Running for Recovery (Racing)

Well, I have been running lightly for the past month and things are working out very well.  No real long miles but I have been keeping things as consistent as possible. 

Lately I have been running in Valley Forge National Park.  This is 5.5 mile loop of agonizing hills and valleys.  There is the one point where there is flat.  At the end.  Really there are a few more flats that last for a few feet before we are back up or down a hill.  This course is nothing like what I am used to in Cleveland.  It is awesome.  There are a google of dear in the park and they just about tame.  Kind of dangerous but I am sure I can swerve out of the way even at my blistering speeds.  I have also discovered a 1.3 mile loop at Brandywine Park in Wilmington.  This is nice and shaded with some challenging terain like brick paths and steps.  A lot of fun and with a small loop I can go as many times as I like or as time permits. 

Either way the training for recovery is going great.  Just this last tuesday evening at ran at the Valley Forge NP.  I had again forgotten to take my good and long time friends, Advil.  But I ran reletively pain free.  This is phenomenal.  The hip is mended and the shin splints are gone.  The best part of it was that I had not realized it till after I was finished with the run.  The only bad part was that it was 92F out and I hate the heat.  It just saps everything out of you and then you just stop.  There were a few times were the sweat seemed to stop and I got worried but then it started back at full force.  It was so bad that my chemically enhanced, specifically designed and over engineered (cleveland marathon 07) techshirt was soaked through and over load to the point of no longer able to keep up.  It was like I had a salty water fall inside of my shirt.  At one point I decided it was time to show the ladies (and men) on the course my rippling abs and oddly shaped pects.  I took my shirt off.  I am sure they were in awe or at least shock.  As each foot strike showed the aftershock waves moving through my body.  After about a mile of that I decided that they had enough, for now, and put the shirt back on.  Either way, it was a good yet exhausting run.  Just what I needed.

It was so good that I had a thought.  I know, I know what have we all said about those thoughts.  Brain Bad!!!  Come on though my body is telling me the same thing.  Klatu, Verata, Necrumpha..#@$! Okay, maybe not exactly those exact words but I got the general gist of it.  Body was saying “You don’t hurt and that is good.”  And Brain is saying.  “Oh, it’s on.”  Body’s screams are muffled out by Rocky’s “Gonna Fly Now” 

So I look up the races and there they are.  I think it is time to get that 5k in.  I am realistic about this.  I know I won’t put up a PR but it will be fun getting out there and mixing it up and I am sure I can smoke someone in a much higher age group.  Perhaps if I push them to the ground shortly after the start of the race.  🙂  I will let you know how it goes.  Besides I haven’t collected a race shirt in over two months.

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Fairmount Park 5M Turkey Trot 2007 (My last race in these shoes)

Lets start of with: My Athletic Supporter knows me well. The day was already warm when we woke up at 6AM. But as we got to the race site it was getting down right hot. With about 30 minutes before the start Jen told me to switch to my shorts. I was wearing my running pants which were designed for cold weather running. (Last years races was very cold.) She reminded me just how much I hated the past summer and would overheat real bad if I didn’t change. I did change to pair of shorts but only had long sleeve shirts with me. I am glad I had her there or I would have burnt up in the first mile.
I made a few other mistakes leading up to the race. In my tirednes from driving into Philly the night before I forgot to hydrate a little before running and also forgot to get a gel or fuel in me along with it. I am glad that candy is the food of choice while driving on long trips.

The rest of the race was fantastic. I was worried when I crossed the 1 mile mark at 8min. I knew I had gone out fast but I was not expecting to be starting that fast. This is something I need to work on in the future. I get too excited and burn out early and suffer in the later parts. As I settled into a better pace I was actually not slowing up that much. It was great. At the finish of the first loop I was was 20:40 something and was feeling pretty good. A little water at that point really helped. I knew what I had to do in the second loop and kind of put things in cruise control and finished it up in 42:17ish. Once again this is one of my favorite races of the year. I cannot wait till next year.

On another note I was just around the pace of what appeared to be a father/daughter duo. Jen tells me that the girl appeared to be 10-12 years old (Rachael[5] is so tall my calibration is off). Either way I cannot wait till that is Rae and I. She has raced some of her own little kids races but what I saw today was just fantastic.