Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sometimes you've got to take the bad with the good

Today I am 190.2 pounds of rolling thunder.

Sometimes my back and I have serious disagreements. Other times, we just hold discussions on how the day is going to go. Usually, the issues are more a matter of discussion than serious disagreement.

So today things are a little balky. I should have seen it coming, but the week of running had gone so well it was hard to imagine things would end this way.

It was a good week of running. I made my usual 5- and 6-mile loops without any walking. In fact, I was able to climb all the hills without so much as one walked step. I was also able to accelerate just a bit on a few of the climbs, which normally does not happen.

But yesterday, the wheels started coming off. I wanted to do a timed 3 miles to see if I had made any progress, but just a few strides into my first hill climb I knew it wasn't to be. The strength in my legs and lungs just was not there.

I walked and ran up the first half-mile hill, stretched and then hit the road. I slogged through a mile in pretty good time, but when I made the turn, I decided to shut things down. This dog would live to fight another day.

But that day won't be today. Balky back and I are in negotiations. Tylenol and other meds are involved. Hopefully it's just a discussion and not a serious disagreement.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Every Dog Has His Day

Today I am 194.0 pounds of rolling thunder.

It's been a long, long time since I've had a day like today while I was out running. Seldom are my lungs, legs and body all in agreement and we can move forward without one or a couple of them disagreeing with the process, which means more walking and less running.

But today something was different. For the first time in forever I was able to scale the three peaks -- OK, large rises -- that are on my 6-mile loop without walking. In fact, except for a couple of very brief stoplight breaks, I was on the move running for all of the loop without taking a walking break.

Maybe it was the cooler weather. The temperature was down about 10 degrees but still warm enough to run without a shirt. And the humidity was normal for this time of year.

Maybe it was the day off I had yesterday from running because I pulled a double shift and worked from 8 a.m. until after midnight. The old fresh legs theory at work, obviously.

Or maybe, I'm finally getting into some sort of running shape. The fact is, my last three runs have been fairly good. I've noticed an increased ability to run up hills and to extend to longer distances. On Sunday I ran a timed 3 miles, and while the time was embarrassingly slow, the promising part is I did it with wrist weights on and didn't have to walk at all.

So I'll take small victories where I can get them!

I'm sure as the world's slowest runner it won't be long and the hills will be calling my name again But for one day, I made the loop without a stop, and I'll take that to the bank.

Good luck my fellow runners. Be safe. Pray for some rain. And give me a wave if you see the world's slowest runner out on the streets.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Summer Running: The Heat is On

Today I am 190.0 pounds of rolling thunder.

The heat is on, and the running has gotten gritty. I have to say, however, I like running in the heat much more than battling the cold. I don't know about the rest of you, but bundling up in layers and then peeling them all off after an hour or so of running in the freezing cold is not my favorite thing.

Another big plus to running in the warm weather is the fact that I seem to be finding my wind again. Last week, I even climbed my arch nemesis big hill without stopping and it felt good.

Now I'm still the same walking and running wimp that has to take periodic walking breaks, but recently I've made my normal circuits with far fewer and far shorter walking breaks. I'll probably never not have to allow for some degree of walking, but it feels great when I can fight up over the bumps I call hills without slowing to a stroll.

The other change in my formula this summer has been to cut out sodas. That's right. No more Cokes, or colas or pop. Man, as a person addicted to that knockout punch of caffeine, this has been a tough one.

But I've noticed some changes. My weight is down (a little) and my endurance is up. I don't feel those tremendous energy swings that I did while on the sauce.

So the heat is on, and the soda is off. Hopefully I'll catch some of you out on the road in the near future. Remember, if you see the world's slowest human out there pounding the pavement, give me a wave as you run on by.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Summer or not, game on runners

Today I am 193.6 pounds of rolling thunder.

This is the time of year when the air gets thick, the temperatures rise, and my excuses to run less and walk more become increasingly plentiful. If there's an excuse for not running you need rationalized, I'm your guy.

But I also get really mad at myself when I can't run as far or as fast as I should. You'd think a grown person would be able to go more than a half a mile at a time without a brief walk, but there are days when that doesn't happen for me.

So today I had my sights set on running more and walking less. The past week of running has been filled with fits and starts as the heat built back in and my running seemed to be more labored.

Being the world's slowest human, it generally comes as no surprise when people jet past me out on the streets. Real runners. Ladies with jogger strollers. Old men with dogs. You name it, and they pretty much zoom past me at will.

So today when a woman passed me on the opposite side of the street on my usual 4-mile loop it really came as no surprise. Usually I just watch as those young legs race off into the distance while I am powerless to give chase.

Today's passerby was no different. I was making my slow trek over some rollers when she raced by. But for fun and as a challenge to myself I thought I'd try to keep running as long as she was running. And then, she walked. But I kept running. She talked on her cellphone. I kept running.

She topped the hill and started running again, so I figured the game was over. I've acquired a taste for the dust that gets kicked  in your face when you're as slow as I am.

Then she walked again, which gave me an excuse to walk -- which I did. But before long I was running again and she kept walking.

The next thing I knew, I was passing someone. Granted I was the only one who knew we were competing. But yes, I was moving past another human being who was out running. I had broken my own rule and passed someone, and this time she was under 80.

Now this didn't keep me from walking up a few more hills as I extended my loop from 4 to 5 miles after being inspired by this feat. But it did put a little more spring in my step, or was that just the naproxen talking?

Either way, I felt inspired. And when I looked back over my shoulder, my confidence took a turn for the worse as I noticed my running partner had turned off onto another street. I guess the taste of dust isn't as sweet as I had become accustomed to.

More than likely, her cellphone could get better reception on another street.

Anyway, you see the world's slowest human out there on the heated streets, give me a wave.