Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Anatomy of a Run

4:30 am comes early in my house.

That's the time I get up most week-day mornings to go running.  For some crazy reason, I love running in the dark (Sally says I'm 'in the dark' most days but I digress).  I like the quite and almost total lack of traffic early morning. I should clarify though:  I get up at 4:30 am...I don't go running until nearly 6 am.  That's one of the things about growing older:  it takes me nearly an hour to 'go running':
  • I don't like to run on a full stomach.  Unless I'm going for a long run, I don't eat anything before heading out.  I drink water though...I sweat a lot even in the winter so having to stop for a 'bio break' isn't a problem for me.
  • The first thing after I get up is to check the weather.  Unless there's been an ice storm overnight, I'm going running.  I am sensitive to temperature though so I check that via my handy Smartphone App (The Weather Network).
  • Once geared up:  In the summer, short tights and a technical T shirt;  in colder conditions long tights and layered tops, I walk down the four flights of stairs from our apartment.  That's it for pre-run limbering up.  I have never liked stretching before a run:  something about straining cold muscles.  
  • With a nod to my age, I walk the first 100 metres before breaking into a jog.  Most mornings it's only a few minutes before my breathing normalizes and I pick up the pace.  That's a good running day...some days it's 20 minutes in before things settle down.  On those mornings I ask myself, "This is fun?"
  • I run about 40 minutes 5 days a week now with a couple of days off.  My 'long run' is usually a Saturday or Sunday up around 75 minutes.  After running and racing and training for events most of the past 30 years, I really only have one 'race' that matters:  the annual pilgramage to Negril each December for Reggae Marathon
  • I don't run with music.  I like my 'alone time' while running and when all goes well just enjoy an easy pace.  I do solve all the problems of the world while running though...unfortunately I never seem to remember the solutions after.  I know my head is clear though...that's all that matters.
  • I sprint for the final 500 metres.  OK, an exaggeration but I do pick up the pace as I near the finish.  Old habit...I like to finish in a flat-out sprint. I'll never be Usain Bolt but it feels good trying.
  • Post-race I walk for about 10 minutes to cool down.  I don't stretch after running either...the walk seems to be enough.
  • Since I run early in the morning and don't eat before I run I come back famished. Lots of water plus hot cereal does the trick.  That's the plan anyway...I usually end up with a cereal bar.
That's the anatomy of my typical daily running routine.  Well, it's exciting to me!

Until next time...

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