Sunday, January 8, 2012
Some Like It Hot
Here's a pic without too much of my normal 'crazy eye.'
What an incredible week. It was hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk. Well...maybe if you brought along a griddle. But it was pretty seriously warm for this time of year - Jan. 5. The temp in Lawrence butted its head up against 67 deg F. Not being one to take the thermometer at its word, I popped out for a knee-shortened run on the roads near my house (since the surgery, I have really tried to keep the road running to a bare minimum). And speaking of bare minimum, all I had on were socks, shoes, running shorts and a tee. I did my old stand-by 3.1 gravel and pavement run averaging just above 8 min / mi. I began to sweat profusely within the first 3/4 mi. It was surreal and exhilarating at the same time. I know a lot of other people who subscribe to this (or just give it a read) were also out on the 5th marveling at the stunning weather and debating just how bad global warming really might be if what we were experiencing was one of its results.
I'll come back to running in a paragraph or two. I wanted to touch again on swimming. Wow, is it a sport that I look forward to doing on a daily basis. I hit the pool while it is still dark outside, swim somewhere between a half k and a k (depending on how I feel), and then run later in the day. Sometimes I switch the order. Swimming is such a compliment to running. I find that even after longish runs, I don't mind diving into the pool to do laps. The manner in which the muscles are used is so different, that fatigue does not become an issue...usually.
For the past month or two, I've been sitting around wondering how people can just go on slow auto-pilot and swim lap after lap in the pool with no let up and no apparent fatigue. On Thursday (yes the same day it hit a billion degrees outside), I went to the pool early and started to swim. I thought I'd try to go as slowly and smoothly as I could possibly go, focus on my breathing and form, and not worry about anything else. And with that, everything started to click. I finished the first few laps with much more in the tank than normal, and then continued on. I've been able to replicate it the past several days, and can see how the fusion of the components, about which my coach spoke, would come together, just as they do in running. Swimming is just a bit less forgiving on issues of proper form than is running. So now I can write that I have had one of those rare AHA moments in another sport. I love when they occur.
OK, back to running... So Saturday rolled around, and Eric 'Banjo Hawk' Henry and I decided to pop out and join the other hawks for the Sat. a.m. run. It was cold, and I mean really cold at the start. I thought it was cold at Land's End as well. But if we kept moving, the temp stayed bearable. There was little to no wind and plenty of sunshine to accompany the 8 of us (+ dog) on the run. My Garmin frapped out at the 6 mile mark. Gary 'Story Hawk' Henry (no relation to Banjo Hawk other than they are both human beings) had listed the run at 9.75 mi. Eric's GPS had it at just about 11. I had always thought it to be in the 9-10 range, but need to take my Garmin out again and confirm. There are wonderful, new, seriously easy-to-read mile markers on the trails. They are a very welcome addition to Clinton North Shore running. If you haven't been out there recently, you will be pleasantly surprised (well maybe not after reading this) when you encounter them.
Below is a pic taken by Gary Henry of the Sat. 1-7-12 run
You can follow Gary's Blog at http://ultrastory.com/Blog1