Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tic Tac Toe - 3 in a row!

Yes! Three in a row...that's how many runs I have linked together. To most runners, this will not seem like much, but it is great news for me....and it almost didn't happen.

So, I took a vacation day Friday and was determined to get in a decent run. I had logged a grand total of 4.5 miles so far in the week thanks to an early morning run on Tuesday. It was another insane week at work and I needed a run to help me unwind and also burn off the last remnants of the cold I was fighting.

I put in about 10 miles at the reservoir on Friday followed by a very similar route with Goat on Saturday. My legs felt a little tired, but I was running well enough. I hit the couch after a nice hot shower and did school work, played with Maliyah, and watched sports the rest of the day.

The Goat and I were supposed to meet for a run on Sunday, but he decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go climbing for the day. I didn't have a climbing partner lined up, and frankly was not in the mood to climb. I had enough to keep me busy at home, and Maliyah was there to keep me company. She's so darn cute!

Anyway, after sleeping in on Sunday, we (Jamie, Maliyah, and me) had a video conference with Tara is Spain. It was so cool to chat with her and see her on the webcam. Unbelievable! I was so happy to see her and glad I didn't miss it.

I puttered around the house, graded papers for my class, and played with Maliyah. Jamie went to the gym and I was alone with the baby. All the sudden, my back locked up and I was a hurting unit. I put the baby down and layed flat on the floor. This used to happen to me a couple times each year, but hasn't happened much over the past 10 years or so. I read a book by Dr. John Sarno called, "Healing Back Pain", and the basic message is that there is nothing mechanically wrong when we throw out our backs. You can't make it worse and movement actually helps it. Anyway, I decided to take the baby for a walk in the stroller to see if I could loosen it up. We walked up and down our hill a couple times and I felt a bit better. The big question was whether to try to get in that 3rd run.

After watching the Patriots squeek out another win, it was time to test out the back. I decided to run on the flats near the river (Paquaback?). It's really flat terrain and very scenic. I tried to stretch my very tight quads (probably the reason my back was hurting) and it was rather amusing to say the least. After saying hello to Mr. Snapping Turtle, I hobbled down the path with the knowledge that my back would probably start loosening up. It did as I expected and I gradually started running with a normal gait. The weather was perfect and as each mile past, my back hurt less. I passed people sculling (is that the correct term?) in the river, the usual fare of bikers, runners, and walkers. I joked with a couple people running with dogs...I told them it was not fair being pulled by sled dogs. They didn't get the joke. I passed a guy with an iPod going...it bothers me that we miss a chance to chat with people who have things in their ears. I went out about 4.5-5 miles and decided to turn around. On the return, I stopped on the bridge to look down at the river and noticed a guy scribbling notes in a notepad. I wondered what he was writing about...the fishermen down below perhaps?

I ran back along the river and stopped to chat with a young guy who was excavating an old home site. He had a metal detector and had a pile of stuff that he had mined. He said that some affluent folks had summer homes along the river back in the 50's and a big flood has wiped them out at some point. He seemed to be pretty excited about his finds, but I didn't see very much of interest. Perhaps everything looked more familiar to me due to age. He was a nice guy and we chatted a bit.

On the home stretch, I took off my running shoes again and ran the last 3/4 of a mile in bare feet. This time I toughed it out on the cinder path even though it hurt like heck. It sure felt good on the dirt path though. Afterwards I stretched my back and legs, but the pain came back quickly. How weird! I can run 10 miles virtually pain free, and then it tightens up when I stop. Hmm.

Nevertheless, my goal of running three days in a row was accomplished. My total mileage for the week was around 34 miles or so...not big mileage by any stretch, but good for me these days.

My other goal this weekend was to make some apple pies from the apples off my trees. They sure taste good, but I didn't get to the baking today. Maybe tomorrow.

Have a great week everyone!

Steve

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