Dawn of the Almost Dead: A Report on the Long Run

16 09 2012


Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 3.11 miles

Time: 41 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 209.4 miles.

Today was the day of my 3 mile long run and I left my home an hour later than usual since I was tired and couldn’t get up. I almost didn’t but I did not want to mess up my schedule and I wanted to see what is the deal with the long run. After completing the run, I think I am a believer.

Now, because I went a little later, there were more people on the boardwalk. There was all kind of folks but the biggest group was definitely the elderly. Man, they were everywhere. There was so many, I was starting to think that I was intruding on their boardwalk time. There were walkers, fishers, and runners.

When I started my slower paced long run with the 2:1 run/walk ratio, there was a speed walking older woman who I passed but then she went past me during my walk break. For several minutes we battled it out for first place, which made me feel slightly embarrassed with my pace and made it difficult to keep the same slow pace without speeding up.

Speed demon!

Eventually I left her in my dust and I felt better. I then started seeing younger women and I was cursing myself for the slow pace. Whenever I see pretty girls running, it automatically becomes my duty to change from a simple run to the greatest show on earth. It was really hard to do that with a turtle pace.

So anyway, my long run pace is 12 minutes per mile, which was pretty easy. I had to fight the urge to speed up and would stay between 12 and 11:30 per mile. It was also taking forever just to get to the halfway point. I think I’m gonna start listening to podcasts or audiobooks instead of music because I was getting really bored. Who knows? Maybe the huffing and puffing is hard yet entertaining to me.

Another weak part of the slow run is that there were other elderly runners passing me. I mentioned in an earlier post that I can get competitive and I felt awkward that I was much younger than some of the senior runners and they were clowning me. They might have well slapped me in the back of the head as they passed by cause that’s how it felt.

Still, with all the moaning and complaining about the slow pace, I noticed that at the end of the run, I was actually tired. I wasn’t out of breath but my legs were tired, which I haven’t felt in a while. The slow run gave my legs a good workout. I think the slower pace will help my running progress and I will keep doing it.

One last thing. I saw this as I finished and had to take a picture.

All I could think was, “Who was walking who?”



New Running Update

1 05 2012

Wow! I sat down and opened up my WordPress blog to tap out a few words for a running update and I could not believe what I saw. It has been over a month since my last blog update. My readers must be pulling out their hair waiting to find out about my running progress. Okay, maybe not, but I have read that it is a good idea to keep a journal as a runner. I forgot the reason why but it sounded like a good idea. There have been small Twitter updates due to training apps that automatically post my runs, but I want to document how I feel as I progress forward.

Where I last left off, the 20-minute run was coming up and I was apprehensive about it. I actually wrote close to 1000 words about it, but then my browser crashed and wiped it all away. After that pointless effort, I did not feel like writing for a while and I was swamped with everyday life. That combined with the fact that I suck in time management is what led to my posting delay. So to summarize, I completed the 20-minute run with an unholy amount of huffing and puffing. It was so hard that it affected my runs the following week. I had to take a 5 day break after the second run of the week due to exhaustion and leg pain. However, I was not going to let some leg pain stop the progress I made so far. I have done all this before when I was younger and I am going to get through this again.

Through weeks 6 and 7, I had to take extra days off because of periodic leg pain. However, by the third day of week 7, most of the pain was gone and I had a feeling that it was not going to come back for the rest of the 9-week program. The running just started to get easier. Since I have started running on the boardwalk, I have started getting used to landmarks and the general area where I have to turn around at the halfway point of my timed run. The boardwalk is about one and a half miles long and I have been able to see where the boardwalk ends, which is not too far away from the turnaround point. Since I also warm up on the boardwalk, it makes my total workout time slightly more than the scheduled run/walk workout for the day. Therefore, by week 8, I was hitting the end of the wooden path and running back the other way. I knew from here on, I was past the point of no return. Unless a car accidentally pins my legs into a parked car, I am going to complete this program. Considering that I failed the program last year, this new realization felt good. It felt damn good.Now I am starting week 9. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since being worried about running for three minutes straight. The body is an amazing thing.

One Failed Year Later II

22 02 2012

Last year, I was making good progress with the Couch to 5k program. I was successfully making the weekly goals and felt good running again. Running on a boardwalk brought back memories of pushing myself and gaining confidence. However, things started to make a turn for the worse. I started to get a cramp in my calf muscle. It was a small kink that I felt in the inside. I didn’t pay any mind to it and as the weeks went by, the pain slowly grew. I was afraid that I was going to hurt myself so I took a week off at one point.

When I went back to the boardwalk, I felt fine but after a week, the pain came back. I would especially feel it after a five-minute interval. One evening I started to run and after an interval, I couldn’t do it anymore. I was in real pain and I had to walk back. For weeks after that my leg was hurting and I basically fell out of running at that point. The pain gradually went away in the span of two months, but by then I was discouraged and was afraid I was going to hurt my leg again.

I was probably a week away from this.

Fast forward to the end of 2011, I was determined to get back into running and run my first race. When I used to run about twelve years ago, I just ran to lose weight; I never thought about participating in a race. Now, when I grabbed books for running, it was always about getting ready for a race. So the more running books I would flip through, the more that competing in a run seemed like a good idea. I usually need some sort of goal to complete any task I undertake and last time I ran, I lost the will to continue running because I already hit my weight loss goal. Now I have my eyes on a 5K race this coming June held on the very same boardwalk that I used to run on. I think it would be most fitting to take part in my first race on the first track I used to run on.

What could be better for my first race than this?

When I decided to start running again, I knew I had to try something different so that I don’t get hurt again. Well, I have a gym membership to Planet Fitness that I’ve had for over a year and I would occasionally visit the place throughout that year. It only costs me $10 a month so it wasn’t a really big deal if I didn’t go too often.

“You’re visiting my runnin’ place. Yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk!”

I’ve figured that pounding my feet on the treadmill would be kinder to my legs than   concrete or wood so I’ll give that a shot. When my legs get stronger and I can run continuously for a distance, I’ll switch to outdoor running and see how that works. So far so good, and I get to watch women fight on Springer on the televisions while listening to music and running. How can I lose?

“Have you seen my friend, Berdo?”