Friday, September 28, 2007

The Budweiser Hot Seat

Now for a moment of levity…

ESPN Announcer Guy: Fresh from his monumental race over the weekend, where he ran a 1:28:06 and claimed yet another PR at the Queens Half-Marathon, The Running Laminator is joining us in the studio today, and just for fun, we’re putting him on the Budweiser Hot Seat. Are you ready for us, Laminator?

L – Ready when you are, Mr. Announcer Guy.

A – Okay. So how’s it feel being the newest member of the sub-1:30 half marathon club?

L – It feels fantastic and it feels great. But what’s more important is that I’m able to share this with the running community. Someone somewhere is using my story as an excuse to train harder and run faster. Wow, that sounds cool. Need to copyright that for my next book.

A – What would you say was your biggest obstacle during the race? Was it the sun, the crowd, the dehydration, or the early start time?

L – Nah, for me, it was none of that. I was probably my own biggest obstacle throughout the entire run because my mind kept telling me I was running too fast and I couldn’t keep it up. But I just kept focusing on my breathing and my legs moving at a good pace and telling myself to shut up with the negativity. I think I gave the runners around me quite a scare when the actual words slipped out of my mouth at one point.

A – Explain to us what happened at mile 8?

L – I’m not really sure to tell you the truth. One minute I’m running well, looking for a good approach to the water station ahead of me, the next minute, I’m sprawl out across the road. How embarrassing. Man, I’m telling you, that speed bump came out of nowhere. I’m lucky no one tripped on top of me, that would’ve been a disaster.

A – Yet you still manage to recover with no injuries and set a PR for the race, truly amazing. How’d you do it?

L – I’m telling you, it was just total focus and determination. But I can’t lie, I got a little incentive from the lady with the fine legs I saw running at a fast pace in front of me around mile 7-8. I tried hard the rest of the way not to die down but keep her within my sights for the rest of the run. I knew if I did that I’d end up running a good race.

A – So the truth comes out. Well, did you at least talk to her to thank her for being your rabbit?

L – I did…I mean I wanted to. But by the time I crossed the finish line, caught my breath, and took a drink of water, she was already on her way up to the podium to receive an award of some sort.

A – I see. So does that not taint your PR in some way. After all, if she wasn’t there to lead the way, maybe you would’ve finished 1:38 instead of 1:28?

L – So…so what? I’m sure even if she wasn’t there to hold my attention; I’d find some other person or some other way to keep my mind occupied. Besides, who’s to say someone behind me didn’t use my fine body to motivate for a PR?

A – Somehow I highly doubt that. So now that you’ve achieved the unthinkable, what’s next for you?

L – Well, I’m resting for a bit, and then I think I’m going to chase down Lance Armstrong and his Hype Mobile at the New York City Marathon in a couple of months.

A – What do you think he’s going to run at this year’s NYCM?

L – I’m not sure. It’s hard to say, but probably 2:35-2:45, somewhere in that range.

A – And you think you could keep up with that? What are you going to do if you do catch up to him?

L - I’m going to flick his ears or pull his shorts down. At the very least, I’ll ask to borrow a GU pack or a Gatorade bottle from his refreshment truck. Think he’ll like that?

A – Whatever makes you run fast, Mr. Laminator. Thank you for coming on the show. You are now officially off the Budweiser Hot Seat.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Best Run Ever:
Race Report on the Queens Half-Marathon

I’ve always believed that there are moments in each of our lives that come to define or shape who we are as individuals. As distance runners, our legacy on the road is similarly marked by half-marathons, marathons and/or longer races that identify us as members of the running elite, however that’s defined. Out of the blue, that’s the kind of race I believed I ran yesterday.

To be blatantly honest, I did not even enter the race with any confidence that I would run well. Although I had high expectations at the beginning of the summer for this marathon training season, my running over the past several weeks had been lackluster at best. I was sick in the beginning of the month and had some ankle and shoe issues that caused me to miss many long training runs. It got so bad that the day before my race, a non-runner buddy even called to tell me that the word on the street was that my marathon training was going bad and people were questioning whether I was still thinking about qualifying for Boston at NYCM in November. I told him not to worry and just to be sure to be there to cheer me on; but inwardly, I was wondering when I should start setting a deadline to pull the string on my post-marathon extravaganza. Still, I told myself to not give in to the negativity, but go to the half-marathon with an open mind given that I had eaten and hydrated well throughout the week, and was physically well-rested for the race.

On race morning, I woke up at the insane time of 3:45 AM to prepare for the race. I changed, made breakfast of Campbell’s sirloin burger stew and a banana, ate, got my stuff together, and ran to catch the 4:30 AM bus from NYRR headquarters that would take us to Queens. Why we needed to get dropped off at 5:00 AM for 7:00 AM race start I have no clue, but at least it was good preparation for NYCM I thought. The sun hadn’t yet come up so it was a bit chilly (upper 50s I presume) by the time we got to McNeil Park. In my haste to catch the bus, I had forgotten to grab my windbreaker and long running pants, so I was shivering a little as I sat on one of the park benches, listening to my Ipod and waiting anxiously for the race start. I didn’t really mind though because I knew cooler temps would translate to a more comfortable race.

At around 6:15AM, I got up from my bench, took my ipod and my backpack to the baggage check, made my last trip to the port-a-potty, and started to stretch. The sun had already begun to peek over the horizon, and I walked over to the start to get a feel of the land. Although the Queens Half-Marathon is an annual race held in the fall of every year, the race this year was held on a complete new course. No one knew what the course would be like, although I had an impression from some rumblings on the message boards that this section of town was quite hilly. So, as I finished up my stretches and took a few warmup striders near the start, I kept reminding myself to keep focused and not run too fast lest I come upon a long tough uphill during the latter parts of the race. Still, as I lined up near the front of the pack, my legs felt fresh and I was ready to race.

The air temperature was a mild 63 degrees as the airhorn sounded, signaling the start of the race. Since I began near the front of the pack, I had a fast start running alongside the elite runners. Although I had intended to establish a strong start, I was literally dumbfounded when I read my split on my garmin 305 at the end of the first mile, 6:18, which was much faster than my intended average pace of 6:58 min/mile. Yet, because I was still feeling comfortable at that point, I allowed myself to run at a fast pace as long as my effort was even and my breathing non-labored. The first part of the course was on some long roads through quiet neighborhoods which was ideal for finding and setting a good race pace. Mile 2 was clocked at 6:22; Mile 3 at 6:36. At this point, I was excited to be running faster than my intended pace, but at the same time acutely aware that the bulk of the race had not yet begun. I noticed that everyone around me was keeping a very even pace early on, and by the end of mile 3, most of the people who were going to past me had already done so. Otherwise, everyone was running in unison as a pack. Mile 4 carried us through multiple steep uphill roads, and my pace slowed to 6:48. It was a tough little stretch for me, because I have a hard time in general of maintaining an even pace on uphills. During this race, I used the guy directly in front to guide me, aiming to keep myself at the same distance away from him at the beginning of the hill as after it. Mile 5-8 was all about consistency as I kept my feet moving at a very steady rhythm through this stretch of the race, clocking each mile at 6:45, 6:50, 6:48, and 6:48 respectively. On the roads, there was a lot of twisting and turning, through small uphills and downhills. Through much of our run through this part of Beechhurst, we were literally turning at every street corner as if we were rats trapped in a giant maze. At least the scenery was nice. As we ran from block to block, I enjoyed the endless display of beautiful residences on perfectly manicured lawns. I was amazed that although I grew up in Queens, I had never seen this section of town before.

At around mile 8, as I was looking up at the trees and taking in the fresh aroma from this foreign part of my hometown, my knees suddenly gave out and I was sent tumbling to the ground! It seemed like I had just tripped over a speed bump (what irony!). As I quickly surveyed my injuries (luckily there were none) and got back on my feet, I felt this sick “oh no, here we go!” feeling in my stomach trying to burst out. It took all of my focus and concentration to reestablish my previously good running pace and suppress the negative thoughts that were starting to form as a result of my freak accident.

I slowed a bit on miles 9-11, running 6:51, 6:55 and 6:57 on our way back to Whitestone because historically these were my “make-or-break” miles. During the last two half-marathons I completed, I hit the wall during these miles and had to take two walking breaks at this point in order to finish. Even as I saw multiple runners speeding past me, I was focused on keeping my legs moving at a slow and steady pace. As one by one they passed, I just kept repeating to myself, “Run your own race L, never mind them!” In my heart of hearts, I wanted so much to keep up and run with them, but in the back of my mind, at this point in the race, I knew a monumental PR was in sight and I was not willing to risk that for a warped sense of pride I’d get by running with them.

After passing back under the Whitestone Bridge and the mile 11 marker, I finally relaxed, knowing I had passed the troublesome miles and the end was in sight. I sped back up to set a fast pace for the finish. Mile 12 was passed at a split of 6:42, as I could slowly make out the contours of McNeil Park, marking the end of the race. Mile 13 was a complete blur as I spent whatever energy I had left in a mad dash toward the finish. The last 1.1 miles took me 7:24 to complete, and I finish my half-marathon tour of my hometown in 1:28:06, a distance PR by 3:10, averaging 6:44 min/mile for the duration of the 13.1 mile run.

I seriously don’t know what got into me yesterday to run so fast for so long. I’m still very emotional thinking about it. Running a sub-1:30 half-marathon has always been a dream of mine. It was a benchmark that, at least to me, separated a good runner from a great one. It was an unexpected, but poignant reminder of what can be achieved through solid preparation, hard training, and strong mental discipline. It all should bode well for me as I had into the last month of training before the marathon.

Thank you all for reading my long race report. I wish that all of you can enjoy as much success in your own races as I did in mine.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A New PR at the Queens Half Marathon

Thanks for all the interest in my race today. And what a race it was. A brand new course in my hometown of Queens, New York on a picture-perfect race morning. To say I ran well today would be an understatement. I established a new PR for the half-marathon at 1:28:06, more than 3 minutes faster than my previous best set in Fairfield earlier this year! Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine running a sub 1:30 half-marathon. Anyway, I'm sore and very tired, but also extremely proud of my performance. Will give a full detailed race report tomorrow to all those interested. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Why I Run
Reason #6 - To Find The Courage To Read and Write

There’s a story of mine that hasn’t been told in quite some time. In a previous age, in a previous life, back before I knew running, back before I even knew myself, I was a poet and a writer. My exciting but brief career started when I wrote a few creative pieces based on my reactions to a personal tragedy and handed them in for extra credit for my high school English class. The next day, the teacher held me back after class to tell me that I had the potential to be a great writer. Although initially I had my doubts, he sounded genuine so I believed him and started to write. Since that day, I kept a daily journal and wrote in it religiously everyday throughout high school and most of college.

Although most of my writings back in those days were nothing more than the musings and sentiments of an urban teenager going through the usual torments of adolescence and early adulthood, I decided after college that I would share some of the better pieces in a public venue just to see if my writing was any good or whether I’d been led down the wrong path by my old English teacher (although I doubt it because that teacher turned out to be Mr. Frank McCourt). I signed up to give a series of summer readings at a coffeehouse around the city. Because so much of what I was to share was so personal and because I had so little confidence in my own writing, I kept these readings a complete secret from all my friends and family. (To this day, I still get grief from so many that they missed out on my few seconds of fame!) The first set of performances went well. Although I was a nervous wreck and didn’t take my eyes off my paper at all until the third session, most of the audience clapped and cheered at the end. Two people even came up after one of my readings to discuss motivations and influences they detected in my style of writing. I was pleasantly surprised.

Unfortunately, that was the highlight of my writing career. The coffeehouse sessions the following year did not end nearly as well. After one particularly bad night, when the weather outside was terrible, and only three people attended my reading, the manager complained to my agent that my poetry were “incompatible” with his business model and gave me the pick slip. That night, when I got the news, I was so distraught that I lit my writing journal on fire and threw it into the fireplace. I haven’t written another poem since that fateful night, when I threw away the only record of my best writing. My party line is that I don’t have the time to write anymore. In actuality, I’m scared to death of going up on that stage again only to hear that I shouldn’t have bothered.

But now that I’ve become a more consistent runner and blogger, I think I’m almost ready to work my way back to recording personal thoughts on random sheets of paper again. Distance running helps because it forces me to deal with performance anxiety and allows ample alone time for creative thinking. Blogging helps in that it gives me a forum to formulate thoughts, opinions, and observations and enter them in a semi-permanent form. Although not intended, both may be just what I need to convince myself to give my writing career another try.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Signs of a New Season

I finally realized tonight as I was out on a late run around Central Park that fall is finally upon us. It wasn’t so much the milder temperatures or the short days that made me bid au revoir to summer. It was the schools of bright reflective colors camouflaging as runners I was streaking past in the dead of night tonight that made me acutely aware that a seasonal change has unexpectedly and suddenly come. Gone are the grueling long summer days when I can usually find solitude running the six mile loop in the park on days I’m home late from work. Instead tonight, everywhere around me, all I can see were running packs and running clubs practicing and training for their fall marathons, each gravitating near a section of the trail almost as if to claim that area for personal/club use . It was somewhat frustrating because as I was running past these individual packs of 50+ runners or so, I felt as if I was trespassing on their property or interrupting their training run. But then I would realize just as quickly that I was training for a marathon too and have as much right to the road as they do. Besides, they’re the ones who are interrupting my training. Where were these people last week or the week before that when I was busting my tail at the same place at the same time wondering if I was the only one on earth who’d be out on a training run around Central Park in the dead of night with no one and no company save the poor moon standing guard over me in the sky. I’m not complaining though, just saying how it is. I just wished that they wouldn’t give me such dirty looks as I’m running past them. Maybe if they were out here when I was out here the past few months, they’d be running past me instead of behind me. So stop trying to make me feel bad! Just my two cents; sorry for the rant. As for me, I just want to run well in the Queens Half Marathon this weekend. Everything else is just practice.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Why I Run
Reason #5 - For The "Runners' High"

One of my biggest fears that I have as a medical professional who is also a runner is that one day I will be asked to stand in front of a large audience of my colleagues and defend my sport using clinical facts and published data. I can just imagine someone asking me “So, Dr. Laminator, can you clarify for us the risks/benefits of running a marathon on bone health versus other forms of exercise?” or “what makes you believe that we, as a species, are equipped to run such long distances?” or my favorite, “Isn’t it clinically proven that your risk of injury is directly proportional to the number of miles you run?”

To be honest, four years of medical school plus six years of residency/fellowship training did very little to prepare me to answer these types of questions. Maybe I dozed off the day they covered these topics in a conference I attended. Maybe I should have extensively researched the facts before I started running. I don’t know, but then again, it’s hard to assume that a list of clinical objective data or undisputable medical findings would do very much to convince the cynics in the audience.

I think if I were ever put in such a position where I was asked to advocate my sport to an audience of fellow doctors, I’d skip the medical jargon and esoteric factoids and concentrate instead on my own perspectives, observations, and theories about running. I’d tell them that I’m the happiest guy around when I run well and can be downright miserable when I miss a run. I’d tell them about the “runner’s high” that can only be experienced on the road. And even though this amorphous interaction of endogenous endorphins cannot be extracted, quantified or otherwise demonstrated in a lab, it’s true, and it’s real, and it’s what keeps us going on the road long after others have stopped and given up. And if they’re interested, I’d invite them to come on a run with me so they can experience the feeling for themselves then explain to me what exactly is going on. Either way I’ll continue to strive, some days easier than others, to experience the “runner’s high”.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Running Confession

The truth finally came out today.On the one hand, I didn’t expect it to take this long, but on the other, I wished I could’ve kept it hidden for a little while longer. It happened this morning at around 10:30am on the first day of the seventh week of me at my new job. A bunch of colleagues and I were sitting in a conference room waiting for our departmental meeting to start. The conversation on the table was on those little medical ailments (like minimally high blood pressure) that we, as clinicians, were too busy to visit our own doctors for, and what each of us were doing on the side in terms of diet and exercise to stay healthy. Some people shared interesting tidbits they had gathered from the latest medical journals (apparently, the latest research shows that high sodium intake doesn’t cause hypertension, but low potassium intake does…really?) Others commented on the exercise regimens they were trying out to lose a few pounds. Eventually, the conversation shifted to me and I just froze.

Up to this point, I had kept my running life hidden from those that I was involved with in my professional life. Of course all my friends and family knew, but those at work, in this new job, had not a clue. I’m not sure why I never told anyone there. The quick and easy answer would be that the question never came up. But that would be at best a rationalization, at worse a white lie. I guess the real reason is because I was not sure how they would react and I was not yet ready to find out. I was afraid that either they would not care or care in the extent that I want them to care and I’d be insulted, or they’d care too much and start asking me questions about my running and I’d be too embarrassed to answer. In my mind, I thought I could avoid talking about it until after I show up at work one day, limping from place to place with a marathon medal around my neck. Then, there would be no need for words, no need for explanations.

But of course life never quite works out that way. So after hesitating for about a second to gather my thoughts, I told them all this morning about my running. I told them that I had run two marathons and was training to run a third in six weeks. After my “confession”, there was a couple soft “Oohs” and “Aahs” heard around the room. I waited patiently for the customary questions to begin. Only at that moment, the division chief quietly slipped into the room and sat down. We all took the cue, found our seats and the meeting began.

For the entire rest of the day, no one brought up the subject of running again, so I'm not sure if my colleagues’ perception of me changed as a result of my sudden revelation. More importantly, do they consider my running as a quirky or esoteric afterwork activity like kickboxing or wine-tasting, or do they recognize running and marathon training as a worthwhile endeavor that requires perspiration, dedication, patience and sacrifice? I’m not sure, but I’m probably going to find out in the next day or two.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Special 18-Miler

An ancient Chinese philosopher once said “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. I wasn’t planning on running a thousand miles today, just eighteen; but for some reason, I found it just as equally challenging to take first step today. Maybe it was the potential disaster at work this morning that drained all of my energy, or the fact that I was forced to miss my running mate’s out-of-town wedding this weekend because of work obligations that had me feeling demoralized the whole day, whatever the reason, I was just not feeling up to running long today. Although physically I was feeling well rested, after not running for the past couple days, psychologically, the prospect of running the hilly 6-mile Central Park course three times and spending potentially three hours running on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon didn’t sound particularly appealing to me. Nevertheless, I forced myself to go through the motions of getting ready and started walking towards the park. I was hoping that something along the way would grab my attention and inspire me. But instead, by the time I reached the park, all I got was a message on my Garmin 305 that the battery was low. I knew right then that it was just not going to be an easy run. So, I took one last sip of water from the fountain, tied my bandana taut around the back of my head and started running.

As marathon runners, most of the runs we do are defined by their intended effects on our training. There are short interval runs that are meant to build speed, long distance runs that are meant to teach endurance, tempo runs that train us for distance racing, and short recovery runs that help us recover from a hard workout. Collectively, they comprise the bulk of our training regimen. But once in a long while, if you pay attention, you find yourself engaged in a special run, where the purpose transcends the training. The run starts with you in one state and brings you to a totally different emotional state by the finish. Sometimes you are, but sometimes you are not, even aware of the transformation until after the journey has been completed.

I will spare you the specific details, but that’s what happened to me on my run today. Although my pace was slow and the last miles painful, I finished my run in a much better frame of mind than when I started. I fought through the boredom and the fatigue, and by perservering, received benefits that far outweighed any tangible effects it had on my training. I guess in the end that’s what inspires me to run everyday, even if I don’t feel like it. It’s that special ability, on any given run at any given time, to inspire you, to guide you, to change you from what you thought you were when you began to what you hope you will be when you finish, even if it is not so apparent to you before you take that first step.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Why I Run
Reason #4 - To Live Passionately

I woke up this morning to the news that Luciano Pavoratti passed away yesterday at the age of 71 from pancreatic cancer. Although I am not a fan of opera and have seen but one of his many inspiring performances at the Metropolitan Opera House, I couldn’t help but feel saddened by the news of his passing. Although he had many shortcomings as a man, it is undeniably that he is one of the most talented singers ever to grace the opera stage, and he lived a life that was driven by his passion of music.

It is not easy to live a passionate life in the current times. Everyday we are bombarded by tasks to complete and errands to run that we cannot help but become slaves to our responsibilities at home and in the workplace. Our lives become so dominated by the roles that we play that essentially they become all that we identify with. (Consider this mental exercise: If a random stranger at your next cocktail party came over and simply asks, “What are you?” What would you say? I bet most of us would instinctively answer with our job descriptions.) I’m not suggesting that that’s a bad thing, because obviously these roles we play and responsibilities we have are what sustains us and ensures our survival as a society and as a species. But if we allow the things we have to do to be ALL that we do, we run the risk of becoming solely habitual and passive, with every minute of every hour governed by rules and circumstances.

Running for me is my chance to be free from the shackles of my daily routine. For the one or two hours a day I spend on the road, I am my own master. I can run at a leisurely pace to feel the cool pre-dawn breeze if I want, or run fast to chase the sun before it has a chance to hide beneath the horizon. For those precious minutes, I am unreachable, under the jurisdiction of neither man nor circumstance. I can start my journey when it’s convenient for me and stop when I want to stop. I am not pressured by external factors to run a certain distance or a certain pace but rather by an innate desire to run strong and live a passionate life. Running, in essence, has become my passion, and for that, I run.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Top Ten Marathon Newbie Mistakes

As we enter September, some of us are entering the stretch run of our marathon training. To help those of you who are new to the sport, I’m going to list the top ten mistakes beginning runners make when prepping for a marathon. Some of these are from personal experience. Others are from lessons I’ve learned from other runners. This was inspired by a conversation I had over the weekend with a few friends who asked for my advice in helping them train for their first marathon. Hope you all find it if not useful, as least amusing. (Oh, and if you can come up with more, feel free to leave it in a comment!)

10. Trying to make up missed workouts by skipping rest days. Rest days during training are just as important as run days.
9. Running short on long runs and running long on short runs. Practice positive visualization. Consider it mental training.
8. Substantial running without substantial stretching. Always, always, always stretch before you run…always!
7. Not practicing hydration, or (the horror!) not hydrating at all, during runs. Drink plenty before, during, and after you run. Dehydration will not only kill your training, it can actually kill YOU.
6. Bringing the same number of gel packs for your 20-miler as for your 5-miler. The average runner needs one gel pack per hour of running. You do the math.
5. Disrespecting the taper. Stay focused and don’t let your legs dictate your pace during that last training month.
4. Playing tackle football with the guys the Sunday before your marathon. Avoid all high-risk, high-contact activities during your taper, unless you’d rather watch the marathon from the sidelines.
3. Not knowing the course before you run. You wouldn’t take a final without studying for it, so why start now.
2. Not knowing your race pace, or starting out too fast anyway. If you’ve never run a marathon before, the way you feel at mile 20 will be inversely proportional to your speed burst at mile 1, trust me.
And…1. Forgetting to have fun while you run. Remember that the marathon is our Super Bowl, runners. Savor the moments.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

My Want To Be Elite

Something struck my fancy as I watched the live broadcast of the women’s marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Osaka Japan earlier today. Now I must admit, I’ve never watched a marathon event on television before, so what I’m about to say might make me sound uneducated or pompous. Needless to say, I have the utmost respect and admiration for those elite women who, on a blistering hot and humid day, ran faster than I ever will in perfect weather. (Click here for the full race report.) But…did you know that each elite runner have personal bottles at every water station that’s filled with the beverage of their choice? (Actually, it caused a bit of a ruckus during the race because one of the runners inadvertently knocked Catherine Ndereba’s bottle down to the ground at a water station and she had to drop back from the lead position to pick it up. The fact that she did and still went on to win the race with a comfortable margin speaks volumes about her incredible talent and athleticism.) Still, I never knew that elites were allowed to have their beverage preference catered to them during a race. I wonder if that practice is specific to the world championship or if it was standard across all marathons. Imagine the possibilities if we ordinary runners were afforded such luxury.

The only thing similar I can compare it to was when Lance Armstrong ran NYCM last year with his own professional pacer and refreshment cart. I know a lot of people in the running community hated him for doing that. At the time, as a spectator and a marathoner, I didn’t particularly care one way or the other. I just thought it was funny how there was one motorcycle, one van, and an entire entourage of escorts following this one runner in the midst of a race with 30,000+ other participants.

But today I had a totally different reaction. After watching the emotional and exciting finish, the voice in my head kept telling me, “That’s why you train, Laminator. If you can’t be Kenyan, at least you can be elite.”

So I changed, went to the park, and ran twelve miles, yelling the entire way, “In my mind, I am elite!”

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Unscheduled Days Off Really Suck

I’m not a running fanatic really. But when you’ve organized your schedule, blocked off the allotted time, charged the GPS, checked the weather (68° with no humidity, perfect!), woke up early to hit the john, got breakfast, prepped the ipod, and then suddenly realize that your left knee is not feeling quite right and it’s a bit swollen, oh that ticks me off. The worse part is, I have no idea how it got that way in the first place. I had no pain on my tempo run on Thursday, and took yesterday completely off, so how did it happen? And the more I rubbed on it, the more it started to hurt and so in a span of a few minutes, it went from a barely noticeable twitch to this searing pain right behind my kneecap that’s now hurting so much I have to limp to walk across the apartment. Well, there goes the idea of just limping to the park and testing it out. Yeah, that would not have been smart.

And so that’s how it came to be that I missed my run today and I’m ranting about unscheduled days off. Luckily the plan this weekend only called for an easy 12-miler. (Although secretly, I had aspirations of stretching it out to 18 if the wheels were still clickin’ at the end of 12.) Hopefully, this latest mysterious ailment is just an apparition and I’ll wake up tomorrow morning feeling fine and ready for a makeup run. How I’ll find another three-hour time slot to fit that run in between work, errands, and dinner plans with a friend, will be an entirely different matter.

Clicky Web Analytics