Being an adult is usually a bummer. Responsibilities, bills, time-constraints, stress, frustration, and the specter of your inevitable cellular breakdown and demise hanging over you. But being able to hit the skatepark on a weekday at 9:00 am, when all the usual denizens are stuck in their school desks - that's one of the good parts.
I didn't do anything fancy in this session, just skated around and rode the ramps. Was super concerned about taking a fall and messing up this run program with a dumb injury, so I guess the adult was still in there somewhere.
Been trying to get used to this new bamboo board, it's not nearly as snappy as a traditional deck. Kind of a squishy ride. Fine for this kind of stuff though! Put in my 30 minutes of cross-training and on with the rest of the day! Had the whole place to myself the entire time.
Next morning as I write this my glutes and obliques are super sore, so it was a good cross training day! This program would be awesome if they took out those pesky days where you have to run!
Was feeling kind of "meh" today, went out for the run and decided to take the fire road on the hill. This slowed my pace considerably but it was nice to see some wildflowers. The nettles sticking out into path, not so much!
Did the return trip on the jogging trail and I'm just kind of bopping along. I hear the all-too-familiar thump thump thump of a runner coming up fast behind me. So I meekly drift to the right. (I know my place on the running totem pole and accept that I'm just roadkill meant to be passed).
Well, this lady whizzes by pushing one of those jogging strollers. I caught a glimpse of a little kid in it, 1 or 2 years old. Then I notice that this lady is LIKE EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT. Long, lanky physique with a big round belly. I was surprised she didn't have a damn six pack on top of the baby bump.
So yep, I got passed by not one but THREE people, one of them a toddler and one an unborn fetus. And those little kids are probably going to grow up with their rippling torsos and gazelle like legs and leave my descendants in the dust as well. The Reynolds will just be scenery to them, like a shrub or fencepost that becomes a blur as they glide past.
Today was a good reminder of how we can fall in a rut. Every run I try to take a different route - running is boring and tedious enough, seeing some different scenery is the least I can do to keep it fresh.
But I realized today even though I take different streets and paths I tend to always run in the same general direction. I guess you could call it clockwise. Today I just ran the other damn way and was impressed by how different the run felt. Different vistas, new things I noticed on the roadside, a different feeling for the pace of it.
So, if you're wanting something different, try running your loop the other way. I know this is probably the most "No Duh" recommendation ever, but when it comes to running I seem to be pretty thick in the skull.
How was the run? Terrible! Thanks for asking!
Despite the inherent sadness of the abandoned dog run last week, there's something nice about having a one way route, with the end point being your house. Definitely cuts down the pain of a distance run from "exceedingly miserable" to "decidedly miserable".
So on the way home from the city I had my family drop me off by the side of the road again, but today I actually had the right clothes. I thought I would be underfueled as I missed some food inputs, but it actually turned out ok. Felt flabby though.
It was a windy and chilly run, I took it slow (as if I had a different speed) and just let my mind wander. Which leads us to:
RANDOM OBSERVATIONS FROM 8 KILOMETERS OF SUFFERING
• I have seen more three legged dogs in the past 3 months than the rest of my life.
• Speaking of dogs, saw a lady pushing a bulldog in a dog stroller. Who's walking who?
• Spreading your fingers as widely and strongly as you can makes uphills easier.
• What if you breathed through the top of your head like a whale? Would people still wear hats?
• Wouldn't it be hardcore if for every rip in a person's jeans, it meant they had killed someone? Or maybe each rip represented a heart they had broken?
• Running 8km is way easier than 7km! My brain was able to think in four 2km "quarters" and get it done.
This run is about as good as it gets. I know I'll pay for it with a streak of nasty runs in the next few days. Bring it on, I don't even care anymore. I give up on giving up!
This was a pretty uneventful run until about halfway. I was plodding along at my usual "beaten down burro" pace and I hear some footsteps behind me. This dude in high tech running wear (fancy headphones, elbow wraps, high socks, wrap around sunglasses) passes me on the right. That's cool. I know I'm slow.
Then another dude passes me a few seconds later. Then a lady. Then a dude. They're all wearing all this serious gear and I'm just in my zelda tshirt and boardshorts.
I lost count after 10, but basically I got passed by some elite run club out for a session. Seemed like two dozen people. All of them with these gazelle like legs, long sinewy arms and torsos. Who are these people. Where the hell do they come from?
Imagine a dog doing a doggy paddle in the ocean, getting passed by a pod of dolphins. They're all mammals, they're all "swimming" but one is in their element doing what they were born to do and the other is just making it up and hoping not to die.
The worst was the last guy who passed me. He was clearly the scrub of the group, maybe just started. Still blazing past me. I hope I could give him some inspiration. "I'm the last in this club but at least I'm not that guy!"
Another cycling cross training day. For extra challenge I strapped the kid onto my back again. Strong winds made for a tough ride, but we saw lots of cool seabirds and even a mother duck with her ducklings crossing the path. The hills with the extra weight were really tough, but even with 45 pounds on my back it was BETTER THAN RUNNING!
Trying to get mentally ready for 8 long clicks this Sunday. I'm not doing a very good job.
Jeeze Fartleks are tough for me. I realize that I have a deep fear of going all out in a run, my brain is always trying to keep some extra energy in the tank. Even when I try to increase speed I have a lot of trouble maintaining 7-8 on the effort meter - usually I hit 9-10, my mind gets scared and drop back to 5-6 against my will. This was a really bad run for me. I truly have zero skill at this sport - it's good to be humbled day in and day out.
I always to fartleks on this quiet street that has lots of cars and houses that I can use as landmarks for the fartleks. Well today I said "I'm going to run hard to that FedEx van" as one of my targets. Halfway there and the van starts moving down the street! So I'm like "I don't care I'm still going to run to it!" So I'm kind of chasing this FedEx truck around the neighborhood. I never did pass it.
From now on I'm going to use mailboxes for targets.
This was a real low point. From the first minute of this free run I knew I was in trouble. My calves felt like someone had replaced the muscle fiber with those thick elastic bands they wrap broccoli with. Losing calf flexion suuucks, you have to recruit all kinds of weird ancillary muscles in the foot, groin and thigh to get the leg where it wants to go. So I dealt with that up to the top of the run's elevation point.
Then came the ultimate insult. I try to steer clear of people during outings, no one deserves to see the crimes against running that my body displays, but there's one section where I cut through a shopping street. As you can see from my running time, it was about 12:30 and a nice day, so all the cafes and restaurants had people seated outside enjoying themselves. Well, right in front of a busy restaurant a bug flew into my mouth (not hard since when I run I usually look like a freshly caught catfish confusedly sucking down air as the life drains from it's soulless eyes). So I can feel this thing buzzing around in the back of my throat, I kind of grab my neck like I'm choking myself and start coughing and spitting on the sidewalk. After about 5 hacks the bug comes out and I spit a few more times, and look up and there's like, 14 people staring at me from their tables - some in disgust, some trying not to laugh.
I'm still freakin tired from running, so all I can manage is to lamely say something like "I uh... bug... you know..." before scraping up my dignity and running away.
Add it the long list of reasons I'll keep waging my vendetta against running! Who thought up this program!? A sadistic madman that's who!!!
All day Sunday I kept putting off this run. 5km I can deal with, my brain can just rationalize it as "about a half hour of running". 7km is getting scary. It's not just a jog it's a run. Meant to do it in the afternoon but miraculously found a dozen other things to do instead. Yes, of course I need to organize the art supply drawer. Of course I need to answer this email. Of course the car needs to be vaccuumed. Of course I need to play Xcom2, after all, I did all that work in the afternoon!
Anyway, it was getting to be sunset and I hadn't gotten this run in. We needed to go to the supermarket, and I had a stupid idea on the way. My wife and daughter could just leave me by the side of the road after shopping, 7km from home, and I'd just run home. Of course I was wearing a button up collared shirt but that wouldn't be a big deal.
So like a Christmas puppy that no one really wanted, my wife pulled off the road, opened the door, and kicked me out onto the sidewalk miles from home. "Good luck, you'll need it," and the sound of tires pulling away. My daughter waving from the backseat and laughing at the sight of me.
I started running - lots of strange looks of this guy running around in regular clothes. I guess there were a lot of runners getting their end of weekend runs in, cause I got passed by people not just once but as they completed their round trip and were heading back. How is everyone so goddamned FAST? This one guy passed me and in like, 30 seconds was a speck in the distance.
It was a long tough run for me. I kind of blanked out and lost time at several points, only coming back to my senses a few hundred meters down the path. If only I could go into a fugue state the entire run. After FIFTY TWO freakin minutes I made it to my front door. My daughter says "Oh hey you didn't die" before going back to her iPad.
I don't even want to think about the 8km at the end of this week. Maybe I'll get lucky and North Korea will nuke San Francisco in the next few days.
I had some people coming over for dinner on the day of this run, and all day long I kept trying to find a half hour to get this run in, but it was a non-stop busy day. My only chance was in the half an hour before the guests arrived. I texted them saying I was going to do a quick run and headed out.
Maybe because I felt really rushed this run wasn't too bad, I don't even remember much about it, besides the fact that it was a slog.
When I got back they were already at my house talking to my wife in the kitchen. So I'm all sweaty and red in the face, and they say "Oh hey we thought we saw you running when we drove up - but then we saw the guy had good form and looked happy so we knew it wasn't you."
This was said matter of factly and without irony. The legend has spread far and wide apparently.
Quick update for cross-training day. Split the time, 15 minutes of skateboarding, 15 minutes of jumprope. Ah, the joy of not-running! The freedom, the satisfaction, the delight in throwing off the shackles for a blessed 24 hours! Now THIS is pod-racing!
The idea of this run is to conserve your energy and have a strong 5 minutes. I tried. When the lady in my head told me "25 minutes" I got my column aligned, pumped my arms, leaned forward and tried to run faster. My "fast" pace is slower than everyone else's cruising pace! Splits are in the photo below.
I think all this running is making me soft in the head. Three times this week I've left in the house, gotten in the car, and gotten a good 5-10 minutes away from home before realizing I'd left something I needed back at the house. Keys, aikido uniform, important letter I needed to mail. Feeling kind of foggy all day sometimes. Curse you running!
I'm in a pretty gnarly energy valley too, falling asleep early and oversleeping. Tired in the afternoons. My appetite has dropped steadily too. A professional might say "All signs point to depression." But I'm not depressed. I'm just on Kenzai Run.
This program is so hard.
Timed run today, from the first few steps I knew it was going to be one of those runs. Super heavy feet, felt like trying to run on a planet with 1.5 times the Earth's gravity. Calves super fatigued again, not sure what's up with that, maybe my calves had some atrophy in the last few months, or maybe I've just never seriously run in a place with so many hills.
Passed a chipmunk-looking thing cowering in front of a storm drain, head tucked in his body, kind of shaking. You and me both buddy. Passed a blue eyed dog - stop staring at me with those judgy eyes, dog! Passed two priests with hipster haircuts, like the high fade long on top look, in their white collars and everything, that was weird.
This weeks challenge is to take a picture of your run so I snapped the end part of today's loop when the bridge comes into full view. The look on my face sums up my feelings about the pursuit of running.
Had a big 6kms on the board today. Definitely the longest run I've done in a while. Felt underfueled from the first few minutes, but after a bit I kind of stopped feeling the run, and got really wrapped up in my own thoughts for the middle portion. Lots of stressful thoughts, lots of doubts and incriminations, lots of sadness. My pace was super slow as well, a good example that the state of your mind has a big impact on performance
The body was finally able to cope with rigors of the run, but the despair migrated to my brain on this run. Looking forward to some strength training days and more cheerful miles in the week ahead.
I was on the other side of the mountain on Saturday for an event for my daughter, and decided to park the car and knock out my run on a trail that runs parallel to the ocean. This was a nice-ass run. Beautiful coastal flowers blooming, cool ocean breezes, hummindbirds everywhere, and it finished at a little ranch where kids were milking goats and petting farm animals.
The worst part was the return trip, 15 minutes straight uphill without a break. My calves were dying, I had to slow to a walk twice - I really hate that. Tried to be technical with the arms but fell apart after a few strides every time. So, another shameful run that reinforced my ineptitude at every level. But with scenery!