Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WEEK 3 - SIX-MILE COURSE

The Saturday morning six-mile jaunt was a qualified success.
The temperature was not ideal - 35 or so degrees, clear, with virtually no wind.
Not my favorite temperature for a run (or anything else, really).
This atmospheric environment required judicious layers to keep the body temperature in an optimal range.
All that remained was a nice, steady rain to throw me into a total snert.

But that did not happen.

The other qualifier on the project was lack of sleep.
I stayed up too late Friday night -until about 11 or so, and I did not get a nap that afternoon - to which I am accustomed (read: spoiled).
So I hit the bed with a deficit of a hour or two (depending on how one wants to score it)
And I woke up at 2:30 AM for no discernible reason.
I tried to go back to sleep, but succeeded only in imitating a rotisserie for an hour or two.
Somewhere around 4 AM I must have dozed off, because the next thing I knew, my alarm was ever so gently mumbling that it was time to rise.

Which I did. 

I felt only slightly tired as I walked to the starting line, but I was wary.
This six-mile course has a way of finding your weaknesses and rubbing your face in them.

The first serious little hill shows up at the 2 mile mark.
It was there that I felt my lack of strength.
There were no specific parts complaining, just a general overall feeling of "I really kinda sorta don't want to do this."
This is NOT the sort of thing I want to hear before the half-way point in this race course.
So I fastened my seatbelt for a difficult slog for the rest of the hike.
And it was so.

I walked The Hill, as planned, and forced myself to resume running the last 200 feet or so of it, as I usually do.
But at this point I was wondering if I was going to be able to run the rest of the course (even though it is virtually all down hill from that point).
I had to stop for traffic at California Street for a few seconds, much to my dislike.
The last mile felt like two miles, and that I was dragging a 45 pound barbell plate along the pavement behind me by a rope.  

But I made it.
No unplanned stopping because of my physical failure.

As I walked back to my car, I was pondering how to alter my weight workouts to reduce my leg work.
Perhaps changing the work balance between weights and running would make the Saturday morning picnic a bit easier.


As I have found in my 20+ years of weight lifting and 17 years of running, is that it is easier to fine-tune the weight workouts than it is the running.
Weight workouts can be micro-tuned by changing exercise order, exercises, number of sets, number of reps, and number of workouts per week.
The only thing one can do with running is modify your pace, change the distance, or change the course for more or less elevation.
Over the years I have found and used a three-mile flat course (nearly so), a six-mile flat course, a three point six-mile hilly course, and a six-mile hilly course.

Once you are on a course, you are pretty much stuck with what you have chosen to run.

I love to run.
And I have learned to live with the rules of the game.
At my age, it is a distinct privilege to be able to run ANY distance at any speed.
I am blessed.

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