Friday, May 16, 2008

What pain? To run or not!


I spent the day trying to decide whether I should run or not. I was still was pretty sore in my left upper hamstring which was more aggravated if I sat for long periods at my desk. Besides that, the right inside of my ankle had throbbing pains when I walked almost like the feel of shin splints but above the ankle on the inside.

I rationalized all day about getting the lawn mowed and the fact that it is supposed to rain this weekend. The sun was out and the weather was perfect. My thoughts shifted to going home and just running an easy pit loop with Amanda.

It is so hard to decide.....would running tonite work against me and jeopardize my race next weekend...or if I don't run will it affect me in the race......I felt that some type of run had to take place, I planned to run a lot slower and if the pain continued I would just quit the workout and go home.

I decided it was a good time to locate the river loop at Pineland and run that part of the course. The fact that I was running slow would give me the opportunity to navigate that area as I didn't know how well marked it was.

I wasn't too sure at first, even running slow (11min pace) the ham and the ankle bothered a little. I decided to at least run a couple miles. I found the path heading behind the barn into the field and as I rounded the corner, A fairly large deer was apparently startled at took off.

What a sight as I was only 15 or 20 feet from it. I heard the rustle of the brush then, Bam! this deer was flying past me at least 6 feet off the ground. It seemed as if it were going to take off and instantly reminded me of the way the reindeer take off in the Christmas movies.

It was so graceful as it landed and sprung back into the air again. The whole time it's white tail was standing strait up and wagging. It seemed funny to me as I thought of the waving of the white flag when one surrenders. Only this guy was not surrendering but more like challenging me to try and keep up.

Well, he had nothing to worry about as compared to him I wasn't running fast enough to beat a tree! My mind took sort of a snap shot as he bounded his third time. There he was suspended in mid air , waving at me with his tail, a large green field around him, huge pine trees as a backdrop and stuck right in the middle of it all was a pure white barn with a green metal roof. If only I had this vision as a camera shot. I would frame it and display it for all to see.

I found the river loop and headed down the trail. This was actually more of a trail than I expected. Quite wide and well groomed. There were plenty of hills and the difficulty seemed more than the Gloucester hill loop across the street.

I came across and area were a buch of trees had fallen. The overpowering aroma of pine flowed in my nose and it brought so many memories to mind. I love the smell of wood. Isn't that a crazy thing to say? But it is true, the smell of fresh cut wood, the smell of the forest, even the smell of burning wood, it just triggers something inside of me. I felt tranquil.

I suddenly realized that I had settled into my run quite well (though still slow) and there were no pains to speak of.....was it the deer sighting, the oneness with wood or just the fact that I had warmed up? I am not sure but I was feeling great! I am glad I ran today but we will see if it catches up with me tomorrow.

I finished the 6 mile run with a little kick and was surprised how tired I was since I ran so slow.....tired but satisfied. As I slowed to a walk, I took stock in my aches and pains....Hmmnn....nothing out of the ordinary..I actually felt pretty good. I walked back to the truck and did a few stretches before heading home. Funny, even though there was a hint of discomfort in my ham, I had less pain then when I just never knows.

This had me thinking heavy about next week. Both times I ran track, I experience pain in my left upper ham. I really feel it derives from running in a constant circle at near top speed. I am seriously considering not running track next week as the race is next weekend. I want to go in injury free and I fear that I will aggravate the ham if I run Tuesday......I will think about it I guess.

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