Sunday, January 06, 2008

Earn the Pants

I am back to running again. I actually started a few weeks ago for the first time but had to quit after just two runs as the strange weakness episode happened and then I got sick. Wow! I lost a good deal of strength and endurance as my legs felt like jello and quivered.

The first time I made a goal to run for at least 10 minutes on the Redmond Ridge trail which I managed and then stopped at Kari's bog to stretch out. Following the stretching I ran for an additional 9 minutes which was the rest of the trail through the woods and then walked the rest of the way back. The second time I pushed myself to cover the 20 minute distance non-stop.

It does get easier and things seem to be improving quickly as this week I returned to running again and was able to go further and longer. The steroids really have made a difference. In addition, I was able to run three days this week AND go to the gym at least 3 days this week to do my weight routine and other cardio.

I decided to get a headstart on one of my goals for 2008 (run at least a 5k and hopefully a 10k this summer) by running once at the end of December and then again on New Year's day. On the first run (first since early December and 3rd run since prior to surgery in September), my legs definitely felt stronger but my shins and ankles became sore very fast. Even though my shins and ankles continued to burn throughout the run, I was able to maintain a continous run for 28 minutes (stopping only twice as I tripped once and I had to tie my shoe another time).

(Hehe - after that run is when I bought myself the pants that I will explain later. I was really proud to be able to do at least a 25 minute run.)

At the opening of the year of course I had to take a run. If I could do at least 28 minutes then I surely could push myself a little further for 30. Again my shins and ankles were aching. Time to work harder at the gym on those areas by practicing on the BOSU device. I forgot to bring my watch with me but I forced myself further up the hill at the end of the run where I had to have reached 30 minutes.

Today was another good run and upon thinking about it now I don't recall my shins and ankles getting sore. The weakness was mainly in my quads which began to feel like lead as I did my leg weight routine yesterday. I pushed myself to go up the hill again at the end to make at least a 30 minute run and to "earn my pants".

Earning the pants.........

What is that all about? ;o)

Well I have not purchased myself a decent pair of running tights for years. As a matter of fact, prior to this week I have only owned one pair which are from my bigger days and have to be at least 6 years old. Even though the pants are size large I have still been wearing them as they are spandex material which are made to stretch (or shrink) to fit.

Back sometime in 2005 when my balance was at its worst, I was wearing them and tripped as the dogs pulled on the leash knocking me down. Back then the slightest pull could send me toppling over and I had no strength for resistance to pull back. As a result, I slammed one of my knees on the ground ripping a hole in the cheap cotton/spandex material.

The hole was not very big so I have kept them and have continued wearing them with my thermal pants underneath. Realizing that I could use a second pair I finally broke down and splurged on a nice pair of North Face running tights on sale at REI after Christmas. However, they were still pretty spendy yet reasonable and still cheaper than most workout pants and clothes. (Now I remember why I have not bought myself some for so long.)

At any rate, I felt I had deserved them as I had never purchased myself a decent pair and because I waited so many years looking to catch a pair at a thrifty price. Yet, I still felt slightly guilty thinking someone who is a more avid runner or who has run a marathon is more worthy of them than I. Therefore, I came up with the philosophy of "Earn the Pants".

When I have gone running this week (I bought them after I started my running goal early - December 30th), I keep the mentality that I have to run a certain distance and a certain time to be worthy of the pants. It sounds silly I know but so far it has been effective. It mostly comes in handy nearing the end of the run when I finish going uphill which is really hard. At that point my legs really burn and feel like I am running through water and it is tempting to quit. At that moment that I remind myself to "earn the pants". :o)

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