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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Love Haters!

Yesterday (4-2-11) it was time for another good run, and I went back to 1 of my fav spots, Bayshore. I have a love/hate relationship with running. There are times when I feel GREAT and get that runners high where I feel unstoppable and can run forever. Then there are other days when the YARDS just drag by. My feet hurt, it's hot, and I'm just plain TIRED! (I'm just keeping it real!)

Part of the love/hate relationship stems from the fact that running just isn't easy for me anymore. The years of running have taken a toll on my body. The older I get, the longer it takes for me to warm up, and for the first 15 minutes I'm going thru my "checklist:"

How do your knees feel?
Achilles heel ok?
Slow down! We got a long way to go!
Which stride today? Long strides or short shuffle strides?
It's really hot, gotta run defensively today.
Loosen your shoulders, mofo!

Yes, these are actual thoughts that go thru my mind. If a person saw me running, they'd have no clue I was doing this, or if I was in pain. One of the keys to excelling in sports (or anything we do for that matter) is to make it look effortless, and having proper form is the key to making that happen. If you look at pro athletes, many times you can't tell if the race or game has just started, or if they've been going at it for 3 hours. Having proper form helps minimize injuries, maintain your pace, and keeps you motivated psychologically. Your conditioning has to be on point for that, and that means a lot of time training.

On the flip side, if you can visibly see the strain on a person's face, their form has broken down, etc. then you know it's just a matter of time before they fall apart.

Anyway, it was yet another beautiful day in Tampa Bay!

A lot of these pics may look the same, but that's because pretty much every day is sunny in Florida. lol Before my run I took a quick video:

I was feeling REALLY GOOD yesterday morning. Downright excited to run! Brotha was HYPED and I don't even know why! I was loving the run yesterday! lol!

I've been running in the grass a lot lately to give my knees, ankles & Achilles heel a break, so as a result, my pace is slower than normal. Add in my checklist as described earlier & I start off pretty slow. At first, I didn't like running on grass because it really does slow me down even more. I really do enjoy running faster, but I can save those "fast" days for the treadmill or an actual race. Race days you want to give it 150% and leave it all out there, because the last thing you want to do is say "I could've done better." It's too late then. Give it your all. Leave it on the course!

The grass is getting thicker out here, so my running has slowed as a result:

Then add in the rain we've had recently & I have to watch for the puddles too:

After I completed my checklist, I was feeling pretty good. I picked up my speed, but resisted the urge to pick it up too much because I wanted to go for a "negative split." This occurs when you run the 2nd half of your workout faster then the 1st half. In other words, I wanted to finish strong. That's key in any race and sometimes I have a problem with that. Partly because I don't pace myself as well as I should. One part of my is competitive, and wants to push it so I can catch as many people as I can, or run (or bike) at a high level for an extended period of time.

The only problem is my energy levels can't sustain that high pace for only so long. So this is something I must work on.

I was debating on running either 7 or 9 miles today, but since I decided to go for a negative split, I decided on 7. I ran the 1st 3.5 miles with a conservative pep in my step, trying my best to hold back. It's really tough when the weather's so nice and people are out running along with you, but I held back. I really wanted to run on the concrete, but stayed on the grass. I hit the turn-around at 30 minutes.

I was still feeling good, but about 45 minutes in I started to get a little fatigued. I know it was the grass, because I had to pick up my feet a little more than normal. But I kept trying to push it. I wasn't going all out, just tried to keep a decent pace. Technically, for the negative split to be a success, I should've completed the 7 miles in 59 minutes, but I didn't. I finished the run in 65 minutes.

Am I disappointed? Not really. That's why you train: to make adjustments and modifications. I was tired, but not exhausted or anything like that. I had a good run actually. No leg problems,no stomach cramps, none of that crap. Just broke a good sweat! lol After my 20 minute cool down walk I felt GREAT. I still was happy and felt I could have kept running.

Here's my post run video:

Overall, I'm happy with my progress. I know I could've run further, but I can save it for another day. As always, I relaxed for a few and just enjoyed the day and the sights. I'll NEVER get tired of this view:

I saw a lot of stingrays today.

Yes, it's all about the race, but you MUST enjoy the journey too! Most people only see the end result which is crossing the finish line, but it takes a lot to even make it to the starting line. Might as well enjoy that aspect of it, and that's what I plan on doing! Scratch that. I will LOVE that aspect of it! :)

Thanks for reading! Till next time, Peace!

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