Tuesday, February 1, 2011

See Ginger Run

I haven't written about my running, although I run more days a week than I ride or swim.  Running by far my favorite of the three disciplines of triathlons but for me it's also a love-hate relationship. 

I've been running since fall of my Freshman year in college.  This past year I celebrated 31 years of pounding the pavement.  But it hasn't been without problems.  I heard once that the knees are both God's miracles and also mistakes on the human body.  While they are amazing and can surely take a beating from the activities that we put them through, they also are the part of us that can't seem to keep up with what we want from them.  My knees are the hate part.

I've had microfracture surgery on both of my knees.  The left back in 2002 and the right in 2009.  My knees hurt when I run, pretty much all the time, but it's tolerable so I will continue until some point in the future when it's just not bearable any more.  Then... I'll take up golf, so I can be outside and enjoy the fresh air.  But until that day comes where the Mobic doesn't help anymore you'll find me out running.

I don't run more that about 6 miles at my maximum now, it seems that right about the six mile point that my left knee starts to shut down.  This depresses me.  I miss the 10 milers.  I miss running half marathons and marathons.  I'd love to run the Big Sur Marathon again, but just don't see that in my future.  By far my most memorable and the most beautiful marathon that I've run.

I run every other day.  If I go back to back days then the knee is grumbling loudly. With the weather being so unpredictable lately that means some missed workouts.  I should get back to the pool and swim, but the pool where I swim isn't heated.  It's indoors so it's tolerable but when it's freezing outside the thought of jumping into a cold swimming pool isn't very appealing.  Maybe next week. 

My Garmin 310XT is my running buddy.  I've had it now for about a year and a half.  I would definitely classify it in the "My Favorite Piece of Training Equipment" category.  I've noticed that since having it I run faster. I remember back in 1985 I pretty much always trained at an 8:00 mile pace.  Now 31 years older it's more like an 8:30-8:45 pace, that's not too bad.  I like the thought that I've been running for 2/3 of my life. 

I remember my first running shoes - a pair of Brooks Vantage that were exactly the type of shoe I shouldn't wear.  I am a supinator, meaning I have rigid feet and need a cushioned shoe.  The first pair of Brooks I bought had a Varus Wedge in them.  Which slightly angles the foot to match it's slightly canted position. 

Now I run in Nike Zoom Vomeros, love them.  Super cushioned for my sad and pathetic little knees.  I've raced in the Brooks Ghost for the past two seasons but am thinking of trying something new this year.  I don't know what yet though.  I thought I'd email my friends at RunOn back in Texas and see if they have any recommendations.  This store is a runner's paradise.  Clothing lines the walls and sales floor, running shoes for days and all of the salespeople there to help you are dedicated runners.  There isn't a true running store anywhere near here and I refuse to shop online at that big running shoe retailer (to remain nameless) because of some really bad customer service in the past.

The love part of running comes from the simple joy of being by myself in the fresh air enjoying the sights as I move down the road.  I do usually listen to music, my boys Phoenix and Bogey got me a new iPod for Christmas so I have put together some play lists for different types of runs.  I know that the play list titled RunRunRun will always get me through a quick paced tempo run. 

I hope I'll be able to run for years to come.  I know I'll miss it.


Long may you run.
Long may you run.
With your cold heart shining
In the sun.
Long may you run.

-Neil Young