Saturday, July 04, 2009

Running and I have an interesting relationship. I've done it on and off since I was fourteen or fifteen, but aside from when I ran track in high school, for a whole semester, I've never been particularly serious about it.

Now that I'm being kind of serious about riding my bike, I'm trying to be more serious about cross-training too. I think that if I only ride my bike, I will be a very fast cyclist but stand to get hurt more easily either through overtraining or when I fall off. One aspect of my more ambitious plan is running. I think that it will lead to improvements in my cyclocross race pretty directly, and I also think that it will help prevent overtraining injuries that I can be prone to on my bike.

Another reason to resume running is that to train on a bike, I need a bike. More than that, I need a bike that fits me. When I'm traveling, this can be a problem. In order to go for a run, I need to bring a pair of appropriate shoes and some suitable clothing. It's a lot easier to fit that in a carryon bag. ActionMom's bike is actually only a size too small for me, but I would still need to bring my own shoes, pedals and saddle. I also prefer my own helmet and she doesn't have a seat wedge or the necessary tools to fix a flat or a mechanical problem. I'm visiting San Francisco through the 11th and on this trip, I went with just running shoes.

After my last experience with running, I realize that this is something I need to be very careful with. I need to make sure that I'm really warmed up before I go, and I need to limit the amount of running I do until my body starts to adapt to it again. If I could run ten miles in high school, I see no reason I can't train to run ten miles now, but since I couldn't run three miles last August, clearly I've got some work to do. So my plan is to start by doing alphabets, then do some calf presses, and then go for a thirty minute running workout. I'm not going to say "thirty minute run" because the runs that screwed up my ankle in August were under twenty-five minutes, so I don't think I should actually run for thirty minutes. I'm going to be "that guy" who's wearing the expensive(ish) running shoes and powerwalking, glancing at his watch, running for a little bit, etc. It's going to frustrate me. I know that there are consequences to giving in to my urge to go fast, though, so I'm going to be disciplined, be "that guy" and work my way up to being able to go for a thirty minute run. My new place is less than a mile from Green Lake Park, so I can join all the other Seattleites dressed for running and doing anything else.

I had a big idea about how I was going to go running this morning. What I actually did, though, were some alphabets and some calf presses. The calf presses caused something in my ankle to start clicking and feeling a little swollen. My urge was to lace up my shoes and go anyway, but I'm trying to be disciplined. I did go for a walk later with some relatives who are on their way to the same wedding that's brought me to San Francisco, but it's a very small start compared to what I'd like to be able to do.

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