Saturday, November 12, 2011

Running Date of Up

Since the first week in August, yers troolee has been busy fixing up a house to resell or rent (wee will let the market decide which it is to be...).
Given that this house project required a lot (LOT!) of bending, standing, stooping, wiping, scrubbing, kneeling, etc, six days a week, I decided to forgo all weight workouts, morning walks and weekend runs until the project was finished.
I knew that my elderly body was only capable of doing so much effort in a given time period and I needed to get the house fixed up ASAP.
That is one reason why there have been so few posts on this here blog.

As of this past weekend, virtually all tasks at the Flip House have been completed.
The few that remain are of the optional nature and will not affect the value of the house in any meaningful way.
Thus, this past Monday I started my previously usual morning weight workouts, walks, and - TA DA - my Saturday morning runs.

It is not a welcome sign when the local weather person predicts that the morning temperature will be 37 degrees. (I HATE winter)
But that is what he promised for this morning.
So when the gentle radio alarm came on at 4:58 this morning, I knew what I was in for.
Based on previous adventures of this sort, I dressed in two layers on legs and top, mittens and ear cover band.

The day was dawning clear with an ever-so-gentle breeze of 1 or 2 mph.
Having been out of training (of this sort) for three months, I was prepared for a bad run.
"Bad" meaning having to stop and walk and/or some muscle/tendon/ligament/joint breaking, etc.

I started out on my hill course with a "let's see what we can do" attitude.
To my surprise, I warmed up quickly.
So quickly in fact, that I was pulling neck zippers down at the end of the first half mile.
As I putted along I felt nearly every body part from my hips on down announce its displeasure with the festivities.
Hamstrings were complaining - mildly - about how hard life was, and left hip chimed in.
My chest and triceps were chirping as well, from my first chest workout in three months yesterday morning.
None of this was even close to painful and the unanimous response to all of this from Runner, Coach, and Running Central was "get over it".
Which they all did, more or less.

As I started up the steeper incline in mile one, I wondered if I would be able to go the distance.
Assuming that I would have a difficult time of it today, I did not push my pace.
I just wanted to finish without any unplanned stops. (there was a planned walk down and then back up The Hill at mid-point)
I was pleasantly surprised.
I was able to run all the way up the 3/4 mile hill without a stop.
In fact, my breathing or effort never came close to the point where I wondered if I should stop.
The Bankhead hill is a substantial challenge on a good day.
That is one reason why I run it.

Frankly, I was surprised how "easy" this session turned out to be, considering my past runlessness.
I knew I was taking a chance by not, first, running a level course of the same distance to build up to this level of effort.
But I was feeling frisky after a week of my usual exercise routine and no serious negative reactions.

When I got to the end of my planned circuit (my car) I did not want to stop (a VERY good sign).
I ran a half a block past my car for the shear joy of it.
Could I have done 6 miles today?
Could I have done four?
But I would have produced many lingering physical memories by doing so.
We will see who/where reminds me of the cost of my excess faux youthfulness tomorrow.
In the meantime, I look forward to next weekend.

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