Monday, April 26, 2010

Kick Ass Running

Before I ruminate re running, I'll put in a plug for an actual funny American movie. While I am sooo not a fan of most things that come out of Hollywood, I absolutely loved the movie, Kick Ass. It was so fresh and surprising, funny and violent, that at first I didn't quite know what to make of it. It must've been pitched as a kind of Sin City meets Super Bad. And, while it easily could've gone off the tracks in several scenes, Kick Ass hangs in there and builds to an actual climax that is fully satisfying to the viewer. It ends with a pretty dopey set up for a sequel, but even that doesn't matter, because the movie up to that point has been so ...well... kick ass. Favorite character: tie between Big Daddy and Hit Girl. Ed note: Do not take your kids to this movie. The language is foul, and the violence at some points is very real (and at others just hugely over the top Sin City-ish).

Now let's matriculate on to my week in running. After the half marathon last Sunday, I took Monday off to give my calves a rest. Tuesday I was still a bit scared from the cramps I had experienced, so I did a bit of walking/running combo in order to test them out and get back on track. I had purchased a potassium supplement as well, and had begun to take it without any ill effects. Tuesday night I came down with the second worst bout of food poisoning I had ever had. I spent the night on my bathroom floor hugging my porcelain friend. When Wednesday rolled around, Marisa came by at 5:30 a.m., and drove me to the airport where we flew to New Jersey for a trade show. So with travel and sickness combined, I did no running that day either.

On Thursday morning, around 6 EST, I found a free treadmill (always a tough thing to do at the Sheraton Meadowlands), and knocked out a 5 k. It felt really good. I had no calf or soreness issues. We flew back on Friday morning, and by that afternoon, I had done a rather tiresome 4+ mi in a rather humid Kansas. I think the tiredness was due to several factors - flying, recovering from food poisoning, and this damned anti-biotic that I had been taking that, for once, I stopped taking before the prescription had run out because it made me feel so lousy. I had never stopped a course of treatment early, but in this case, I felt as though I had to.

Anyway, as usual I took Saturday off in order to smack some tennis balls and do yard work. Then yesterday I went for my normal long Sunday run. I opted for an 8.5 - 9 mi course that would take me directly through the hills that had triggered my calf problems in the race. When I got to the downhill, I did take it a bit easy, not wanting the pounding to initiate any cramps. But I had no ill effects; not even a twinge in that section, or for the duration of the run. I had taken a packet of salt with me in case of cramp onset, but it remained in my pocket.

I did get a chance to try out Accelerade's power shot type energy booster during the run. I had been given a bunch of packets by one of their sales guys at the trade show in NJ. I had the vanilla flavored packet. My initial reaction to it was that it was not the best tasting or texture of the four different brands I've tried - Cliff's, Power Bar, Hammer, Accelerade. But it did do the job. I have always liked Accelerade's drink mixes, and used them all the time when I biked. I have another flavor of their's to try out, and I'm hoping it's better. I'll write a bit more on it next week once I've sucked it down in a run. So far on the shot reviews, Cliff's gets the nod for flavor, Power Bar for texture, and Hammer and Accelerade get passing marks (as do all) for getting the job done.

This week's running plan is as follows: today 3-4 mi (on the levee if all goes well). Tuesday the same or tennis. Wed - Fri 5 - 8 mi. Sat, tennis. I'm also looking at signing up for a couple of runs in Northern Cal or Nevada - the SF Marathon (or half), and a trail race or two.

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