Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Run After A Run

Friday I returned from a business trip to Iowa.
The trip required that I change planes three times - each way.
Because of delays (broken airplane in Atlanta, thunderstorms near Minneapolis) we missed our connecting flight out of Minneapolis (by about two minutes).
In our (there was two of us) attempt to catch said flight, we RAN through the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport at about 9:15 PM.
I am not sure of the total distance but it could have been as much as a third of a mile.
The trip back was not as exciting.
That was the first run.

Anyway, Saturday, I again wanted to run up Bankhead Parkway.
And again, I added a little more to the course.
I parked a few hundred feet further away from the hill.
Because of the effort expended while working on the trip, I felt tired.
Knowing this, I was prepared for a physical setback in this practice session.

I started out on a flatter section of road near my car, so by the time I got to the steeper part of Bankhead, I was huffing pretty hard.
I did not try to push the effort too hard, I wanted to finish the whole course, speed was not a consideration.

Much to my delight, I was (again) able to run all the way up Bankhead and along Toll Gate to The Hill, where I stopped to walk down and then back up.
I met a man coming up The Hill who was practicing for the race on Monday.

Since he was running the Cotton Row course the normal way, we ran within two hundred feet of each other all the way down Bankhead.
I might have run slower had I been by myself, but part of me wanted to catch him.
I never did catch him, but I never lost sight of him.
Like I said, we stayed within about two hundred feet of each other, most of the time, closer than that, sometimes as little as twenty feet or so.

Because of my effort to match the pace of the man, I ran faster than I normally would have down the big hill.
In addition, I was parked about an eighth of a mile farther down the road than before, so I got a good extra workout.
In spite of the extras on this session, I experienced no joint, muscle, or connective structure problems.
My lungs got a good cleansing, also.
I am looking forward to adding a little more to this course over the coming weeks.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another Successful Run

After my surprisingly successful run last Saturday up Bankhead Parkway, I decided to try it again this morning.
The goal today was to run all the way up Bankhead to Toll Gate and all the way along Toll Gate to Mountainwood (The Hill).
I knew I was pushing it a bit, but I wanted to see just how detrained I really am.
I was ready to accept the fact that I am too weak to make it all the way up Bankhead without more incrimental training.

The temperature did not cooperate today, however.
It was fifty degrees at my house when I left.
It might have been a degree or three cooler at the base of the mountain when I started out.
I had to wear a long-sleeved top and leggings to keep me comfortable.
I chose my attire well.
The only part of me that got uncomfortably cold was my ears.

Early on, I got a bit winded, even though I was not pushing my pace.
I felt tired very quickly and pondered the idea that I may not make it any further than I did last week.
Or less.
If that was the situation, so be it.
I am not trying to kill myself.

But I kept at it and the short downhill dip appeared in time to rescue me.
I kept at it and just took my time as the dip turned into the long straight up-hill path again.
Before I knew it I could see the houses at the corner of Toll Gate and Bankhead.
I knew at that point that I was going to make it.
And indeed, I did.
The hard part was over.

I turned onto Toll Gate, grateful for the level gradient and motored on to Mountainwood, a quarter of a mile away.
The Fleet Feet store gang had already set up the water station and offered me some Gatorade or water.
I refused both but thanked them anyway.
I was feeling fine.

As I did last week, when I got to Mountainwood, I stopped running and walked down the steep curved decline.
After turning around at the bottom and walking up The Hill again, I resumed my running.
I noticed the white house near the top of the hill had sold.
The return run was nice.
Like the old days, my mind wandered as I ran down Bankhead.
Nothing was hurting or whining – not hips, not knees, not ankles – nothing.
When I got to the bottom of Bankhead, I was feeling great.
I wanted to go another mile, but I resisted the impulse.
I ran down the slight decline of Pratt Avenue a few hundred yards and stopped.
I ran far enough past my car to give me a nice cool-down walk back to the car.

As I reached my car, several other runners were coming down Bankhead.
Next week is the Cotton Row Run 10K race.
They are getting ready for the big event.
Just like I used to.
I am not ready to run six miles.
Yet.
Maybe next year....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Almost the Cake

I seem to not be able to get my pictures to go where I want them.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the Big Event seven years ago.
I thought I had a picher of the cake, but I guess I don't.
Just the top of it.

Here is what I have....




Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Visit To Some Old Friends

I visited a couple of old friends this morning.
In my effort to eliminate the few extra pounds that have accumulated around my middle since I stopped running last year, I have attempted to do a little more exercise.
The problem for me is that my job requires a bit of physical effort and that leaves me tired when I come home each afternoon, and thus, not in the mood for more exercise.
Unfortunately, the effort required to make me tired each day seems not to be enough to burn enough calories to keep the blubber from building up.

Eat less you say?
Amen.
I am working on that, too.
Fewer carbs, smaller portions, etc.
And a couple of weight workouts during the week whether I feel like it or not.
And walking a few days a week.

Anyway, last Saturday morning I visited a section of the Cotton Row Run 10K course to do a walk.
This section of road is called Bankhead Parkway, and is about three-quarters of a mile long and climbs about 177 feet.
In the race we run down this section of road.
Last Saturday I walked UP Bankhead Parkway.
It was good to see this portion of the old running course again.
Not much had changed in the two years since I stopped running on it.
It took me about thirty minutes to walk up the hill and back down; about what I had planned.
I was a bit disappointed that it did not tire me as much as I expected.

So, this morning I decided to kick it up a notch.
Hence, the visit with a couple of old friends.
One friend is the Cotton Row course.
For some reason, I love this challenging path.

The other friend I visited with this morning was running.
Yup.
I ran this morning, for the first time in over a year.
And I ran UP Bankhead Parkway.
Something I have never done.

I am not a complete idiot, so I did not push myself too hard.
I took it easy on my pace and just concentrated on my form and breathing.
I was fairly sure that I could not run the whole mountain, so the game was to see how far I could go before the effort became uncomfortable.
I got about halfway up the hill before I stopped.
Frankly, I was pleased and surprised.
When I got to the intersection of Bankhead and Toll Gate Road, a more level section, I began running again.
I ran the quarter of a mile until I came to Mountainwood Drive.

This is “The Hill” – an “S” shaped street about one-tenth of a mile long that climbs about 90 feet at a twenty-two degree angle.
Really.
It is as steep as a roof.
In the race, we run (or walk) UP this hill.

Anyway, this morning, I stopped running at Mountainwood, and walked down The Hill, turned around and walked back up.
It was good to see the rough concrete surface of the old butt buster again.
Then, when I again reached Toll Gate Road, I began running once more.
Now I was running the course in the same direction I used to.
It felt so good.

The memories came flooding back.
It was about the same time in the morning that I used to run the course (6 to 7 AM)
The low sun was shining through the pale green leaves in the big trees.
The morning air was cool but humid.
When I got to Bankhead Parkway again, I starting down the hill, still running, just like the old days.
Oh, it felt good.

My plan for today was to run as much of this section of the course as I could.
I did not want to hurt myself or break anything.
To my amazement nothing broke.
About halfway down Bankhead, some attachment structure around my left knee began whining a bit, but after a minute or so, it healed itself before it became painful.

I ran all the way down Bankhead.
When I got to the bottom, and flatter ground, part of me did not want to stop.
But I did.
My promise was to not break anything.
After doing no running for over a year, I am not in shape to run very far.
I ran over a mile this morning.
That is more than I expected to be able to do.

Part of me wants to start running this course again.
All six miles of it.
And maybe someday I will.
But not today.

My old friends welcomed my back with open arms.
And another old friend joined us.
The endorphin high I get when I run.
I am still feeling good from it five hours later.
Even my shoes, the same ones I was wearing when I last ran this course, were happy.
If they had a tail it would be wagging.
I noticed the cushioning has lost about half its resiliency, so new running shoes are needed if I resume the relationship with my old flame.
I am very happy.

(For a more complete explanation of the Cotton Row Run 10K course, see my blog of late 2006 and view My Love Affair with Running.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

More Memory

WARNING! THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY AL SHARPTON OR JESSE JACKSON.

Let the chronicles show that my Linux computer now has two gigglebytes of DDR2 RAM.
This posting is being written on/in my Linux box.

Thank you for your interest.

Grace and peace,

Steev

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Date of Uppage

WARNING! THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY AL SHARPTON OR JESSE JACKSON.

Just to let you know that I am still alive.
I have been working.
In my spare time I have been writing.
I am doing a critique of a book by D. S. Warner, and writing my autobiography.
This week I bought another gigglebite of memory for my Linux machine.
That will pump it up to two gigglebites of RAM.
I also bought a new bench for me to sit on when I play my keyboard/s.
I "need" neither of these items, but God is blessing me with a little extra income over my real needs.
I am saving most of the surplus for my retired times later this year or next year.