Letters to Holly

Tuesday, April 24

The Running Cycle

I follow the same running route because the sidewalk follows the road so I'm not out of public view in case something goes wrong, but I'm not in the road either. It does cause some problems. The traffic drafting is tough if the construction vehicles belch thick smoke at me, and the route is peppered with intersections, so I have to watch out for people turning in front of me. Also, this route is all hills, and if I can manage that, I can manage the flatter sections of a 5k race.

I walk from the house to the start of the next road and start to run when I get to the speed sign. This is all downhill to the main road. I turn onto that road, and start a slow uphill, and this is where my shins start to hurt. Every time, regardless of stretching or eating habits. The downhill also curtails my stride, and the uphill combines with that to give me the first big lung hurt. Before I go half a mile, I'm already huffing. The sidewalk breaks in front of the school, and I have to run on the uneven grass. This does not help the shins. When the sidewalk starts again, so does a stronger incline. The cemetery is the halfway point. If I can pass that, I can make it to the first big intersection. This is one mile from the house. But I'm always hurting by then. It becomes a test of will, really, and the iPod helps a lot. If I get a good song to crescendo here, I can push myself.

Yesterday I made myself push pass the intersection and run a bit further. (Right before the last race, I was able to run for another mile before turning around.) I walked around the library park, turned around, and started walking back home. Before I got to the cemetery, I made myself run. My shins were killing me. I tried different walking patterns to shut them up. They calmed down a bit as I started to run, and I made myself run back to the first school entrance. I walked another 200 yards, and then made myself run all the way back to that speed sign. That's the sharpest incline of my possible run route. It's even harder than the notorious downtown hill. I'm gonna start making myself run this house hill every time, sometimes more than once. I want to be able to attack that downtown hill in a race, and I want to beat my time from the first race.

Sometimes I have to look down to avoid staring at my running benchmarks. Sometimes I imagine people I detest mocking me. Sometimes I imagine I'm in a musical montage like in a Rocky movie. Whatever makes me keep it up.

Picture of the Day
Every picture tells a story.


Anonymous said...

i always read the blog, but am posting replies less and less frequetly.

How old are your running shoes? they may be contributing to the shin splints.

the picture doesn't show on the blog, or even if you click on the thumbnail. it's a big mystery. or...if every picture tells a story, it's the story of the icon of a sheet of paper with a lil' ol' red x on it.

Gregory said...

The shoes are fairly new. I got them right before the Halloween race.

The image was linked from Photobucket.com, which has gone down recently. It's a series of traffic signs narrated to make a story.