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Running (with Toys)
Today was a good day for running.  This is a brain dump of a whole bunch of things going through my head about running. 

My original plan was to run 10 miles or so, starting from home, and then call my wife for a pickup. However, with a temp of 102, heat index of 110, my wife suggested that I change plans. So instead I went to the gym. I wasn't sure what I was going to do.

Dave is a young guy, probably about 25. I see him at the gym many times. He brings his own DVD player, and plays P90X on one of the TV's, and works out the P90X way. He did Chest/Arms/Back and Abs today. He said of me: you were running like a champion runner. That's a nice compliment.

He ran the mini (13.1 miles) just once. He said it was gruelingly hard; he did it in 2 hours 34 minutes. That's a good time in my book, as I currently have only done 10 miles in around 3 hours including breaks.

His suggestion on training method:  run for 4 songs.  walk for one.   run again.   Find a cute chick and follow her. 
I don't think i'll be doing the latter.  :)

I discovered a few things today. One of them is that my hip muscles need some work. Talking with the wife and my sister in law.. knee problems often came from weak hip flexors.. and they were talking about exercises that can be done to strengthen those. After running for 10 minutes at 7 miles per hour, i could feel some things in my hips needing some loving attention. So.. i flexed them. Leg raises in different directions, and big circles going clockwise and counter clockwise. And then I ran again. And flexed again. And ran again. It was great! the discomfort was gone!

I took some Gu Chomps with me. Since my big run on friday, i'm beginning to believe. They really make a difference, after an hour of working out.. I think i was at the Gym from about 7pm till 9pm, and I felt like I could keep going. Caution: don't over do. It really is about 1 of those things per hour, and we're talking 600 calorie hours here.   They provide just enough metabolic fuel to allow me to continue, note that most of what I'm burning is fat, but it does take some carbs to make it happen.  Hitting the wall = running out of glycogen, and these gels provide just enough to keep me going.

I also don't think i'll get any more of the chomps.  I prefer the Powerbar Gels and the Gu Gels. I limit myself to the ones that don't have caffeine, which is about half the selection.  My favorite so far: Vanilla for the Powerbar, and Lime for the Gu.  It does require water to wash them down, they are THICK. 

I am very excited about running.  The book "Born to Run" says something along the lines of, we are genetically engineered to run.. and when we do, something changes on the inside.   I have this hunger, this longing, to run.  I'm not saying sprint, more like.. move.  Running on a treadmill is boring, i don't get to go anywhere, but even then, it felt good to move.    Maybe, i'm just enjoying using my body.. like an athlete?  Am I an athlete?  Judgments are dangerous.  Lets say that I am more athletic now than I have been in the past.  And I love it.

I am looking forward to running again on Friday.  Floating along the road.. trees passing by above me.. a steady "swish swish" of my feet on the road.. breath in, breath out.   Sip some water.   I don't even need headphones or music.. I am very present, very aware of how my feet are landing.   I think i'll run my next race without music. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my CamelBak.. similar to this. At no point was I thirsty.   One full pack would probably last me two hours of running, I think.  

I finally found a solution for my phone: an iFitness belt.  In fact, it was getting the belt that got me interested in Shot Blocks, and Gu.  

I tried switching cadences around on the treadmill, but I found it pretty hard to sync up with the belt speed, or to dial the belt speed to match my cadence.   While i was running outside, it seemed easier:   2x per breath = one speed, 3x per breath = faster, and 4x = fastest.   On the treadmill, never found the right groove.   I also kept trying to sync cadence to music, which was a lost effort in the end.   The next time i run outside, i'm going to play more with cadence.. perhaps run a few minutes at faster cadence. 



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