Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hitting a Car; Hitting the Wall; and Poop Talk

Farmington Canal Linear Park trail: 57 degrees. 6.1 miles; Splits: 9:09; 9:16; 9:27; 9:34; 9:32; 9:40; :54; 57:32; 9:25 per mile pace.

WARNING: Written while I still had a runner's high. This post is all over the place.
Update on my back issue and my "training" for the half. My back pain is GONE! It disappeared as quickly as it came. Thank-you everyone for your suggestions. For now, I'm not seeing the doctor, PT, or a Chiropractor. However, I expect to have to see any or all of the above after running the half on Sunday.
I ran a 6 miler today. I decided that since I hadn't run since last Thursday, and because of my recent back issues, I would take it easy on my body and back and run on the trail. It was a comfortable 57 degrees, the sun was shining, and therefore it was a shorts day. I arrived at the trail at 5 p.m., and was surprised that the parking lot closest to the trail was full. After parking across the street in another lot, I did my stretches. Aren't you proud of me?! My Garmin, Rachael, was getting impatient, so off I went. I immediately noticed that there were a lot of dogs being walked on the crushed gravel part alongside of the paved trail. I learned the hard way a few weeks ago to make sure I kept my eyes open for doggy poo "minefields." One of them "exploded" underneath my right shoe a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I didn't know this until I took my running shoes out of my closet a few days later and happened to check underneath them. By that time, a screwdriver was a necessary tool so that I could chisel the dried super-pooper off the bottom of my shoe. I made the mistake of telling my wife about it. She of course wanted to know where exactly I had walked after entering our house with super-pooper shoe. I of course couldn't remember. Fortunately there wasn't a trail of poop around our house. I think the crushed gravel acted as doggy litter. Sorry, I got sidetracked...Today's run started off great. Here comes another "TMI" moment. About 1/2 mile into my run, I passed by "Pink Ponytail Girl" (PPG). PPG was making me look bad, which today wasn't too difficult, but I'll get to that in a minute. PPG was looking good. Here's the TMI part. Female runners with ponytails are visually appealing. Now, I know a majority of my readers are woman, so I just wanted to put that out there. You may comment on that if you'd like. Or, you can silently call me a "pig" and not comment. Your choice. My wife Kathy (Kash in my comments) reads my blog. I'm sure her comment will be in person. Our couch is comfortable, by the way. So anyhow, my first mile I'm smiling and waving to everyone as I'm running, and having a grand 'ol time. I'm thinking that the layoff wasn't such a bad thing, and my back's not hurting, and my stride is good, my 70's tunes and your suggested songs are sounding good, the sun is shining, life is good, and this planned 6 miler might become an 8 miler. I felt that good. Mile 1, and Rachael sweetly beeps and displays a 9:09 split time. I was psyched. Heck, I wasn't even trying, and I had run a 9:09. Yup, 8 miles was definitely a possibility. So I slowed down the pace a little, so that I could better pace myself for the soon to be longer run. I'm still feeling good, and pass mile 2 with a 9:16 split time. Heading to mile 3, I'm still running comfortably, but common sense took over. I decided that I would turn around at mile 3, complete my 6 miles, and if I was still feeling good, could do another mile out and back to get my 8. Who was better than me at that point? Of course, seeing a few more ponytails passing me by didn't hurt. Sorry, I had to say that. I turned around, and started back. Within the next 1/4 mile, my "mojo" started disappearing. I have no idea why. My fun run quickly was becoming a suck it up and finish run. Lead Leg Syndrome (LLS)arrived. At about 3 3/4 miles, the trail crossed the road. There were two cars coming, and although they are supposed to stop and yield, I could sense that the driver of the first car wasn't going to. I had misjudged the distance between us, and I arrived at the crosswalk at the same time he did. He didn't slow down, and I narrowly avoided running into the side of his car. Fortunately he was driving less than the speed limit (25), so I had enough time to call him a f*ckin' asshole and smacked the rear of his car with my hand as I crossed behind it. At that point he hit his brakes, and I saw him look back to see what had happened. I don't think he ever saw me until he looked back to see what had hit his car. I do think he was in his 70's. There was a couple that witnessed the entire incident, and commented something like "unbelievable that he never slowed down or stopped for you." Yes, I was childish in the way I handled it. However, at least I'm alive and able to admit I was childish. Mile 4 split was a 9:34, not surprising because my LLS hadn't improved, plus my "near death" experience. I continued to suck it up, and although I was slower, I was steady. I wasn't feeling any pain. Mile 5 arrived, "Rachael" beeped, and it was a 9:32. Yuck...but better than I'd expected. After mile 5, I had one last street to cross. There weren't any cars to be seen, so I started across. Suddenly, for only the second time in my running career, I felt as if I hit a wall. Yes, I "hit the wall" at mile 5. It only lasted about a minute, but it was definitely "the wall." So, obviously an 8 miler was out of the question. Making it the final what turned out to be 1.1 miles was all that mattered. It was difficult, but of course this blog makes me accountable, so I did it. That's why I added the extra .1, just to end with something positive. With 5 days to the half, and only one or two more runs to go before it, I'm in trouble. My endurance is poor. Hills are a challenge. My state of mind isn't as good as it should be. I'm hoping that running with 10,000+ other runners on Sunday will help, as will any crowd support that's there at 7:30 a.m. Yes, the race starts at 7:30 a.m. Oh, and I live two hours away, but that's another story...

11 comments:

Silvergirl said...

Hang in there! Have faith!! Good luck!

Julie said...

Hi Rick,
I am so glad to hear that your back pain is gone!! Good job on your run:) I have not had a runners high in some time. You are lucky:) When I run my half marathons I hit the wall at mile ten:( I hate that! Good luck:)

Cynthia O'H said...

Glad your back is better. Great post.

Good luck with the half. You've got the determination to finish just fine.

Leelee said...

Good luck! If I can do a halfmary, anyone can!!!

Staci Dombroski said...

Glad to hear the back pain is gone!

Beth said...

A run thru NYC is always fun! No doubt you'll have a great race and a fun day! I'm jealous!

onelittletrigirl said...

Drivers are so unaware of runners/bikers. Scary stuff and I am glad to read you are okay!

Good luck and keep faith :)

Carlee said...

drivers are much more likely to stop in hamden than in cheshire, just saying. This is an observation I have made on the path. They are even more likely to stop in Wallingford and far less likely to stop in Fairfield.

Hannah said...

Yay for disappearing back pain! And "Dad" - really? You're a ponytail chaser? Hope the couch didn't jack your back up again...

Mel-2nd Chances said...

sorry, but had to laugh at the "couch is comfortable" bit! So sorry to hear about your back, as you can tell, I'm trying to catch up on blogs too!

lindsay said...

Glad your back is doing better. Maybe if you didn't sleep on the couch so much you wouldn't have trouble at all ... :) Also glad the car run-in wasn't serious! Close call, even if he was "only" going 25. I'm sure the body is not meant to take that kind of impact anyway.