Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Patty's Run

Well, I finished the race in 50 minutes on the nose. I normally run 10 minute miles and it was a 5 mile race. I thought I might go a little slower since it was more mileage than I'm used to, but the crowd sort of carried me along. There were 11,000 of us! Looking at all of the people was quite entertaining. Some were dressed in the most hilarious costumes. Here are some highlights from the race.

-Best costumes: Bride and Groom with cans tied to their ankles and a Still Just Married sign on their backs

-Most defeating moment: 40 year old man pushing a stroller passes me as though I'm walking

-Most inspiring moment: Seeing a woman in her 70's running in full costume :)

-Best feeling: Hitting the 3 mile mark and feeling a burst of energy

I almost brought my I-pod, but since I had never been in a race I thought I should experience all of the sights AND sounds. I'm actually very glad I made that decision because I overheard some amazing conversations during my run.

-"Well she didn't tell me he had one arm until later. She just said 'I met this guy from Mizzou and he had a tattoo on his arm'"

-"I love being around all these super athletic people, it turns me on you know?"

-"Cheating is just in a person's personality, it doesn't happen on accident. How long were you with her?"

-"I can't wait until Boston, are you ready?"

Well I'm hurting a little now, but I've never felt better. I'm hooked for life!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You've got to work your way through the pain...

OK so I know this isn't a big deal to most people, but it is to me. I finished one of the book on my aforementioned nightstand pile! Yes, The Complete Book of Running, is now finito. I figured I needed to finish it to get me pumped up for the St. Patrick's Day race I am running in on Saturday. So how has the book helped me? Well, I now know that I am supposed to eat a lot of protein for three days, starting a week before a big run, and carbs for the next three days before the run. I know that it is important to track mileage for the month and not the week, as your body sometimes needs to recover and have lighter weeks. I know I can run basically until I die. Haha

This book was written in the late seventies, so I also learned some things that seem a little funny today. For example, women can run in marathons! There's a brand that makes running shoes just for women now. Wow, Saucony you are a trailblazer. Runners World is a new magazine that has a four color cover.

On a sad note, the book spotlights several people who continue to run when they're elderly, so I wondered about the current state of the author James Fixx. I googled him and discovered he died of a heart attack in 1984. He was only 52. I could not believe it. It's almost chilling how many times he talks about heart attacks in the book. He praises running for aiding in heart health, there's a chapter about runners who have had heart attacks, and he mentions that his wife kept asking him to get a physical. In one chapter, he writes about a well respected doctor who tells him he does not really need a physical, because he believes the body can tell you what it can handle. That part is semi haunting. Heart disease ran in Fixx's family, and before he began running he was an overweight smoker. Some of the damage to his arteries had already been done. Still it seems so unfair that a man who devoted his life to physical fitness died so tragically.

There is a lesson to be learned here. If you have a serious condition that runs in your family, get physicals often. You can't simply rely on your body to tell you some things. Don't be too proud or too busy to see a doctor.

Good book though James, you contributed to some revolutionary ideas that are still guidelines today. Thanks.