Monday, November 8, 2010
Running for Thanksgiving Sans Turkey
I know it is a few weeks before Thanksgiving, but it is never too early to think about all that we can be thankful for (apologies for finishing the first sentence of this posting with a preposition). I'll cover why Andy the Turkey is the first thing you see her a bit later on.
What a weird week of running. It was cold as he-double toothpicks. It was also dark as ... well, you get the idea. I hate running with hats and headlamps, but I did for much of the week. I tried running tights (with shorts over them for modesty reasons), sweatpants, loose-fitting layered long sleeve shirts, compression shirts with a jacket... It was hard to get comfortable. Somehow I struggled and muddled through a bunch of runs. Then came Saturday. Eric and I are planning to do the Pilgrim Pacer half -marathon next weekend, so we thought we'd get a solid run in. We were going to do the river trails (where the Sandrat run is held for those of you not from Lawrence) and add a mile to each end, but Eric had another suggestion. He knows that my favorite surface isn't pavement or trail, but packed gravel. So, in a magnanimous gesture, he suggested that we just run the eastern length of the river levee. After waiting for the temperature to climb above 40F, we set off.
It was gorgeous, with not a lot of wind, and a lot of sunshine that was beginning to warm the air. We slowed our pace to around 9min/mile so that we could get more running time in. I was trying out a couple of new things. The first was to carry my EmergenC-infused water in my hand rather than on a belt. The second new item in my arsenal was a few Cliff Shot Blocks that Cliffs had given to me at the last trade show I had attended (Cliff's people also had given me an unreleased new mocha flavored squeeze shot that was pretty great when I tried it on a run a couple of weeks ago). I'm happy to report that the tiny hand-fitting (no strap) water bottle was terrifically easy to run with, and the blocks of strawberry energy gunk tasted great.
One of the most interesting things to note on the jaunt was that I became really aware of how much better shape I'm in now than I was even a few years ago. I used to do the same levee distance or the river trails on my bike (that used to be my sport of choice). And, when I did these, they would be what I considered my serious workout for the day. To switch from biking a distance to running it was a great feeling. I've felt a bit of that on some of my other runs, but the levee really drove it home. Enough tooting my own horn (yeah, yeah, I'm awesome and all that rot...). Anyway, we should be ready for the Pacer next week.
I've had a weird sound in my knee for weeks. No pain, but an unrelenting grinding noise when I go up stairs or hills. Very odd. I'm seeing my sports doc this week to make sure there is no issue. Chris, my other running buddy heard it on Friday and thought it sounded a bit off as well. I'll make a report next week if it turns out to be anything significant.
So this morning, I cranked out a new 5 mi route that involved running about a mile down Kasold between 6th and Peterson. I had never noticed this, but that MAJOR roadway has 0 sidewalks between those streets. I was a bit flummoxed (god I love that word) by that fact. But, being very early in the a.m., I alternately cruised on the asphalt when no headlights were approaching and then ran on the grass when cars came by. Great run when there is little traffic, because it is a road that I have never walked before, and the novelty of it made it fun. It also has some tremendous hills (and I'm kind of a fan of hills).
OK, now back to the animals and Thanksgiving. Andy the Turkey and Matisse and Kahlo (see below) are all rescue animals from Cockadoodlemoo Farm Animal Sanctuary (www.cockadoodlemoo.org). Turkeys are really very intelligent, majestic animals. So I'm just going to suggest that as a thank you to the fellow creatures with whom we share this planet, that anyone reading this consider going vegetarian or vegan this Thanksgiving. There are so many wonderful options available now, that even if you love eating meat, I could fix a dinner for you and you would never know that you weren't eating the real thing. If anyone does want suggestions, write to me or post a comment below, and I will get you suggestions and recipes. Matisse and Kahlo have an example of a meal's first course below.
Until next week, happy running and healthy eating.