Monday, July 20, 2009

The Crack@ss of dawn…

Written Friday – didn’t a chance to post it until this morning:

The title more or less pinpoints the time that I left the house this morning to go and run – 5:30 am, to be precise. But man was it a gorgeous morning for a run. I took a pic with my phone when I passed by the farm at Linvilla Orchards. There was this low-haze floating over the tops of whatever crop was growing in that field. I am not sure if the picture captured the scene the way I saw it – its hard to tell on the small screen on my phone. I’ll post it up later

I wound up banging out 7 miles in just under an hour. If you take a look at the right hand side of the screen (---->) you’ll see that I added a gadget from my online running log ( that displays the stats from my most recent workouts. One hour at an 8:30 pace aint too shabby – fastest I have run that distance in a long time. I had to stop a handful of times because I got lost. I normally run an out and back look through Middletown, but when I got to the turn-around point, I decided to extend the route out a bit and try to make it a loop back to the house. I crossed over Rt. 352, and started down a nice road with a good, wide shoulder and very little traffic. The plan was solid, and I found myself running through a very quiet neighborhood, until I wound up back on Rt. 352

Rt. 352 is a four lane state route that is more or less a highway. The posted speed limit is 45 mph. Most people (like me) drive closer to 60-ish. Yes, I have been cited by the PA State Police for excessive speed…

The problem with 352 is that there is no shoulder. Zilch. Zero. I never ever ride or run on 352. As a matter of fact the route that I normally run puts me on roads that parallel 352, but on the opposite side of where I found myself now (which is how I started today’s run).

When I got to the intersection, I had two options. Turnaround, and try to find a cut-through road that would parallel 352 and put me closer to home, or take my life in my hands and run the 1.5 miles on 352 back to my house. I was feeling frisky so I decided on the death run option.

Luckily, I only had to run about 3/4 of a mile, until I found a cut-through, which put me back onto my old trusted route (I had crossed over 352 so I was running against traffic, not with traffic – standard operating procedure on most busy roads). I finished out the run, lesson learned. Later, I’ll download the  route from my Garmin Forerunner, and locate any cut-through’s that will keep my off of 352 if I decide to run that same extended route again. You gotta mix up the routes. Out and backs are nice, but boring, unless you’re really getting a good variety of scenery. With where I live, it’s a lot of quiet neighborhoods – not much to see.

Anyway, I made my way home, and If I had run my normal straight back to my crib, I would be just short of 7 miles, so I looped out through the neighborhood. When I hit 7 miles, I did some sprints (about 3) and the walked the remaining tenth of a mile.

Oddly enough I was not “feeling it” this morning when I first set out. I had a small case of the “runners trots” when I woke, and I was a bit tired. Before I started, I did two striders to kind wake-up my legs up. I gotta start doing more of those before I start – they really shock the legs into “let’s get your @ss in gear” mode. My run starts with hills almost within the first two-tenths of a mile. As I started ascending, I felt fast so I quasi-sprinted up the hills, and I tried to do that for the remainder of the run, with recovery runs at the crest of each hill.

FYI the runners trots is a nice way of saying that you are suffering from some gastrointestinal distress, as Alex Maa likes to put it. You can apply the condition of gastrointestinal distress to any number of lovely stomach/digestive issues. Lets just say that I have been on runs in the past where I needed to sprint home because I had an extreme case of the trots.

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