Thank you, SBAA. Thank you, Hal. Thank you, John. Thank you Rob, with your dog Oscar. Thank you, Fred.
Since the start of the New Year (and I take no personal credit whatsoever in the achievement) I have been incorporating one “Long Slow Distance” into my weekly mileage. We called such runs LSD, per Joe Henderson, back in the early 70’s – before d-lysergic acid diethylamide became the all too common use for that acronym. My plan is to try to do 3 runs per per week – one LSD, one SEX (my own term – Short Easy eXcursion) and one SIS (again my own coinage – Short Intense Session.)
Hal is a great coach for the SIS. He plans out a 4 mile workout – one mile warm-up, followed by three miles of a variety of drills: Tempo, intervals, sprint sets, etc, and then cool down. The SEX is easy – I can figure that one out on my own. But the LSD – Ouch! I don’t have the fortitude to run much over 6 miles solo. I start focussing in on those little aches and pains, and convince myself that it’s time to call it quits. Hal suggested I try joining a group run once per week. So, now, for 3 weeks straight, I’ve been running with the group that leaves Vieja Valley on Sundays around 8am. The first two weeks I ran 9.3 and 9.8 miles with John Brennand, Kim, and Mary, using John as my entertainment/motivation. Amazing how the time goes by when you’re not just thinking about your joints!
Then, last week, John was out of town. And Kim and Mary, the other two runners I’d been tailing, also weren’t there. Decision time. Do I go it solo – or do I try to tail the “fast group”? I had faint hopes for my ability to do any respectable distance on my own. I hadn’t even brought my iPod. So I decided to follow the “fast group” – and drop off when I needed to. Fred Mellon mentioned that he was doing a “short distance” – turning at Patterson – so I knew I had the option to join him.
We took off. The 8 minute-mile pace “warm up” felt okay – I’d already warmed up running to Vieja Valley, and 8 minute miles are not difficult for me . However – I have not run that pace in the past 20 years for anything over 6 miles. And the group planned to pick it up. I dropped to to the back. Rob, who was running with his dog, joined me. He was very mellow, and running a bit slower than the rest of the group. I decided to try to stay with him.
We reached the end of More Mesa. I glanced at my Garmin Forerunner 305 to see how I was doing. Oops! I had forgotten to restart my GPS after leaving Vieja Valley. Darn it! Meant I wouldn’t know exactly what distance I ran. Oh, well.
We headed up to Campus. So far, so good. Around the Lagoon. Still good. Back to the bike trail. At that point I noticed my HR was down by 15- 20 BPM. No energy. Aside from that, felt fine. Ran another 3 miles. Then, all of a sudden, about 1 mile from my home (11 or 12 miles into the run? I don’t know – all I do know is , a hell of a lot farther than I’ve run in literally decades), IT hit me. Knee pain. Foot numbness. Muscles tightening – everywhere! I pushed on another quarter mile – then told Rob I would take it REAL slow back to my home. And I did. Reeeaaaaal slooow. The turtle would have beaten me. Got home, stretched, ate. Stretched some more. Ate some more.
I was kind of spooked all Sunday afternoon. Had I blown it? I did my best to baby my knee and foot the rest of the day – and yesterday (Monday) did a “recovery day” thing – easy spin, stretch, that’s all. Today I woke up feeling almost back to normal. Did some intense Nordic Walking. Felt great. Whew! Tomorrow I will try my SIS with Hal.
Next Sunday, my plan is to remember to start my GPS, track the mileage, and keep it to 10 miles or less. For now.