Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Circle of Life run today

You know the old saying that "things come full circle". Well, today they did.

Back in the fall, my hamstring was hurting pretty bad. This was the kind of pain that brings tears to your eyes. Tougher still, I watched while Megan scampered around the PDS track running interval after interval in smoking fast times.

Forward to present day the roles are now reversed. Maybe I should say nearly reversed. I am certainly not running smoking fast splits, but I am without doubt running better than I was last fall. While Megan's overworked hamstring is giving her a hand full.

I totally understand what she is going through. Waking up each morning to wonder if the pain has lessened or "if the stars have aligned" the pain is gone creates a huge drag on a person's mental energy.

But have faith, most injuries will heal. To invoke another euphemism time heals all wounds.


 

Sharing one thought at a time,


 

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maybe just a little too vigorous

Ok, last week, my plan was to introduce two form drill workouts into my weekly training schedule. Wednesday came. I did my first session. The plan was to do a follow up session on Saturday afternoon. Thursday even, my groin was feeling sore. Friday, soreness was fully developed. After 14 miles pretty spry miles with Jason and Mike on Saturday morning, any plans for a second form drill were put on hold.

During our form drill session with Mark someone asked the question "how many sessions should someone do per week?" Mark recommended two sessions.

My enthusiasm got the best of me and my workout was probably harder than it should have been.

And as I thought more about it, yes, two drill sessions are better than one. But one drill session is better than no drill sessions.

Time for a reality check, I should have eased into these sessions. Thus, I went back and changed my training schedule to include only 1 session for the next 5 weeks. Let's build a little strength into the legs before jumping in with both feet.

Sometimes I forget that just because I can do something, it doesn't mean that I should do it all out from the start.


 


 

Sharing one thought at time,


 

The Cool Down Runner

Friday, May 25, 2012

Let Me Run - Giving a little something back

Yesterday, I had the privilege of helping a fellow TrySports Team mate with program that she is doing through "Let Me Run" for 4th and 5th grade boys at Sandy Ridge Elementary school.

The boys range in ages from 9-11 and for most of them, this is their first experience with running. Through the program, they have broken up the 32 boys across 3 teams and Julie is one of 6 coaches. Each team has 2 coaches.

Yesterday, these boys attempted their only 3 mile run before finishing up the program with a 5k race next weekend. To give Julie and the other coaches some assistance, Meredith, Noah (Meredith's son), Justin, Billy, Carolyn, Glenn, and I met them at the elementary school for this run. We became assist coaches to the coaches. With only two coaches per team, they were spread thin during the actual running. With our help more boys had someone to accompany them during their run.

I ran with a couple guys Ashtin and Justin from our group but tried to give out as much encouragement as possible to the others as we passed. Our group stayed on campus and ran this ½ mile loop around the school so we had to complete 6 laps to make the 3 mile distance. The run wasn't easy on the boys considering it was a little after 2pm yesterday. The heat and humidity had them sweating pretty hard. Each lap required a water stop and a marking so the boys could remember how many laps they had run. My group of guys ran about 32 minutes and then, I circled back to help run in with some of the others.

I found this amazing group of boys to be awe inspiring. Having run for so many years, I take for granted going out my front door and going for a run. Seeing them run brought back memories of what it was like for me when I started running and how tough it is to run when the body first began to experience the effort required to run more than a few hundred yards.

Another thing that struck me was how polite these boys were. Now, I know their coaches were around so this might have had something to do with it. But something tells me, their parents, their teachers, and their "Let Me Run" coaches are setting an excellent example for them to follow.

Good luck to Julie and her fellow coaches and especially to all of the boys in the program during their upcoming 5k race.


 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hadley Form Drills – session #1

After Mark put us through our paces with the running form drills last week, I was sold on it.

Fast forward to this week and yesterday evening after work, I searched through my garage for the cones that I used when my daughters played soccer. Had to blow the dust and cob webs off of them. Then, I headed to the Y to find a nice grassy field.

I setup my cones and did a little dynamic warm up. Then, I started the drills.

By the time that I was half way through I was sweating. ¾ of the way through, sweat was dripping off my nose. After the box step, I was completed soaked.

Total time spent was probably 30 minutes, but I felt it in my legs.

I still have lots to learn and my body is still trying to master each of the movements, but making an effort is the first step on the road to success.

The current plan is to do the 2nd session this Saturday afternoon.

If you want to join, let me know.


 

Sharing one thought at time,


 

The Cool Down Runner

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

When are you going to race again?

When are you going to race again? This seems to be the question that I get more and more lately. Has it been that long since I last raced? Honestly, I never realized that my smiling face was being so sorely missed at the area races. But this seems to be the question everyone is asking me recently.

At first, my response was to the direct question but then I began to wonder if there another reason behind their question. Was there a question behind the question?

Somehow, I suspect I am not the only one that has pondered this topic.

There's overt question which is when my next race is. This I will answer shortly – see below. But the real underlying question is why I have not been racing which I suspect might really being what the person is asking me. Hopefully below, my explanation will be clearer in writing than it is in thought.

Where am I looking to race next? There are a number of races coming up: China Groove 5k, Mooresville Miles, June Bug 5k, and the Belmont 5k. I like all of them but I have not signed up for any of them. If I do run them, most likely it will be at last minute decision.

The one race that I definitely plan to run is "Beat the Heat 5k" in Winston-Salem. I ran it a couple of years ago and it was unbearably hot and humid. But what else should I expect for a summer July night race. Next up, I will venture over to Albemarle, NC for the Tour de Elvis 5k. This is another evening race but Peter puts on such a great event that I hate to miss it.

From there, I plan to run the Charleston Distance Run. That's 15 miles. Quite possibly, I will do the New River 50k as a lead up to the OBX marathon. I am not really sure at this point.

After OBX, I will most likely wrap things up for the year. Take some down time and then start fresh for '13. For me, this isn't a lot racing compared with previous years.

So what's the real reason for not racing? I don't really know. I did a couple of 5ks in March. Then, there was the Palmetto Relay and the Tar Heel 10 miler. I didn't run great in any of these races but then, I didn't run poorly either. I hadn't signed up for anything after the Tar Heel 10 miler and suddenly found myself home on Saturday mornings. Actually, I found that I enjoyed just getting up, knocking down a 10 mile run and then working around my house the rest of the day. Again, I cannot explain why? Other than, it just felt good to hang around home on a Saturday morning.

Is this a good reason for not racing? Maybe it is and then again, maybe it is not.

I will be back soon. I promise.


 

Sharing one thought at time,


 

The Cool Down Runner


 

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ballantyne 5k

After several weeks off from the Charlotte racing scene, I made an appearance this weekend at the Ballantyne 5k and ran a pulse pounding and heart stopping 32 minutes. This put me 447 overall. You know I am joking – right?

However, this was one of the most enjoyable 5k that I have ever run. Why, you might ask?

Well, this was the first time any of my daughters have tried to run a 5k.

Let's go back a bit and I will explain.

A couple of months ago, my youngest daughter who is 9 years old said that she wanted to do the running program at her school. I tried to hold back my enthusiasm at hearing her news. You don't know how long I have waited to have the sound of those words enter my ear and be recognized by my brain.

To this point, my daughters have never been much into running. I will take them down to the Summer Track when they are interested and we will run the relay races. They have done a couple of fun runs through the years, but never have they seemed interested in running.

And to be fair, I have never pushed them to run. I have seen more than one parent or parents who run and they push their kids to run as well.

Running is something I do because I enjoy the mental and physical aspects that come from the activity. But it is something that I want to do and not something that I am told to do. There is a difference. Not everyone realizes this to be true.

So when my daughter told me that she wanted to run through this group at her school, the butterflies fluttered big time in my stomach. The butterflies went up another level she told me they would finish their program by running a 5k race. I knew I would have to there if nothing else to watch her run. Then a couple weeks ago, the question came.

She asked if I would run with her. The feeling was better than winning the lottery.

Saturday morning came the two of us are hanging out in the common area near the starting line. We had our numbers and chips in place.

They play the national anthem and we head for 10 minute pace group. I get some gentle "ribbing" from some friends who know me - asking where I was going. The starting line was the other way. What can I say? Some things are more important.

The gun sounds. For a brief period no one moves. Then slowly we start walking. Actually, we have to walk until we reach the starting line. By now, nearly 2 ½ minutes have passed according the finish line clock.

We run about ¾ of mile before she takes the first what would be 3 walk breaks during the race. We hit the first mile in 10 minutes. We endure some twist and turns, some up hills and down. She joins up with one of her friends. She grabs a cup of water at the first water stop. We reach the loop for the turn around. She takes her 2nd walk break. This is where it occurs to me. My daughter has adopted the opposite strategy of most people. She is walking on the downhills and running on the uphill. Go figure.

We reach the 2nd water stop and she needs another cup. We make a few more turns and are climbing up the hill and across the bridge over Johnston Rd.

From here, the finish line is nearly in sight. I encourage her to run a little faster. We round the final corner and see the finish line.

She starts sprinting and I try to keep pace with her.

We cross the finish line in 32 minutes. The chips say we were one second apart, but I am calling it a tie.

At 9 years old and running maybe 4 or 5 miles per week, 32 minutes is an awesome time for her.

But maybe the best part was being able to share this moment with her. She may never realize but it left me with a memory that I will treasure forever.

Then, she runs off to play the violin in recital later that morning. Such is the life of a busy 9 year old.


 


 

Sharing one thought at time,


 

The Cool Down Runner


 


 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Form Drill Session – with Mark Hadley

I don't know. Maybe it has been at least 5 or 10 years since I did any real form drills to improve my running and then it was just a couple of different drills – high knees and glut kicks. This is part of what sparked the idea of putting together a form drill session for our TrySports Running Team.

Being no expert myself, I knew we needed help so I reached out to Mark Hadley. Mark has a number of runners that he coaches and he uses these form drills to keep them injury free and running fast. Those are two areas of concern that every runner strives to achieve – stay injury free and run fast.

Through several email exchanges, Mark graciously volunteered to school us through a couple of sessions and we settled on some dates and times.

Any one that has seen me run knows that I am anything but the picture of grace while running. The mental image that comes to mind is a bull in a china shop. And, one is never too old to learn.

Our first session was last night at the Community House Middle School athletic field.

Mark and his daughter Alana came out and put us through a series of 8 different running form drills. Many of the drills Alana demonstrated before we tried them. I must say that she looked a lot more fluid than I did. But to her credit Mark has had Alana on this circuit for a while. I on the other hand, my brain was just trying to assimilate all of these movements. Some of the movement assimilated better than others. And some I don't think I assimilated at all so there is definitely more work for me to do.

I found myself not only breathing pretty hard through most of them but I was also working up a pretty good sweat.

Our session lasted about 50 minutes but that was mainly due to the instruction and illustrations that Mark and Alana provided. Normally, Mark says this set of routines takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Throughout the session Mark answered a ton of questions that left us walking with more information that we could have thought possible.

Now, I just need to find time in my weekly schedule to do these drills.

Before wrapping up, I would also like to thank Mark and Alana for sharing their time and knowledge with their fellow runners. I know I walked away having learned something new.

If you are interested in contacting Mark, click here. Additionally, Mark has posted a wealth of information online - elitemarathoning and his blog – Maximum Performance Running. Check both them out. Your time will be well spent.


 

Sharing one thought at time,


 

The Cool Down Runner


 


 

 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Injinji Performance Socks

A few weeks ago while at REI I purchased my first pair ever of toe socks. Yes, I did say ever. My toes are very accustom to hanging out with each other. After all, they have been doing it for 47 years.

But sometimes changing things up can be a good thing.

The major player in the toe sock arena is Injinji. REI carries several models of the Injinji socks and I selected the Injinji Midweight Mini Crew Toesocks for my product testing. The cost was $16.00 for a single pair. According to the Injinji marketing information, their socks provide a restriction free movement and eliminate skin on skin friction that causes blisters.

I have had my fair share of blisters lately so I am always on the lookout when it comes to socks.

From a wear perspective, my test was broken into 4 different types.

  • A wear around test at home
  • A recovery run
  • A speed session
  • A long run

The wear around test at home left my toes with a strange feeling. They could no longer cozy up to the toe next to it. But after probably 20 minutes, the strangeness passes. And other than the toes, socks are socks. They felt pretty much the same.

Next up, I did a 7 mile recovery run. Not knowing what to expect, I spent longer than usual making sure they were put on properly. For about a mile or so, I could feel what I thought was a line of material running across the bottom of my foot. Thinking that it could be something that developed once I started running; I stopped and check the sock. Nothing was apparent. I put my shoe back on and finished the run. After a few miles the sensation of the material went way.

The speed session consisted of 10 x 600. This time there was no sensation of material on bottom of my feet and no issues with the socks.

My real concern was when it came to a long run. Long runs more than any other type of running can expose issues. Again, there were no issues and no blisters. Although, for long runs I might decide the next time to go with a little heavy version of the sock. After 16 miles, my feet like they are pretty much running on the road.

Overall, there were two things that come to mind about the socks.

First, when I turned the socks inside out, they have a ton of extra strings. Seems to me they could make this a little cleaner.

Second, getting your toes into the toelets (is toelets a real word. Maybe it is now) isn't easy. There is definitely some extra effort getting each toe placed in the proper hole.

In reading a few other reviews, other people talked about the toe holes not fitting properly if your toes don't go all the way to the end of the toe hole. Fortunately, for me I didn't have this issue. But I could easily see this being an issue for some people.

Injinji socks that I bought were made of 70% Cool Max, 25% Nylon, and 5% Lyrca. With this material, they should not have a problem keeping my feet dry. Now of the days that I wore these socks were not extremely hot, but potentially this could be another test.


 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner


 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tangle


The time has come to put the mind games on the back burner for a while and discuss another topic – tangled head phones.

Everyone has had this experience at one moment in time or another.

You lay down your iPod head phone or ear buds. You go do some other stuff and in a day or two, you come back to use them again. No longer are they laid out nice and neat, but the cord has been run over, around, and through to the point that is just one big knot. Then, for the next 10 minutes, you painstakingly work the cord loose and back its original long slender state that allows it to be used best.

From personal experience, coming back from the Y, I put my ear buds back in the case making sure to not intertwine the wire. Somewhere after the room goes dark the spirits of tangled ear buds enter my dwelling, search out my ear bud case, and then proceed to leave me with one ugly ball of wire. And why they do it, I have no idea. Maybe in some past life, I wronged a cousin or tossed out a perfectly good set of ear buds. For whatever the reason, my hope is they will accept my apology and no longer visit my domicile and entwine my ear buds.

I promise whatever I did wrong; I am sorry. Please don't tangle my ear buds again.



Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Over-Thinking

Continuing the recent theme of posts having to do loosely with mind games, today's post will have some random thoughts concerning "Over-Thinking" thrown at the slimy wall of my word processer and seeing what sticks.

"Over-Thinking". We all do it whether we realize it or not. We spend hours agonizing over a decision. All because, we think we need every piece of information before we can make the "right" decision.

My definition of "Over-Thinking" is spending an inordinate amount of time and mental energy considering numerous options before arriving at a conclusion which your "gut" may or may not agree.

On Wednesday nights, I watch this show on the CBS network called "Survivor". For those not familiar, they send a group of people to a deserted island where they must live and eat together in two groups, compete in challenges for rewards and immunity from being voted off. They form allegiance with each in an effort to not get voted off – basically a social game of desperation.

Where I am going with this is, the producers of the show do a great job letting these people ramble on about what their plans are and whose in their alliance and how they foresee the game playing out. In my opinion, they present a classic case of people of "over-thinking". I am sure the show only lets us see a small amount the time with which these people have their heads in the clouds trying to work out every conceivable angle so they can become known as the "sole" survivor.

My take away from this show is that people who brood over their decisions too long then tend to end up right back where they started. They are still trying to work out the right answer. Life is fluid. Life is dynamic. Change is inevitable.

Runners get caught up in the same scenario. They over think their diet, their training plans, or their racing strategy or even some combination of the three. And, there are probably others that I should list but haven't.

Getting all of the information, analyzing every viewpoint in theory is great. In life, the best we can hope for is some smaller percentage of this information.

That mental energy and time could be better spent during our training workout or in the race itself.

So the next time the options seem abundant in your head, take 5 minutes, breathe deeply, and make the decision. Then, move forward.


 


 

Sharing one thought at time,


 

The Cool Down Runner


 


 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Relay – Team Captain’s Responsibilities

Now, that I have had a few weeks to recover from the relay and to think about things that I might or might not want to do differently, this makes it a good time to write about it.

Why write a post like this one well for a couple of reasons. First, sharing information on the internet allows others to draw upon my experiences and either emulate my successes or better yet, avoid my mistakes. Enough cannot be said about the world we live in today. Knowledge can literally be transported around the world in seconds. Making a wealth of understanding available at our finger tips if we are only willing to look. The second reason and maybe the best reason of all, this gives me something to look back on should I ever accept the challenge of putting together another relay team. They say time heals all wounds. Really, time doesn't heal but memories become fogging and only focus on the good points, the fun part, the things we most enjoyed. We tend to forget easily the struggles came with the journey.

Thus, this is my attempt to document those thoughts for the future.

  • If you decide to be a team captain, start gathering a team early. Getting last minute replacements is difficult.
  • If the relay team is expected to be 12 members, strived to get 15 people committed. This is a terrible thing to say but by relay race week, you will be lucky to have 12. Running is an injury prone sport.
  • Lockdown the vans early - Adventure Van Rentals were the vans that we used for the Palmetto Relay. The vans were great. But I do want to mention a few Gotchas – After 600 miles, they charge $.30 cents per mile. So figure out your estimated driving mileage. Also, they rely entirely on the driver's insurance policy and don't offer supplemental insurance. Additionally, they close at 6 on Saturday so most rentals are two days.
  • Team Budget – There are 3 major items – listed below and 4 if you include food.
    • Team Registration fee
    • Van Rental fee
    • Gas cost
  • Team Budget needs to be estimated up front. Basically, you can lock down registration fee and the van rental fee but gas can fluctuate plenty between the time you make your initial estimate and race day. Erring should be on the side of caution. If you come under budget, it is great. We came in under budge for our relay and not one person complained about getting a check for the difference.
  • Drivers – try to lock down at least two drivers for each van. They then become the van captains because they have the responsibility of getting runners to their designated exchange zones in a timely matter. Also don't schedule them to run back to back legs. Finishing a hard effort then jumping in a van to drive is not a good idea.
  • Gather a team email distribution list and email the team regularly updates.
  • Most relays will provide an online course guide book. PRINT a copy out. Phone coverage along the course can be spotty and having a hard copy of a map makes life so much easier.
  • Make a list of each team member's cell phone and especially those of the van captains.
  • Make sure everyone is aware of race head lamp, blinking lights, and reflective vest rules. Don't want to get disqualified for not following the rules. Also let people know if they need to bring any of these items.
  • Have a cooler for each van and a first aid kit. We had two coolers and filled them with ice, water, and Gatorade. We had one first aid kit, but never needed to use it.
  • Once dusk arrives during the race, exchange zones become just a bunch of people standing around with headlamps. I couldn't tell one person from the next. My suggestion and the one used by many other teams, call out your number. Then have the other person call out where they are. Exchange can be extremely confusing at night so relying on your teammates to help is a must.
  • Schedule hotel room for the team to sure. This might seem like an insignificant expense, but have 24 hours and 3 to 4 hard runs, a shower feel awesome.
  • Organize team pictures before the start and at the finish. There is no such thing as too many pictures.


 

That's all that comes to mind at the moment.


 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mental Energy


This morning has arrived and the need to pluck another thought from the universe of thoughts needs to happen. Today, I want to pick up on a thought that I touched on yesterday - "Mental Energy".

What is "Mental Energy". My definition is - The willingness to accomplish the "something" at hand. What that "something" is can vary from person to person.

Each morning morning we wake up with what I like to describe as a full tank of mental energy. With each task we complete, with each person we meet, with each chore that we take on, we dip into this tank and draw from the energy. Slowly over the course of the day, the tank gets lower and lower.

Sometimes by the end of the day, we have nothing left and return home completely depleted.

When I look around during the day,I see people trying to recover their energy expenditures through various means.

Often, this involves taking some substance - soft drinks, coffee, tea, and/or a 5 hour energy drink just to name a few.

Yes, the boost is quick and often results in short term gains, but lose comes in the long term. The body become accustom to these substances and so it takes more and more to achieve the same feeling of energy.

Do I have a solution to the Mental Energy deficiency?

When it comes to running, I do.

Like I said above, our mental energy levels drop over the course of the day. And this can make getting that evening workout in oh so difficult.

So what's the answer?

Well, try to set up your runs with a buddy or with a group. By combining the energy levels of a group more can be accomplished, than could be accomplished solo.

Many runners already recognize the fact that they can be pulled along better while running with their friends than if they are out for an individual effort.

Another aspect of this group effect that comes from this shared mental energy, our mental energy tank can actually be higher after the workout. That's right, our mental energy has risen instead of dropping over the course of the workout.

We all need breaks from the daily grind of life. Exercise of any kind helps us manage because we are given a chance to step away. When we return, we are more focused and ready handle path of life coming at us.

The next time focusing becomes a struggle or the motivation just isn't there a.k.a. the mental energy tank nears empty, try heading out for a run with a buddy or a group.

When you return, you will find that your don't really need that can of Coke or that cup of coffee and you will feel better about your self in the long run.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chaos vs. Consistency

This might be something that no else has ever pondered during a long run and then again, maybe everyone knows it. I am just the first to say it. Or maybe I am going off on a tangent with no real purpose other than boring my readers' with another thought snatched out the universe of thoughts floating through my head. Therefore, if you have nothing better to do today, please read on.

So maybe others have contemplated why the body likes change and the mind likes consistency.

Tell me that I am wrong. Doesn't the mind simply enjoy just going out the door and doing the same route, at the same time, at the same pace at the end of the day? Yes, tell me that I am wrong. Honestly, I don't think so.

After a long day of work, our minds don't want to think. They don't want to track splits and count intervals. They really don't want to manage a painful and stressful workout. They don't want to figure out why we are not hitting a certain expected split on our stop watches. Our minds want a simple task that they can perform that they know or at least expect will make us better without exhausting the last of our mental energy. But do our minds really know what we need most. What our bodies need most.

In my opinion the body is just the opposite. Yes, the body accepts the repetitive nature of running, but the body wants the chaos. The body wants change. The body wants to be pushed.

I once heard a quote that went something like this "a sure sign of insanity is doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result". Have we allowed our mind to really come to accept the idea that our bodies are improving

If our bodies had a consciousness, it would implore us to action. If our bodies are worked hard, the idea of stasis never becomes the status quo. A strong and healthy body is one that is challenged. It is one that is tested and it one that is used and not allowed to set idle.

When the time comes to go out the door today don't let the mind champion the run. Allow the body to decide what it needs and then turn the run into something special. Turn it into something challenging. Turn it into a workout makes us as runners better.

Allow the body to make a difference today.


 


 

Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner

 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

10 x 600

After the relay and then the 10 miler, my running seems to have fallen into a "funk". There's been no motivation to run hard and barely enough motivation to go the door for an easy run.

Yesterday, my plans were to do little more than go out my front door and do more easy miles in the warm sunshine.

Then, this txt arrived from Megan asking if I was interested in doing 10 x 400 with a 400 recovery. Sure, why not. Might as well. I needed something to get me moving again.

This morning we headed out but instead of making the uphill trek to PDS, we headed for the loop around the lake at McAlpine Park. Although, neither of us said anything about it, I imagine neither of us wanted to make the 2 mile uphill climb to the track.

600 is still longer than 400 but then the 600 recovery is longer than the 400 recovery so yes, there is balance in life.

Our 10 x 600 start. If you are familiar with the lake at Mc Alpine in the morning, you already know. Half of the loop is in the direct sun light and half is in the shade.

We cross the bridge and head into the shade. My legs don't want to run much less run fast.

But the coolness of the shade inspires me to push at least a little. I make the turn and hit the open sun shine again. Think opening a hot oven. The blast of heat sets in.

I finish the first loop just ahead of Megan.

Oh, by the way on the first loop, this woman has her dog out i.e. off his leash of course and as we run by he starts growling at us. She makes a comment to the effect "He will not bite". But as we run by he starts chasing us. I have to turn around and give him the "Cool Down Runner don't mess with me stare". The owner finally comes up, puts the lease on her dog, and leads him away. Never once, did she say "sorry". I got feeling she thought it was our fault. I guess we will have to just agree to disagree on that one.

So the first loop is in the books. Albeit, it was slower than expected due to doggie concerns.

10 is a good round number for me. I have 10 fingers so keeping track of 10 hard loops is fairly easy for me. However, Megan counts every lap. I understand her method, but counting to 20 somehow makes the workout seem so much longer. But I don't argue the point. I learned a long time ago, arguing with women is a losing proposition. Pick your battles.

So loops 2 – 9 go smoothly, but I am starting to feel the fatigue in my legs. The tiny bit of pop that was there during the first couple of intervals is now gone.

We come around for the last loop and the baby ducks are all at the bridge. There is no truth to this story, but I want to believe they are there to watch us start the last loop and see us finish it.

Sure enough, we come around to finish up the last loop and they are lined up alongside the bridge.

My splits for the 10 loops were not impressive, but then considering I was planning an easy run, they are much better than expected.

Sometimes, the toughest part of running is not pushing through the physical pain, but striving to overcome the 6 inches of doubt that lingers between my ears.


 

Sharing one thought a time,


 

The Cool Down Runner