I am up and running.
Upon arriving home from work today I quickly changed into my favorite spandex shorts, took off my work shirt, laced up my New Balance Trainers (Courtesy of Rackets to Runners) and headed out the door. I ran the first three blocks at a regular pace, the last block before the Park I could not hold back anymore and I sprinted the last half block into Stanley Park. The freedom I felt to be running again is indescribable.
I had a really good run today in the park and on the Seawall, that is until the last mile. Which leads me to a new segment...
Running Etiquette Lesson One: It is not appropriate to stop running, wait for a random stranger to come along, then run on their shoulder.
This has happened to me 3 times in Vancouver and I find the phenomena very annoying. The first time this happened I was on a light recovery run, which for most people would still be a fast pace. I was moving along the Seawall when I passed a man who was running much slower then I was. When I passed him he suddenly picked up his pace and glued himself to my shoulder. I picked up my pace to drop him as I chose to run by myself for a reason and he was not making any enlightening conversation. He picked up his pace and continued to run on my shoulder. Over the course of a kilometer my pace went from relaxed easy run to tempo and this guy would not quit. If I slowed he slowed, if I picked up the pace he picked up the pace. After a mile I abruptly stopped and turned for him to go by. The second occasion was somewhat similar and again very annoying. At least these two individuals were already running. Today on the Seawall, as I was coming around to Second Beach Pool I noticed a man in the distance doing some random stretches that I am sure were not prescribed by any coach or health care professional. I was cruising at my off day pace, out for a lark of a run. I hung a right at the pool to run along the water and he started up behind me, and pasted himself on my shoulder. If I can hear your breathing your are running too close. I slowed my pace to let him go by as I thought he might have been doing a tempo, he did not budge from my shoulder. I returned to my regular pace as I thought maybe he had a little bit of energy at the beginning of his run, again he did not budge from his position on my shoulder. I was feeling quite annoyed at this point so I decided to have a little fun and play a little game with this guy called 'surge'. I gradually increased my pace so he would have to work harder and harder to keep up, then I would drop slightly to let him catch his breath, then go again. I repeated this pattern approximately 3 times, and each time this annoying man stayed in my shadow. The last surge was followed by a significantly slower piece, I wanted him to think I was tired. Again he made no move to pass. I then put the hammer down and ran hard. I heard his heavy breathing grow more distant as I dropped him with ease. The moral of this little exercise; run on my shoulder, get dropped. If I cannot knock you out with a punch, I will make you suffer with my pace.
To finish my run I wove myself around the beautiful tree lined streets of the West end, enjoying my freedom. Altogether I ran 5 miles with no pain in either my lower extremities or the incision from my surgery. It feels absolutely wonderful to be back running and I am looking forward to training. I do have to prepare myself for the road ahead of me though. I have very much enjoyed my break and I still have a week until my first hard workout. Soon I will be back into hard training which drains much of my energy and some of my bright spirits. Beware for posts of a slightly negative nature as I push my body and mind as far as tolerable.
I am excited to push hard but also a little nervous with lots of questions. Will my body respond to my training program as it has the past year leading to more personal bests or have I plateaued? Can I stay injury free? Can I cope with the exhaustion and push beyond it? Will I accomplish my goals? Will there be anyone to bring me cheer when I fuck up a workout or race?
I am back running and I could not be happier!