Monday, May 10, 2010

Trying to set off cramps...don't try this at home

Last week was pretty good for running. The weather here has been unseasonably chilly with strong winds... Well maybe last week wasn't so good for running. But I still logged 27 miles - with a couple of runs being very good. I calculate my weekly mileage from Sunday through Saturday. Sunday is my longest day and kicks off the week. The next longest is usually Wednesday or Thursday. The other days I usually just put in three or four miles.

Yesterday I got up pretty early and was out on the roads and pathways (which oddly could also be written roadways and paths)by 8 a.m. The weather (as I previously stated) was unseasonably cool. It was a relatively uneventful run. Nothing too taxing. So a little past midway, I added 1/2 - 3/4 mile to it by cruising up a spur to an area that overlooks the lake. Just that little change up in the run seemed to refresh the whole vibe. So, while the NPR types chattered away in my ears, I ran along the last portion of the course back toward civilization. I did have one thing to report. Since the run was now over 12 miles, I wanted to see if I could trigger some sort of leg cramp. And I noticed that by increasing speed, I started to feel a twinge in my right calf as well as in the muscle that runs down the back of the upper portion of my leg. I slowed my pace, took about 1/8 teaspoon of salt (which I now carry with me for cramping), and the sensation went away. I'll try to trigger it again in a couple of weeks and will, I hope, be able to again stave off the cramps. I'm not doing this because I'm a pain junkie, or because I like to test limits, but because I don't want to have an issue on the Hospital Hill run like I had on the last three miles of the Kansas 1/2 Marathon.

The rest of the day was spent looking at an ultra-modern house in North Lawrence, a Mother's Day meal with my parents, and hanging out with friends at night. My friend, Terra, has started to run a bit. She's started to do a mile a day. She started out running and walking, and now, a short time later, is up to running the full distance. She'll probably be adding more as it gets easier. I'm going to try to talk her into doing a 5 k some time in the next 3-4 months.

Movie Moment: I finally saw The Hurt Locker over the weekend. It wasn't the best movie I saw last year, but was certainly a respectable choice for the awards it garnered.

For the next posting, I'm going to be back out on the left coast doing my favorite run in America - one I have designated the Griffith Park Observatory Run. The way I do it makes it a 5 mile run with 2.5 miles downhill, and 2.5 uphill. No flats to be found anywhere. There is also a startling temperature transition that happens 2-3 times on the run. It is such a great run - in the wilderness, yet in the middle of LA - that I don't really have words to describe how exhilarating and at the same time relaxing an experience it is. I usually do the run with my friend, Joe, who knocked out an LA area half marathon a month or so ago as well. I'll try to have some pics of the run for the next post.

Until then...

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