Sunday, April 11, 2010

Running like a Turkey

photo by Steve Wolfe (more photos)

Today was a race day and I was very excited to run the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter 10k race this morning. It was to be a test of my fitness and the start of the racing season. I had got up to 60 miles last week and toned it down a bunch this week so that I could be ready. I only ran on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but each day I ran my 8 miler pretty well. All three were my fastest times on the route this year. With that in mind I decided to take Saturday off too, so I would be well rested.

Saturday a package arrived for me in the mail. I had decided to order the "Kettlebells From the Ground Up" DVD that I wrote about here. I started looking through the manual and then started watching the first of the two dvds. I reallly liked the content, the instructions, and the background information as presented by Gray Cook and Brett Jones. After watching, I was ready to try out what I was learning. So a started doing the Turkish-Getups "naked". Naked just means without weight or a kettlebell. It helps you hone the movements before adding weight.

This DVD is all about one exercise, the Turkish get-up.  As luck would have it, I have a picture of my first ever Turkish Get-up. This is a photo of me in the summer of 1979 doing a college summer study. We spent 3 days in Turkey. The location is Sardis. I did a get-up in Turkey and am sitting on the top of an ionic styled pillar in the ruins of the Temple of Artemus.

Anyhow the DVD breaks down the get-up into seven steps. I was practicing the steps and the corrective actions for about half an hour. Later after dinner, I was still feeling energetic so I started doing the moves with a kettlebell. I did another half an hour or so of steps, corrective actions, and get-ups. I was learning a lot, but I wasn't smart enough to think about the impact this work would have on my running today. The get-up involves lunging as one of the steps. It is a good exercise, but not when done so heavily before a race. I also did about half an hour of light stretching using the TRX last night. I don't know if that had any impact.

I knew I was in trouble the second I started my warm-up. My glutes and hamstring were stiff and tight. My quads and calf muscles were a bit tired too. I could not get a strong or loose stride going at all. When the race started, I tried to force my muscles to work, but I had a very short powerless stride. I felt like I was running in sand the whole race. In other words, it did not go well. I was being passed left and right, and I had no response in my legs. Halfway through, three other 50 year runners went by, although at the time I didn't realize two were in my age group. I started to feel a bit better on the last mile, but it was much too late. I ended up about one minute slower that last year with my slowest 10K ever (results here). At least I was fourth in my age group and scored 7 points for the Gate City Striders in the NH Grand Prix. According to the age graded times for the race, it was the equivalent of a 36:51 10K, but I am still not happy!

Some days are just not good days. I won't mention names, but a much faster teammate had an even worse day than me out there, so these things happen. Mine could have been prevented, if only I was not so foolish about introducing so much work on the Get-ups in the previous day. I think I will slow down my work on that exercise, but I think it will provide tons more benefits, then the one poor day of running I recieved from being so gung-ho about practicing them. Yesterday was Turkish Get-up day. Today was just a day to run like a Turkey.

On that trip through Turkey, I had an interesting run in a place called Hieropolis, I went out before evening for a solo run from my hotel. It got dark as I headed back. I was running up the road which was over a cliff looking down at some white calcium rocks from the hot springs in the area. I wasn't paying attention or I just couldn't see, but I ran into a man who was walking with another man and some donkeys. I was startled as I am sure they were too, and they started yelling at me and chasing me down the road. Fortunately, I was fast in those days.

Here are a couple of old dusty photos of some of the calcium rocks and hot water we saw.

Laodicia was a nearby city. If you know the prophecy in Revelation, it says that the people in that city are neither hot nor cold, so they will be spat out of his mouth. The interesting thing about the city was that they had lukewarm water only and no local water supply. They could get the hot water from Hieropolis, but by the time it arrived it was not longer hot, or they could get cold water brought down the mountains a few miles away. By the time this water arrived from the aquaducts, it too was lukewarm and no longer cold. They knew hot and cold, but they were only lukewarm! Here is how the water came down from the mountains.


Mike Merra said...

I enjoyed your post especially the photos about your Turkey trip. I also saw a very strong runner tonight cruising at a nice pace on W. Hollis St. who looking very fit. Keep your chin up!!

Jim Hansen said...

Thanks Mike!
and thanks for not running me over today!
Have a great run in Boston. I look forward to following you and everyone else who are racing!

Michael said...

If you ran like a turkey, then I ran like a turkey carrying an anvil.

Jim Hansen said...

Ha, Mike,
Your previous comment ended up on an earlier post. I thought you were taking credit as being the unknown runner, but being discreet about it too! Keep that anvil ready for the downhill 5k and you might fly!