Sunday, January 06, 2008

What you do when you're not running much

ORN: 3 miles, 8:25/mile, 25:05, priceless

As I claw back to the surface of steady, 20+ mile running weeks, I have more time on my hands. Or, on my feet.

So, I’ve diddled with this blog. I’ve wanted to have a more interesting header for some time. Thanks to photos from Dee Dee and expert photo-editing by my sister Karen, I have it. Mind you, this is “art” as envisioned by an engineer; i.e. pretty clunky and very, very, linear. But, hey, there it is…the solitude and pleasure of running alone and the ultimate prize of finishing the race. Karen offered to edit out the clock on the finish photo. I wanted to leave it, as a reminder of plodding and the cruel but real fact some tasks just require you to slog through it and finish, no matter the time.

I’ve also added data from RunningAHEAD on the sidebar, posting my 5 most recent runs and on-going totals. For the voyeuristic amongst you, I have made my running log public. If complete boredom takes over, you can go see what odd comments I make about each run.

Core strength is a new item. Looking at my log, I realized it was mid-November when I added daily sit-ups and push-ups. Fascinatingly, I now look forward to them. Like many habits, it takes some time to get used to it…then the feelings follow. I’m up to 25 of each in the morning. Now, rather than just getting through them, I’m focusing on form. I’m trying to see how many perfect sit ups and pushups I can do in a set. I’ll get maybe one or two right now, each day. I gotta say, the abdomen and lower back feel a lot better.

I’ve also dusted off the weight bench in the basement and have added daily leg extensions to the regimen. I understand from a number of sources quad strength adds to proper alignment of the knee, diminishing the knee pain I’m trying to avoid in 2008.

Oh yeah, I’m also running a bit. Had a nice 3 miler yesterday, and plan to do 3 more this week and 6 next Saturday. The knee is feeling fine…I’m going to ease it back into service.
Then I had a wonderful surprise run this afternoon, Sunday. My youngest son, Matt, still home from college, is in ROTC. After getting home from church, I suggested we go for a run since it was nearly 60 degrees and he needed to keep in shape for Army PT purposes. He agreed and so out we went. I suggested he set the pace and, boy, did he. We ripped through the first mile at 7:56. He slowed a bit through the second mile, at 8:11, then a runny nose slowed him further to a 8:45 pace in the final mile. He still had enough moxie to kick the final 200m and leave me in the dust. Plus, I suspect, he enjoyed proving that 19 is a lot younger than 54, as if we needed proof. We had a great time, though, engendering some great conversation during and after the run. And, guess what?? Not a single quibble from the right knee. Priceless.
You never know what surprise awaits. Raising kids is an ultimate test of perseverance. And, sometimes, despite the difficulty, you get a glimpse of the finish line.


Karen said...

For the record, Joe, I did not paste you into the weight bench doing leg lifts. It isn't Matt either! Just some model who probably cannot run a marathon!


Shilingi-Moja said...

Sounds like a great time with your son. My love for running hasn't rubbed off on my 24 year old -- maybe because I didn't start running consistently until after he left home (Kenya) for university and he didn't have a role model. (Yeah, right!) The one time he ran with me about 8 years ago, he left me in the dust after about 1.5 miles! :-D


tbtgwacmtt said...

Great updates to your blog design Joe! You've reminded me that even as runners, good fitness involves more than just running. I've been avoiding situps and pushups so far but to avoid potential injuries you're right on target about doing more than just run.

Thanks for taking time to share on your blog!

- Bill

Shilingi-Moja said...

Thanks for the note on my blog. I'm interested in hearing what you all did in Swaziland and Lesotho. Drop me a note at shilingi(dot)moja(at)gmail(dot)com at your leisure.


Darrell said...

The new header is really great.

Cool run with Matt. Tyler just called to let us know he made it safely back to San Diego (in the rain). I'm beginning to believe that there's no real finish line to the child rearing.

Wes said...

I like the new banner. I need to do something with mine someday too. You did all of us proud keeping up with the young guy :-)

David said...

Joint looks good!

I went to the track with my 24 year old for intervals. I did 8x800s in pedestrian times, by comparison. He did 200s because that's about as good as he could do. His kick would deck a mule but not for long. Mine got me around in equal times.

Backofpack said...

I like the new header, and I'd love to have that finish time! Core strength is great. If you were closer I'd show you a couple good Pilates exercises.

You are right about raising kids - it's never done. I bet my Mom and Dad still think they are raising me!

Sarah said...

I like the new look! : )

robtherunner said...

I like the new look as well. The pictures in your header add a nice touch. Nice run with Matt! I need to get back to my sit-ups and push-ups as well.

WADDLER26.2 said...

Awesome new look, Joe. I like the sidebar too. I'm such a geek that I get into that kind of stuff.