Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Good Week of Long Runs

Today was a decent running day. I had missed a run for the past two days so I was hoping to do another 15 miler. Even thought my left hip was a bit off, my muscles were good and loose. At about 13 miles I sort of changed direction to add a few more miles. I was feeling fine so I threw a new loop in and ended up going 21 miles. That was my longest run since struggling through Boston two years ago (after not running for the 15 days beforehand due to bronchitis). Boston did not go well that year. I felt fine the whole way today and only in the last mile did I start to feel any stiffness in my legs. I have had a good spell of 8 days since last Saturday: Sat. 15 miles/Sun. 12 miles/ Mon./off/Tues 15 miles/Wed. 8 miles./Thurs. off/ Fri. off/ Sat 21 miles. That would be 71 miles in 8 days. Not bad since I probably have been only running 20-30 miles per week since November.

Two days off was a good idea. Last Saturday I woke up with a cramp in my left calf. I was starting to feel the muscle tightening up on my runs. I felt nothing today. I am not sure why I feel so good. I know I have made dramatic improvements in my hips. I have lost about 10 pounds. I have been following the Warrior's Diet, but probably not as fully intended. I eat light and healthy during the day and eat a well balanced healthy meal at night. I have cut out tons of processed foods, sugars, and diet cokes. I eat a lot of fruits and veggies. I would guess that could make my muscles feel so much better if it cuts down on inflamation or something in the muscles and joint areas and feeds them good nutrition.

Today I ate an apple at noon, a Cliff bar an hour before my run (at 2:00), and drank three of four glasses of water. I did not bring anything to eat or drink as I ran (and brought no money either). I will have to do that soon as the weather warms up and I keep doing longer runs. On a normal day I may eat some nuts, fruit, or cheese mid-morning. Then at lunch I may have two or three pieces of fruit, nuts or cheese, and maybe something like broccoli. It doesn't sound that tasty but I am not craving the bad foods throughout the day as I used to do.

I did finally get to run again in the Nike Lunaracers today. The tongue was irritating the top of my left foot when I first wore them for 15 miles last Saturday. If I put them on now, the tongue still irritates it. I was going to cut it off but then the shoelaces would dig into my foot. So today I just moved the shoelaces up a notch and pinched the bottom of the tongue so it was pulled up away from the shoe. It may have looked funny but it worked like a charm. Other than that issue the Lunaracers seem to be excellent running shoes.

It also helps my running that this has been a horrible year at my school. A new principal is really making life miserable. She does not like me (or even talk to me), my creative approach to teaching, or the fact that I think that there is more than one style of learning in this world (not every student is a quiet little girl who enjoys doing paperwork all day-or practicing "state test" questions endlessly). I am being forced out of the school for even having a different opinion than hers. After 21 years at my school, it appears I will be gone next year. It can be tough being a guy teacher in a school full of women (here is a positive post I made on what it is like- but you can read between the lines if-you are interested). A good long run helps me deal with the ridiculousness of the situation. Ironically Wednesday night I will go to the Boys and Girls Club in Nashua to be honored with a Teacher-of-the-Year award and then I will have to find myself another school that will appreciate good teaching.

If you are brave (and smart) you might want to check out or try these warm-up skipping exercises as presented by Coach Jay Johnson on his blog. Here is his Running Times acticle explaining how to get ready for a race. The skipping routines remind me somewhat of what I have seen Haile Gebrsalaise and the Ethiopain runners perform before working out.

Warm-Up: Skipping Exercises from CoachJayJohnson on Vimeo.

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