Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Run Forest Run! aka Running in the Forest

So, I don't blog much. Mea Culpa. Sorry to you poor buggers out there who like to read my blether.
Today I went for a run. Strangely... my first real run of the season. I used to run quite a lot. Last year was my summer of the least fitness since I quit smoking(August 2000 yay me!), other than my summer 2008 when I hung out at "Camp Chemo" and even that summer I did a little triathlon. Last year was the first year in 7 that I did only one race(stupid grown up life gettin' in my way) I did a ton of awesome snowshoeing in the winter and joined a crossfit gym as the cold rainy horror we called spring happened in Ontario. My friend Glenn had been talking about his gym, so I tried it for a few weeks and loved it.
During the crossfit initiation period there was a lot of running, jumping, weight lifting and sweating. I was in a class with people that seemed to like it, but I haven't seen them since that first 6 week Boot Camp class. The weather got better, I still never went for a run. Lots of reasons, few of them good... but I didn't run. One reason was I was trying an experiment from a book I read, a body hack if you will.
The idea was that I could lose fat with some simple, short weight workouts (similar to some crossfit principals)most especially including kettlebell swings. I joined the Boot camp class just a few weeks before I read the book, so I started the eating plan and the class within a week of each other. Somewhere in there I started to see results with a lower fat percentage, and I was losing inches in some places, and gaining them in other cool ones. I also fell in love with kettlebells.
But the running, the whole point of the bloody blether... the running in my class was short, 100-400m type stuff, mixed with sets with my beloved bells...
I've known since my cross-county running days at Parkside that intervals were important to running. There's lots of current articles on Tabata type running workouts and 200m sprints until you barf... but in high school in the 1980's we had the pleasure of doing the fartlek. If we could get through the workout without laughing outloud at the name, it was a hell of a workout. Fartlek's never made me faster I don't think, but my coaches spent time with the naturally faster, taller (and in my mind prettier)girls so getting fast wasn't gonna happen without more help. Maybe if Uncle Ed gave me a kettlebell to swing while he coached Debbie Perfect, and one of those other tall blondies ;) I would have been happier, or stronger or somethin'

I'm not a fast runner. I run alone mostly, and until recently didn't track my speeds or distances. I have always run for time, to train for triathlons and to hide in the woods without anything bugging me from work or the aformentioned pesky grown up life.
I knew about a month ago that crossfit classes were making my running better so I tested my endurance on a short 20m/3k run AFTER a 45m long killer crossfit class and I was kinda stunned I could actually finish the planned 20m. Today, I aimed for 30m, but used a light kettlebell workout to warmup. At 25m I decided I was aiming for 40m. Did it.
So, with only a 3k run under my belt since LAST fall, I kicked through a 5k with little grief. I may not walk well tomorrow and I know from the tight feeling in my core that I "kept my chi" through the run.
I also did the whole thing "barefoot" in my VFF's which were not ideal for the gravelly trail I was on but... I did it.

Crossfit rocks...
Oh ya... oops...forgot... my speed on todays run was a PB for average speed for all my tracked runs of the last year sans that one race. That race? At a high school reunion... and one of the many tall blondies from my old team won. Some things change.... and some things never, ever will. ;)

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