Friday, August 17, 2012

Amazing how much smarter your dad gets

Day 11 -- Aug. 17, 2012

Today I'm 192 pounds of rolling thunder.

And I'm a lot happier 192 pounds of rolling thunder than the past few days. Anytime I get bad news in my life I have to gauge just how much energy it's worth to sulk, pout or stomp around before I get over it.

Most instances, to my mind, deserve about a 30-minute to an hour sulk. I've found it's very cathartic to have your go-to friend who you can whine to. Usually it's a pre-agreed arrangement. That person can come to you when they're mad at their kids, or boss, or the electric company and get it all out.

Sometimes it just helps to say it out loud, so someone hears it. And then you move on.

Earlier this week, I had one that I let it in my craw for most of a day, and I know it affected my run.

But yesterday was a new day. I had time to do split workouts, so I spun at home for 45 minutes in the morning and then put in about an hour on the streets in the late afternoon.

It was a good run. I cleared all the hills on my medium route. The temperatures were down and my cycling seems to loosen my range of motion up.

When I got home, our boys were just back from cross country practice, so we were sharing our war stories for the day. And also all the aches and pains that are starting to come as the first week of practice wears on.

Fresh legs can be hard to come by sometimes. Our older son was complaining of sore legs. It seems the upper level workouts are longer and harder than he's been used to.

I was reminded of a couple of go-to tricks some old-timers taught me along the way. Both are cheap and effective. The first I learned on my first attempt at Biking Across Kansas, the eight-day, 500-mile death march across my home state.

Around the fourth day, my legs were sore, dead and achy -- in no particular order. Then some wise bikers took me in and showed me the way. The first thing was to elevate my legs against the wall to as close to 90 degrees as possible.

The second step involved taking baby oil and using it for self-massage starting at your ankle and working the blood in your legs toward your heart. It's an old biker's trick for getting the lactic acid out of your legs, and getting people to gawk at your absurd behavior all at the same time.

But I'll tell you, 10-15 minutes of this after a run or a long ride and the next day goes much easier.

The next lesson came from my dad, who has become extremely smarter over the past 30 years. I remember as a teen having my first really badly turned ankle, so he went to the bathroom cabinet and pulled out the Epson salts.

Athletes and folks with sore muscles have used Epson salts for years as a way to pull the ache out of tired muscles and ligaments. They aren't fancy, sexy or smell like a bottle of Ben-Gay. But they are cheap and effective and readily available.

So yesterday we tried the self-massage on the lad. Today maybe it will be the Epson salts. I just hope this is the start of me getting smarter in my child's mind, just like I know my dad has grown more intelligent through the years.

So, if you see the world's slowest human out there grinding the pavement today, give me a wave.

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