Thursday, August 28, 2008

Running hurts my shoulders


(first published August 31, 2005)

The plan was a 4 mile run. The outcome was a little less than that.

I was on the road at 0600 this morning and as soon as I began running, the skies opened and the rain started pelting down. That wasn't so bad; I like running in a warm rain, but the workout the day before at the gym, began to take it's punishing toll early in the run. I had worked my shoulders on Tuesday thinking that would cause the least interference with my running program, but after five minutes, my shoulders were aching, almost intolerably. For me, the worst part of heading back to the weights after a long period away from them, is the muscle pain I have to go through with each major muscle group after the first few workouts. After thirty minutes of running, I could no longer hold my arms in the running position and began walking in from that point. The relief I felt when I was able to relax my arms and let them hang at my sides is inexplicable.

I cut through a trail area to get home a little quicker and as I was coming off the wooded trail, I met a woman just on her way in. She took one look at me and turned around and started walking the other way. I guess I look a little threatening to the ladies when I'm outfitted in my running gear. It was the strangest thing I had experienced in a look at me and gone - a real boost to the male ego.

Once I got back to pavement, I ran for a couple more minutes, but that too was agonizing on my shoulders.

Like I said, the intention was a 4-miler, but you know what they say about intentions and the road to 'hell'.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time machine


I took a few steps back in time this week, during an early morning workout. I had always been an early morning runner, but since joining a running club, most of my runs had been moved to the lunch hour. I had grown comfortable running amongst the mid-day traffic, zigzagging through intersections, sharing the road with drivers, some of whom really didn’t want to share the road with me.

As I got going in the pre-dawn darkness, I was struck by the tranquility of the moment; my mind was clear, my iPod was silent and I wasn’t about to ruin things by reaching for the play button. Cars normally zooming past gave way to quiet empty roadways. It was all coming back to me; this, I could get used to.

As I made my way along the sidewalks on this damp, dewy morning, streetlights guided my every step as if someone had left them on just for me. I noticed the moon hanging so low I thought surely I could reach it with enough of a running start and one giant leap. This was a run I was going to remember.

Moments like these make running so great. Anywhere, anytime, a run can grab hold of you and warm your soul. Moments like these make the 5:00 AM wakeup call that much more tolerable.

Run, baby. Run.