Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12th, 2011 - 2.13 Mile Run

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Looking at the distance, this may look like a pretty worthless run. I have to admit that normally I wouldn’t even bother lacing up the Asics for fewer than 3 miles. But wait! What makes a short workout a kickass workout?! Oh, you guessed, Baby! Hills!!!!

This was a hilly, trail run. It was interesting because it was psychological as well as physical. Earlier today, while I was working, I put in the old ear buds and listened to an interview with Dean Karnaze by Living the Run, where he talks about the Western States 100-mile race. The endurance that it takes to complete something like that is insane, to put it mildly. Let’s set aside winning for a minute. Even completing something like that boggles the mind of even the most experienced runner, I’m sure.

He said something like, you run the first 50 miles with your legs and the last 50 miles with your mind and I imagine that’s true. I tend to hit the wall at mile 7 and I have to repeat mantras, change my stride or even my music in order to just…. keep….. moving!

I knew this run was going to be challenging because it was a hill run and I wanted to incorporate the trail I did that last time I ran on my lunch break. Ever since I sprained my ankle 20 years ago after some hardcore endurance event that would kick any big bad football player’s arse (cheerleading practice), I have been prone to rolling my ankle. Honestly, I could just be standing there and I’ll tweak my ankle somehow. It’s maddening!!! Needless to say, I make it a point to watch every step when I’m trail running. And like anyone else, I think, hill work tires me almost immediately.

After listening to the amazing Dean K and also as I’m reading “Born to Run…” I am learning that the greatest runners make friends with fatigue. I think what happens to me (and most people) when I’m running is that my heart rate gets really high when I’m working hard and my muscles get exhausted and something very near panic sets in. Then you have to stop and walk just to regulate your breathing. What I am learning is that it is possible to just relax. To figuratively “settle into” the run and regulate my breathing while I am still moving and then when I’ve recovered, I can tackle that hill or that stretch of trail or whatever. So this run was about me trying to perfect that process. It really was great. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a big fan of hill work or trails, but I really enjoyed this run.

Before the run, I fueled up like the Tarahumara, with Pinole and Chia Seeds. They worked like a charm. I felt energized the entire time and I never felt dehydrated. But again, it was a *really* short run. I still have to try it on a longer run. But so far, I’m a fan.

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