Saturday, February 19, 2011

How Not To Improve Your Running

My racing days are nearly 2 years behind me and I am happy to be in my "love to run" mode.  I have read countless articles stating that a runner must have goals and always strive to get better.  I raced my best 10k when I was 22 years old.   My best marathon at 25 years old.  My best mile was when I was 17 years old.  Some how this getting better thing does not compute.  I have been slowing down for over 30 years.  Maybe improvement is relative.  I seem to enjoy my runs more.  I can run longer than I could when I was 17 years old. I rarely get sore after a run.

Here is  my newest training schedule:  I run when I feel like it and don't run when I don't feel the desire.  My distance goal is to get out the door and do something  My time improvements are measured in how fast I can find my running shorts and a clean shirt.

Last night it rained for most of the night and it was cold and sunny when I got out of bed.  I did not have too  many choices in running shoes since I took my trail running shoes back to REI because I kept on twisting my ankle due to the high lift and my Vibram Five Fingers have an  entire side seam blown.  The only remaining shoes that I had at my disposal were the huarche sandals.  Forty degrees with socks in my running sandals was an odd combination.  I gave it try for  a half mile and got rid of the socks.  My toes never did warm up.  I just could not get a comfortable fit with  the socks unless I retied the sandals.  Too much work for me.

When I glanced up at Mission Peak, I noticed snow at approximately 1700 feet.  My thoughts immediately drifted to Rose Peak which on occasion gets light to heavy dusting of snow.  I am not brazen enough to attempt sock less, let alone shoe less in snow.  I am wimpy when it comes to cold weather.  With the sun shining warmly on my face, I was glad that Mission Peak and all it's snow was in my rear view.

I still dream of running sub 3 hour marathons.  But in reality, the training would be a nightmare.  I think I will stick to my plodding like a turtle and enjoy running for the sites and solitude.

This morning just as I was returning from my hour run, I noticed a man up on a neighbors roof cleaning the dryer vent.  I recently lost a brush while attempting to clean my own vent.  The tube is 15 feet  and I needed someone to climb on the roof and fish it out.  I yelled up to him and we agreed on $25.  See, even business can be conducted on a run.  

I noticed him run to his truck to retrieve the ladder.  There was something graceful in his steps.  He was at least 55 years old, yet he ran like a kid.  I asked him if was a wide receiver back in his days.  He smiled with a twinkle in his eyes and said "Yes, how did you know?"  I said to him "You still got it!"  Climbing a ladder to get on a 20 foot roof was as fun for this former wide receiver as it was for this former half miler to plod on a dirt trail.

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