Monday, April 30, 2012

"Okay, So Now What?"

 Adam: A tumor? Dr. Ross: Yes. Adam: Me? Dr. Ross: Yes. Adam: That doesn't make any sense though. I mean... I don't smoke, I don't drink... I recycle...

Turned in the first of my three twenty mile runs on Sunday, training for the Ann Arbor Marathon.  I get pretty high maintenance about these runs and treat them like the pinnacle of my training. They are mapped out and circled on the calendar long before they happen. I do a mini-taper and get rested before the event. I have my shoes out the night before, fav socks and shorts washed. In fact, if I am running early, I often sleep in the very same shorts I will be running in. It just eliminates one step.  My  little 'run refreshments' are ready to go the night before, meaning gu chomps, gu gels, s-caps, and money tucked into my shorts, and I put my breakfast out so I can eat right upon waking and wash it down with fresh coffee. Unlike some others who don’t eat a thing, I eat about 800 calories before these runs.   An ipod playing list has been hand chosen and ipod is fully charged. And of course I check the weather about sixteen thousand times, including details of each hour and winds, and map in motion.

As it is, flexibility is needed and you can't control everything, and a fever hit one of my children. This certainly brings out the eternal nurse in my wife,  but as I didn’t want to leave her alone in the house, I hit the treadmill in the basement to stay nearby just in case. Now I need shows ready, DVR set up,  blu-rays on hand, and the remotes lined up along the treadmill. By the way, my gears consist of a pair of Nike Pegasus shoes, I run on A Nordic Track Commercial 1500 treadmill, and watch a Samsung 32 inch HD with a Blue-Ray player, Netflix streaming as well as DVR.

And to think, somewhere out there a minimalist running dude is putting in these miles barefoot on some Colorado mountain trail.

The  treadmill was  a good idea anyway, since my legs are tore up and my knees constantly sore since from two major hill runs I did this week. After finally looking at the Ann Arbor course map which is twice as hilly (literally, twice as much elevation gain) as Boston, I went a little spastic. I was hoping that the soft surface of the treadmill would be more kind on my legs, and maybe I can put in these 20 miles with my knees not even noticing.

50/50.. with these odds, you'd be the favorite game in Vegas.

I’ve  always known that a long-run puts me into a strange emotional space. That's part of why I do it.  It basically makes me “long-run drunk”, and this was once again confirmed when I watched the movie, 50/50, and once again found myself sweating and crying and feeling the whole spectrum of emotional mucus.   50/50 is a great Bromance cancer treatment movie.  There was the unneeded elements of Wedding Crasher sprinkled in the film, but this may have been the best route to let Seth Rogen work his great comedic genius where he gets away with a crude playfulness. The movie was at times irreverent but also ultra-realistic and a touching look at how the world treats cancer patients, as well as a reminder of our mortality. It's a disease that has struck close to home, and motivated me to run the Chicago marathon raising funds for the American Cancer Society.  So, yes, in at least two scenes, I found my face filled with a mix of sweat and tears, and I had some good laughs and a wonderful time. Thirteen miles of the run passed like nothing and I was better off for it.

The movie ended with the great line, “Okay, so now what?” before fading to black.  Any good story should end with a new beginning playing in your mind long after the shades are drawn, the books is closed, or the credits roll. It didn’t hurt to have a Pearl Jam song playing as the credits rolled in 50/50.

My run  outlasted the movie, so I put in the last hour of Warrior to rewatch and all my major aches and pains of the run went away. It’s impossible to watch that movie and feel physical pain, and it was as great as the first time I watched in my 'Long-run drunkenness.'  I cruised through the end of the 20 miles, my pace clipping along in a satisfactory manner just 45 seconds slower than hoped for marathon pace.  I think part of how you measure a long run is if you can keep the same pace and gait at the end, with maybe tiny bits of reserve of energy left, as well as how you feel the next few days and how long it takes to recover. Nailed the first part, and the damage from the 20 miles will show up soon enough. Better than 50/50 my knee did notice, and I'll be skipping at least one run this week.

Okay, so now what? Rest up for a day, ice all the sore tendons with a bag of frozen peas, and then slowly build up to do a couple of ten milers = either marathon pace runs or a nice hill run, before my next 20 miler two weeks away, which I will definitely have to do on the road, and then a final 22 miler on Memorial day weekend three weeks out from marathon day.

Unless, of course, I get diagnosed with a tumor.

"The Jade Rabbit" - $3.99 on Amazon


Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Dude, you must already have a tumor. 20 on the mill? Crazy.

Cait the Arty Runnerchick said...

great job on that run!! :) haha...okay, i'm not even kidding here, i lay out my clothes and even sleep in my shorts during the summers so i can literally roll out of bed and get my run started that much sooner. am i a little OCD too, yea, but that's okay. :)

PS- the minimalist and barefoot movement is so over-rated...uh oh, i will now get a flood of haters...hehe

Mark Matthews said...

Well, I know a shoe store owner who remarked that so many people bought a pair of Vibrams, but they never seem to buy a second pair. And how the writer of Born Too Run (which was an amazing book!) was given plenty of support to write the book by the barefoot/minimalists industry.

Mark Matthews said...

I'm always happier to have run outside, and it seems more real, but I don't have as much 'dread running on the tread.'

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