Or, Why $1 Dollar Doesn’t Make Up For The Pain of A Long Run
Months ago, I profiled my own scientifically proven speed building technique called Limbo Running. You all learned a 100% proven effective speed technique, giggled along as I twisted fartlek to say “fart lick”, and were introduced for the first time to the Church of Garmin. Looking back, that post contained it all…including my first mention of orphanage robbery! Pride!
During Monday night’s 20 miler, I stumbled across another training technique I had been inadvertently practicing. And it happens to involve one of my favorite English language words: akimbo.
To refresh, I had wimped out on Sunday’s planned 20 mile long run due to water. It was raining. It makes my make up run. So, under a cool, breezy 62 degree Monday evening, I decided to knock it out post work. Or, at least, go as far as I wanted before making up some excuse why I couldn’t finish. If I interpreted the comments from Monday morning’s post correctly, there were many along the lines of You are crazy to do this after work and You must be a super nunchuk ninja and Why are you so devilishly handsome? (Some of these were implied but came through clearly to me. And thank you.)
Understand that my work day doesn’t really prevent me from knocking out a long run afterwards. I sit on my increasingly flat, nearly concave ass all day. In fact, rather than fatigue, my legs are nearing atrophy by the time my day ends. I’ll go a couple of hours at a time in the same seated position until my head thunks down on the desk sending me into a startled, co-worker seeking frenzy. The biggest danger I face is rising from the chair to my weakening legs for another cup of coffee (mornings) or water (afternoons) or restrooming (sprinkled throughout the day but more in the morning due to the coffee). I could pull a hammy if I elevate too quickly. Construction workers, firemen, police officers face their own job related dangers but I doubt any of them could pull a hammy standing up. So who has it worse?
The plan was 20 miles broken into a 7 mile loop and two 6.5 mile loops. At the end of each loop, Roctane Gu and Gatorade. I wanted to go easy on the first loop, pick it up on the second, and then ease back on the third again.
Yeah, right. I did whatever I wanted once the tunes started playing. You try “easing back” during some spirited Linkin Park. It doesn’t happen.
First loop came in a bit faster than I wanted.
Second loop was about right.
Third loop was too fast until about mile 17 when a few nuts and bolts started loosening and dipped my pace by 30 seconds or so before pulling it together for the final mile.
A bit too fast for what I was looking to accomplish on this run. My 21 miler in two weeks will need to be slower. I’ll need to ditch the Linkin Park, Metallica, and Killers for some Peabo Bryson I think.
Of interest, at mile 18, what did my wondering eyes see but the unmistakable image of a green folded bill sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. Please be a $20. Please be a $20. Being a ninja (implied and thank you), I did a front back flip landing a perfect crouching tiger right in front of the monetary target.* Sensing no hidden dragons in the brush, I cackled with glee and swooped up the folded bill. And ran on.
Fudge pops. A dollar? Who walks around with just a dollar anymore?? Oh, right, some snot nosed kid on his way to the candy store I passed a mile ago. Tough shit, kid, it’s my dollar now. Here’s a free lesson: Don’t wear baggy pants or I’ll steal things from you.
Afterwards, basking in the glow of knocking out the first twenty miler for this training season, knowing some kid got screwed out of SweetTarts, and dining on a reheated ham steak**, I noticed that both of my elbow joints and the chiseled muscles above them were sore. Calves sore? Yep. Hamstrings? A bit tender. Ass muscles? Not as concave as they were a few hours ago. But, elbows???
Then I remembered that, as the miles increased, I caught myself tensing up. My shoulders and arms became more rigid. In fact, I distinctly remember my elbows bowing out away from my hips causing my hands to turn inward. I was running akimbo. If I was setting a wicked screen in basketball, this would have been fine. Or blocking for a tailback. Or even trying out for a part in the background ensemble of Pirates of Penzance. But not when running.
Several times, I reminded myself to relax and loosen up.
Limbo running? A wonderful training technique. Akimbo running? Not recommended. Unless you want to look like the biggest elbow pointed akimbo dipshit on the path.
So, here I sit today with long run completed. One dollar richer. But elbows sore and interfering with my ability to prop my head up and feign work concentration while getting some zzzz’s.
I would trade all of the found dollars in the world to stop my akimbo running.
* Meaning: I eased gently to a stop, bent over slowly with an audible ‘oh, shit’ and then trotted back into a run praying my Achilles wouldn’t snap.
** We are the folks that buy “ham steak”. Don’t judge.
Incidentally, is Srod the only one of you that is going to point out that a pumpkin is a fruit and NOT a vegetable? I served one up for you people and you failed. Now do you see why you didn't get that special edition 200th post?