Saturday, June 05, 2004

Running Notes

Cool, rainy Saturday morning. It was nice to get out in the weather. Might seem crazy to some to run in the rain, but there were golfers on the golf course. sNot that’s crazy – at least I’m in a t shirt and shorts. I have been having some hamstring problems lately but today felt great. I developed soreness in my left leg a few weeks back. It seemed to be hamstring related but the discomfort shifted from time to time – sometimes it seemed more in the piriformis, sometimes in the hip flexor area. Around the time I that developed it, I discovered I had a planter wart (kept feeling I was walking on a pebble.) Even though I didn’t feel any pain when in my running shoes I wondered if it had made me changed stride. I did see my family physician about it but he believed it was only because my hamstring was tight (especially since the soreness lessened as I ran and only returned 24 hours later and it was obvious my range of motion for the left leg was poor). I have been faithfully stretching and using the stick (which I highly recommend - works great) and have already seen an improvement and this morning’s run convinces me I’m on the right track. Doc said he could burn the planter wart but then I couldn’t run for a week and he knew I wouldn’t like that (he gets it bless his soul). He recommended I simply use an otc treatment. It seems to be working.

Because I had been feeling sore I had cut back quite a bit on my running. It turns out that if you go from 20 mile weekends to 8 mile weekends and don’t change caloric intake to results are weight increase (dud). I was 189 in doc’s office – highest in several years. When people try to lose they are told go slow, don’t expect to lose rapidly, etc. Why the hell does it gone on so fast! Actually it’s been creeping up since Christmas but the last six weeks were especially dramatic. It’s back to no treats, no seconds, low fats. It’s a rotten spiral – run less, weight increases, makes running harder and more injury prone, run less. My wife wanted me to give up beer but I kept the beer and gave up the peanuts, pretzels, chips that accompany the beer.

Last Sunday I did a 10K in Ventnor NJ (and no I shouldn’t have been racing at that point but I went nice and slow and actually felt better after the run). This was the flattest, straightest 10K I have ever run. It must be difficult to train in such an environment and probably explains why I saw runners going over the Ocean City Bridge since that would be one of the only ways to get in hill workouts. The race had a strange synchronicity moment – after the race when I checked the results I noticed that the runner following me was Mary Brooks. I was vaguely aware that there was a young lady behind me but never spoke to her. I wish I had a chance to speak to her to see if there was any connection.

I realized Sunday that I really don’t prefer out and back courses. I know there’s probably some benefit to knowing the return course but I much prefer loop courses. I now realize that is why I prefer my northerly trail course over my south course. The north course allows me to make a wide loop and only repeat the last half mile while the south course which I did yesterday is an out and back. I am curious if any one else has a preference for one over the other and if so why.

There is a beach replenishment project underway in Ventnor. Lot of people don’t like it because it has created sand dunes that block the beach for beach front house. I think it is pretty cool. Fascinating to see the sand slurry coming out of the huge pipe and the bulldozers moving the results up the beach. They worked 24 hours straight thru the holiday weekend must be anxious to get it done before the season really gets going. Costing millions and will probably all be gone in the first big coastal storm.