The early summer that we’ve been enjoying for the past couple of weeks has left us. The departure began on Saturday with a grey, cloudy sky and temperatures much lower than they have been. But, the cooler temps made the conditions perfect for a long run – especially since the rain held off.
The decent running conditions led to my training week ending on a good note with a nine-mile lakefront run.
I ran the first five miles on my own before meeting Lisa for the last four. The first couple of miles were a little rough. I had an unexplained pain in my right hip from the moment I stepped out of the car. I thought it was just stiff from the car ride, but about a mile in to the run, it still hurt.
In 2004 when I met fellow TRAAGsters Peter and Lisa, I got the nickname Drug Runner because in addition to the usual energy gels in my running pack, I always had some type of pain reliever. The drug of choice was ibuprofen. When my muscles started hurting I could usually get at least another five miles in comfortably after taking a dose or two of ibuprofen. Peter used to joke that I ran with a pill dispenser, like the dispensers train conductors use to make change.
I still am a big fan of the ibuprofen and usually have a few pills in my pouch. But when the pain started setting in on Saturday I realized I had not replenished the supply in some time. So as I ran, I started digging through my pouch looking for a stray pill or two. I found ONE. One was better than nothing, I thought. It would have to do. I took it right away and within a half mile, I was pain free but felt like I was running in slow motion.
I’m starting to see a new trend develop of me not being properly warmed up for a good three miles or so. I thought “cold” muscles may have been the source of my uncomfortableness, so I just kept moving, slowing down to a walk only once so I could drink some water. Not because I needed or wanted the break, but … Another thing I discovered is that this water bottle
is a terrible thing to drink out of while trying to run. Once you screw off the lid, the opening is so wide that when the bottle is more than half way filled, water just splashes up and goes in your nose when you attempt to take a drink. Thank goodness it was only water and not Gatoraid! But after a self-endured water boarding episode, I slowed to a walk when I needed to drink until the bottle was less than half full.
Anyway, my route had taken me from the south loop, where I parked, east to the lakefront where I ran south to McCormack Place. I didn’t start feeling good until I passed the aquarium for the second time coming back. Had I not started feeling better I likely would have just kept running toward the Chicago Yacht Club where I was meeting Lisa when I realized I was going to come up a half mile short. But, I was feeling good and wanting to hit a total of nine miles so I did a loop back to make up the lost distance. I felt very disciplined at that moment, something I haven’t felt in some time. I met Lisa with my running app showing 5.02 miles.
The last four miles that I ran with Lisa were a breeze.
We capped off our lovely Saturday morning with coffee, carbs and chit-chat at Caribou Coffee. If all my long runs go this great, they will never feel like an obligation, but rather a treat.
Totals for the week:
Total miles: 16
Longest run: 9 miles
Cross-training: 2 sessions of strength training on the BowFlex
Number of black toenails: 1
Weight: -2 pounds