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you might have seen a post or two about my dizziness problems. If you haven’t, well that’s okay. I have labyrinthitis, an inner ear problem which causes dizziness and hits me from time to time for no apparent reason. Saturday morning was one of those days. I drove to the AREC run not knowing how that was going to affect my running later. Not only that, I was nursing a slight right calf discomfort which I was hoping wouldn’t get worse if I ran slowly enough. When I got to the location, I noticed that there were a lot more people than in previous weeks and that was because the athletes from Train 4 Autism (a fund raising group) had joined the fray. They sure had some nice looking baby blue uniforms. I hazard to guess that there were at least 150 runners that morning.
After a very brief talk by Nadine, we were off. I was really apprehensive about my dizziness so I just kept pace with the 12 minute milers hoping I wouldn’t topple over. Within the first half mile, I noticed that some of the mentors of Train 4 Autism were pretty speedy. They zipped past us in their baby blues. Their group was nice enough to mark the course with blue and yellow markers on traffic cones indicating which way the half marathoners or full marathoners have to go. I ran with Rosie and Tina up to the 3 mile water station and when we resumed, I got to talking with Mark F. I didn’t know that he had stopped running for a year and he recently just started again because of another mid life crisis. He did not elaborate and I did not probe. He suddenly asked me how long my every day running streak lasted before I had to quit. I didn’t even know he knew about that. He was guessing a thousand days and I told him it was actually 21 years and 8 days. He said, no wonder my ankle tendons were shot. We had a quick laugh about that. Incidentally, someone asked me this question the previous week:  What was the minimum number of miles you ran when you had your 21 year running every day streak? The requirement of the running streak association which I’m not a member of is one mile, so to simplify, that is what I would say my minimum was even though it was more like 1 ½ miles. Anyway, back to the run. Mark then regaled me with stories of his trail running races and how one time he and another friend of ours – Roberta, finished last at a very technical (i.e. rocky terrain) Colorado trail race. He pulled me for about a mile and a half, then for some reason, I pulled ahead and caught up with who I think were mother and daughter experimenting with the Galloway 5 minute run to 1 minute walk system. I asked them if they were with AREC and we ran together for the next mile. With half a mile left, I attempted to run with a full stride. Not my natural gait, mind you, to protect my ankle tendons, but at least a semblance of a full stride. And I resisted to do a full out sprint in the last 200 meters, also for ankle protection reasons. I hardly noticed that by the time I finished 6 miles or so, my dizziness had dissipated. Running had calmed my inner ear.
Hopefully in the coming weeks we could mingle with the Train 4 Autism runners and get to know them better instead of sticking to our packs and them in theirs during the run. They seem like a pretty good group. Thanks for running with us Train 4 Autism athletes J

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