Saturday, September 20, 2008

Maybe a Marathon?

Today I went out for a longer run, just to see how things were and because it was a lovely day. I had no real goal of distance in mind but figured I would go at least 11 miles and if I felt good I would go more. I Saran Wrapped a $5 bill and stuck it in my shorts pocket and headed out the door. My leg muscles continue to feel looser every day with the resistance stretching and I keep waiting for them to fall apart. I ran pretty much effortlessly. My hips and glutes still are not perfect and so as I run they shift in how they work, but they are not as stiff and tight like before. I kept running and stopped after an hour and 1/2 to buy a bottle of Gatorade even though I wasn't thirsty. I wasn't tiring or slowing so I kept adding mileage. I was ready to go more but it quickly got dark so I stopped at 18 miles pretty much still feeling fresh. I could easily have gone another 8 miles at the pace I was going and would have had a time under a Boston qualifying time. I think that was my longest training run in a few years. Usually my hips hurt and I don't feel like going further

Two years ago I ran a 3:09 marathon with the longest run only a 16 miler and that was run the week before (although my racing times and weekly mileage- many 70 mile weeks- were much better than this years). That race did not even leave me tired and I was back to regular training the next day with an 8 miler and another 3:09 marathon 2 weeks later. I figure if I keep feeling this good I can throw in some more longer runs and get my fitness level increased and run a Boston qualifier. The way the year has been going I didn't think I would want to do one, but things are on the upturn. If I do run one it could be the Cape Cod Marathon in Falmouth. I have done this race numerous times starting in 1979 when it was held at Otis Air Force Base. My parents, who live near the 16 mile mark may move from Falmouth soon and so it would not be as easy to do the race in the future. I could also try the Manchester Marathon. It is a short distance away and I have never done the race. My street could have a formidable team as I believe Shane who lives across the street and one house down and Karen who is also across the street and two houses down in the other direction are both still planning to run the race.

After almost giving up on my running this year about a month ago it is good to be building up and feeling good enough with the running to start thinking about running a marathon again. Today was just a beautiful day for running and I am glad I was able to take advantage of it!


Matt Metzgar said...

I'm just curious, do you credit this resurgence to resistance stretching?

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Matt,
The resistance stretching is definately loosening me up and giving me more range of motion. My legs feel so much better and it is starting to allow me to rotate the joints correctly. Before I was stiff and tight day after day. I felt like a real old man as I tried to run and now I feel "younger" and energized in my muscles. It is not perfect yet and my hips are still adjusting and finding the correct positioning. My back is having a harder time keeping up as I think my balance has shifted and I am getting tight in the lower and upper left side of my back.

That is where the book you recommeded may help a lot! I got it yesterday and have read a couple of chapters and scanned everything else. It is full of good wisdom and knowlege that I haven't found elsewhere. I am hoping that book will help with my back and hips! I sit horribly (sloucher) and I need to get some better chairs and put the cues into practice. I tried running with the neck back the chin down today and that was interesting and helped flatten the upper back. I also tried rotating the femurs out as I ran (hard to do still tight) but that was something I had been starting to do a bit with the stretching and now I concentrated on it more. I had to slow myself down on the run today because I have a track workout tomorrow. It felt good to hold back on a run. It has been a long time since I have had to do that! So I like the stretching. There is a strengthening component to it too and I think not only does it stretch my muscles but it is giving me more strength- particularly in the hips to allow my body to work more correctly.