Sunday, August 11, 2013

Full Stride Moments

Recycled Pic From Several Weeks Ago

          This one is more than a week late because I didn't feel like writing anything due to health concerns going on with my family (Larry's Transplant and What Happened Next).
          Well, last week I was with the Long Beach Area Walking Club again at Signal Hill, a couple of weeks after I did the solo time trial (Signal Hill Time Trial Walk). This time I did my usual going ahead then coming back with the pack with no particular plan in mind. I ran short distances when I wanted to and walked to recover. There was more walking than running that day. I didn't even swing my arms vigorously during the recovery phases, and as I'll tell you later, that made a difference. For some reason, there were more Signal Hill police cars patrolling than usual. I also saw new sign in one of the trails saying the path was restricted due to people throwing rocks at the houses below. One of the other walkers also told me that boot camps were now banned so I didn't see any that day. There used to be at least 2 or 3 in the past that I've seen on Saturday mornings. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but Signal Hill has a couple of radio antennas at it's peak and every time I approach the antennas, my FM radio would lose it's signal and all I get is white noise.
          Running nowadays consists of very short distances using very short steps which keeps the pain in my thighs from the statin myopathy under control. But last week, I saw some young whippersnappers running who looked like members of a high school cross country team, so I couldn't resist running with a full stride though still covering short distances, which felt really good. During those brief attempts at running hard, I was also running happy. All that walking and running back and forth enabled me to cover 8.5 miles in the time it took the rest of the group to cover 6 miles. Oh but those short and sweet full stride moments took their toll on my legs. My legs felt so tired and battered after those 8.5 miles and those full stride moments made for much longer recovery moments. It's been more than a week and I could still feel the soreness in my hips. At least the soreness didn't turn to pain.
          These past few weeks, I've been tracking my pace and I'm mystified by the inconsistencies. Let me bore you with the numbers. Last Saturday while walking and running, the average pace over 8.5 miles was 13:02. On those same hills, I covered 7 miles at 13:34 pace of plain walking during my time trial. Hmm, not much difference, right? A few weeks before that on flat terrain, my walking pace was 13:05 for 6 miles. Then there was that 11:25 pace walk/run on flat terrain for 9 miles with AREC, which was a whole lot better than the 11:32 pace I did during a 4 minute jog with 1 minute recovery walk I did a week and a half ago for 4 miles. So will I be correct to conclude that it is better to do random run/walks instead of timed intervals because I'm able to cover distances faster that way? To add to that, there is not much gain in pace while doing a run/walk up and down hills as compared to walking as fast as possible, although the running part stimulates the brain better. I find that faster arm swings make for faster walking. Well, no use being so anal retentive about it. I'll just walk or run as I feel no matter the pace.

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