Saturday, March 14, 2009

Running Down the Road Like Loose Electricity!

"Running down the road like loose electricity." This lyric from the song "Breathe" on U2's "No Line on the Horizon" was playing on my iPod as I did today's run. I just like the phrase. I don't know what "loose electricity" feels like but to me it is when the running is going good and you can just tune out the world, stretch your stride out, listen to an iPod, and dream ridiculous dreams about running fast and free. Another song from the same album has the line, "The right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear" from "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight".

This afternoon I laced on a new pair of running shoes and headed out the door. My legs felt pretty good so off I went and ended up running 15 miles. I am enjoying the long runs and the fact that I can do them more easily has me thinking that my running can go real well this year. My goal for years has been to run 75-100 miles per week during the summer months. I haven't been able to do that due to my back, hips, and legs always being out of alignment. I think I might be starting to get it right. If I can start building a base now, where 15 mile runs feel this easy, I can start adding up the miles so that I can get that summer of running in that I haven't been able to do. The other goal is to take off 20-25 pounds. Then if I can stay injury free, I can go after my ridiculous goals for the Falmouth Road Race and for the Applefest Half-Marathon.

I have a role model in another newly minted 50 year old runner, Mike Merra. Look at what he has done this past year. He has been bumping up his weeks to 70 mile weeks and now an 80 mile week. Lots of determination and dropping the weight will get you there. A couple of weeks ago I saw Mike running at the indoor track at Hampshire Hills. He looked loose and strong and had the stride of a much younger runner. Another 50 year old athlete doing all the things it takes is Scotty Graham. Look at what he is doing to keep his body running its best. All you younger runners pay attention because this is the work you too will be doing someday if you continue to love running and desire to do it well.

My new running shoes are Nike Lunaracers. I haven't replaced my daily running shoe since the Applefest Half-Marathon last fall when I bought a new pair of Asic Hyper-Speed 2's. They have lasted quite a while. I wasn't sure the Lunaracers would work for me. They are lightweight (boy- are they!) but they seem to have more of a sole that I am used to. I had to order them online. I ordered a 1/2 size larger than normal as I heard they fit tight. They came yesterday and fit my feet fine although I would like a little more room for my toes. They feel very cushiony, but when you run with them they feel flat and firm and with a pleasant spring to them. I had no problems running the 15 miles and was thinking about going more, but I was developing a bit of irritation on top of the middle toes of my left foot. I think these are going to be very good running shoes for me. Plus they are so vibrant that you feel like loose electricity running down the road!

If you want to see a truly wonderful running stride. Check out this video of High School freshman, Lukas Verzbicus, setting a new High School indoor 5000m track record Friday night. That is right, he set a high school record as a freshman (although he is about 1 year older than most freshmen). He is from Lithuania and moved to the US before becoming a runner. Don't expect to see him run Spring track however. He is going back to racing triathlons! By the way he ran 14:18 indoors. His long stride reminds me of my college teammate, Danny Henderson. Danny won the NCAA 5000m track championships in 1979 and 1980 in 14:17 and 13:55 as well as a first place Div. 3 cross country championship (and 2 days later 10th place in the NCAA Div. 1 championship). Danny eventually ran 13:23 for 5000m running for Athletics West. This kid has the same skinny leg long stride. He is running almost as fast as a collegiate champion at 16 years old! Very impressive!


Scotty "PHAT" Graham said...

Jim, Looks like you're running is really coming together. Keep plugging there buddy. See you on the roads.

Jim Hansen said...

Well lets hope it lasts! I still have a way to go.

Mike Merra said...

Thanks Jim!! Cathy and I have been able to find many great stretching ideas from your blog that have kept us going and enjoyed your masters post and link to Peter Magill from earlier week. Mike

Jim Hansen said...

I am very interested to see how you two do at Boston. You certainly have done exceptional training and I hope your races exceed your expectations!