Thursday, November 09, 2006

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS.

The weather here in River City has been very pleasant for early November, some of the nicest weather we can expect--warm (55-65), partly sunny (gotta have those clouds for warmth), calm, and dry. In fact, it was so nice yesterday I decided to take my "beginner" running program outside. At least one good thing about daylight savings is that it is somewhat light around 6:30-7:00 am (dark when I get out of work (: though).

I had been thinking of just staying on the dreadmill for a while, but I know the problems I have with running on the machine--sore feet and/or ankles, all the time. Some I know is from not running, but I just didn't think I could stand to have it get worse, so out the door I went.

Running from the gym, I am running in the downtown area first, watching all the comings and goings of the early and overnight shifts as they head to or out from work. Only moderate traffic, but enough so you do have to wait to cross streets. Only semi-light as I plod down the street, keeping track on my watch of my walk and shift to running. I forgot at the 5 min. mark, so went to 6 walking, and by then I was on the path along the river. We have one on each side, so its possible to run for quite a while, cross a bridge, and head back on the other side. When its completely light, I don't mind so much or worry too much. In the semi light, I tended to be a little hesitant, knowing full well I might not be able to outrun anyone who tried to grab me(!). Got to be careful no matter where you are or what time it is, though.

Running outside helps me achieve a more natural arm swing and hold my Chi Running form easier. But with the arm swing, I noticed some shoulder discomfort. I would have to modify it some to prevent overuse of the area. I am still noticing some muscle weakness on the left side, the side of the body that sustained some impact with the car, while the breaks were mostly on the right side. (I think I was hit on the right side first and then flew onto the car which is where the impact injury on the left side arose, but I'll never know for sure). If I look in the mirror, my left upper thigh area, from a distance, looks like it has cellulite, but it is still mild bruising that you see. This and cross the left "cheek" is where the impact was, as well as across the lower back, and down the left leg by the calf, to the ankle, and foot. So I am aware of these areas in most things I do. The weakness is what bothers me, and I noticed my left foot scuff a few times.

Anyway, back to the run. My first two runs had been on the treadmill: walk 5 min., run 1.5, walk 1.5, up to 30 min. This time, I started with a 6 min. walk (I like to be even), and decided, what the heck, I''m going to try 2 min. runs, and 2 min. walks. After my first run interval and during my second walk interval, another runner came over the bridge, almost behind me, but went to the lower path right along the river. I wondered who "he" was (looked like a man), and by the time I got to the end of the upper path where the two meet, he was heading under the bridge (under the road) and on down to the dam and the next bridge. I made the decision to go across the bridge and head back to the other side of the river instead. Remember, it is still semi dark and I did not feel 100% safe running away from the heart of the city by myself.

(Note: I do notice a little trepidation in doing some things now, which is an after effect of the accident. Maybe this is good, or not. I don't know, but for now I am playing it safe.)

When I did this run last summer, I was able to run almost 2 miles before turning back, but today I was going by my watch. I was only at 16 min. when I crossed back to the other side so decided to cross over again and run down two more bridges before turning back. This would give me some small hills--up and down--to really get a feel for the road.

The path takes a change of direction once you cross back over the river and then recross the road. From here you run a short path along the museum (trying to upload pictures and it isn't working), around the carousel, back along the backside of the museum, and back along the river. At this point, you are also running on campus of Grand Valley State University, through campus, and on out to another bridge, another main street through town, the dividing line between north and south in the city.

So there are a lot of places to bail out, but you still have an enjoyable run. It finally factored out to 14 min. of running, ending on a 4 min. walk back to the building, for a total of 34:39, more than 4 min. longer than the last two runs, and 2 extra minutes of running. I am working up to 20 and then on to 30, and then on to 30 continuous. I am still figuring this may take me the couple of months I am allowing myself, but it sure is more enjoyable being outside--at least for now. Weather is supposed to be 65 and partly sunny today, and this weekend? Snow. Doesn't that just figure??

4 comments:

Sascha said...

Hi Vickie, I'm going to be visiting family next weekend and need a good 14 mile running route. Can you help me out with that? I'll be staying in NE.

Fe-lady said...

Sounds like a greaaat plan! Glad the weather is cooperating also!
(It's hot here ...again...!)

TriFeist said...

It's so inspiring to read about your return to running. Thank you for sharing these runs with us.

sharon said...

Thanks for the Chi advice. I'll hold out for a 1/2 day like you attended. I have certainly gotten a lot out of the book