For starters, my name, The Red Kenyan, is dripping with irony.
This blog is a document of one average runner's struggle with the marathon, and distances beyond.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Cross training yesterday. I did back, triceps, shoulders and stomach. Rest day today in anticipation of the weekend's run(s). I really need to sit down and set up a plan soon. Picking a new race for the future, and coming up with a game plan is the way a priority. I will shoot for doing that this weekend.
Here's a view from the beginning of my 7 miler today. You can see the Griffith Observatory in the distance, high on the hill. On the run, I pass the observatory, so this run begins in a very vertical fashion. It took me 1:08 to run it, I averaged 9:50/mile. Average heart rate (HR) was 157, with a max of 179. It was in the 80's, and I felt good after the few days rest I gave my legs. All in all they got 3 days rest, though I did upper body cross training yesterday.
Cross training today. I did chest, biceps and some core. I rested an extra day. My legs needed it after Saturday's 9 miler. Man, I'm out of shape... and it's a bit depressing. It's coming along, but slowly. Tomorrow another trail run, 5-7 miles.
Sometimes I do things with regards to running, that, at the time, seem like a good idea, only to find out later, that I was wrong. Today's run, is a prime example. Yesterday, I did some cross training, not a lot, some shoulders, a little back, stomach, and legs. Not a LOT of leg work, mind you, but enough to regret it today, while running Sullivan Canyon. I really shouldn't complain, I mean, I was expecting highs near 90-100 degrees, but I was pleasantly surprised by 80 degree temps. It was breezy, which felt great, but my sinuses were none too pleased. About 3 miles into the run, I saw 6 fighter planes, circa WWII I think, flying in formation overhead. I didn't see much in the way of animals, but that's to be expected. I did run at the hottest part of the day, and being a weekend, there were a lot of people out there. My legs felt like lead- heavy, dead, clumsy. Yuck. And that was the way UP. Running hills and trails is such a good workout because on the way up, you're working your hamstrings, calves, back, on the way down, your quads take a beating, and you may find yourself running faster than you were planning on. When I run trails, I always wake up the next day with the general soreness that you'd expect, but also the little muscles and tendons in my lower legs ache. I'm glad I finished 9 miles today, and I passed two runners on the way up, which is always a good feeling, but the way back was no fun. I'm tired.
I don't stretch enough. Never have. Probably never will. I try. I really do, but still, I don't stretch enough, and it's why I walk around like an old man some days. I have problems with my hip flexors, and lower back. Oh yes, and the sinuses. Let's not forget about those. So, I'm guessing that running outdoors, on trails, is probably not the best thing I could be doing, but I love it. I rarely listen to my iPod when I'm running trails. For starters, it's not terribly safe. You can't hear mountain bikers or other runners coming up behind you, but also, there's something almost meditative about the crunch-crunch-crunch of my shoes as they hit the dirt. My run today went all right, I guess, I got 7 miles in, but I certainly didn't threaten any records out there. My legs were leaden in the beginning, but felt better as I went along. I felt a bit winded too. The weather fully cooperated with highs in the low 80's, and a gentle breeze. It was gorgeous out there. Not like the 4th of July. Before an evening barbeque on the 4th I did a quick 5 miles on the roads, and it was in the low to mid 90's. The most memorable thing about that run was the sideways look I got from a Hasidic Jew while I waited at a light and stretched. He just could not figure me out, and understandably so. I made for quite a sight. Red hair sprouting from a visor, no shirt, (yes, I wore sunscreen) and a heart rate monitor strap around my chest. Maybe he thought I was sporting some sort of running brassiere or something, "and for you full-figured runners, there's the new 18 hour jog bra!"
I finished the week with 23 miles which is the most, I think, since I was training for Big Sur before my sinus surgery. About half this week's miles were run on the trails, so I'm happy about that.
See, I was training to run the Big Sur Marathon in April to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately, my sinuses wouldn't cooperate. I inherited my messed-up sniffer from my Dad. I've got allergies, and I'm prone to sinus infections. So when my doctor said that the sinus infection I had wasn't be affected by the antibiotics he prescribed (2 different kinds), we opted for the roto-rooter plan. "You'll have the surgery on friday, and most people are back to work on monday", is what I was assured. "When can I start to run again?" I asked. "Monday" was the reply. Yeah, well, it didn't quite work out that way. The only running that was being done on monday, (and in the following weeks) was by my nose. (rimshot)
And so here we are. I'm trying to get back to a place where I can run and run, put it on autopilot and just think about everything, and nothing at once. Running is pretty therapeutic for me. Sure, it's great for me physically, but the mental aspect, the way it helps me keep in perspective my problems, well THAT is the real reason I'm addicted to running. That, and my search to see what my limits are. I've got a pretty good idea of what those limits are, but I want to challenge them. My goal is to run another 50 miler within the year, and the following year, barring any injuries (or more sinus snafus) I hope to complete my first 100 miler.