Hey Running Buddy

Cool thing happened while running today.  This happens occasionally, but not very often.  I crossed paths with a runner early in the run and then miles away I came across her again.

My jogging routes meander all over the place but usually take the form of “big loop that starts and ends at my house.”  I don’t like passing near my house anywhere in the middle because it tempts me to stop.  I left before 6:30, came across a lady jogging on one side of a neighborhood and then 3 miles away saw her again along the sidewalk in a commercial area.  She was the only other runner I saw in the whole 45 minute run.  The circumstances were such that we could only have met at those two places if we were both going for long runs on these particular routes.  I thought it was pretty cool, maybe it was that running daze that you get in, so I hope she didn’t think I was too enthusiastic when I shouted “HELLO AGAIN!” the second time.

It’s going to be a good day.

-Steven Gangstead

Make a 2 mile run feel like 5 miles

I’ve survived a couple marathons.  Completed is too generous a term. I swam in high school, water polo in college.  I was an OK goalie and it’s not as exhausting as playing in the field.  A couple years later I was living next door to a velodrome in Allentown and so I bought a road bike to ride around the cool asphalt course adjacent to the track.  I started doing triathlons about the same time because once you have spent hundreds of dollars on a bike the only barriers to entry are a $10 set of goggles and whatever a swimsuit and shoes cost.

Rejected. Not shown: 10 shots that went right past me.

Little known fact: when there is nothing scheduled at the Lehigh ‘drome they leave the gates open and you can go ride around.  You don’t have to have a snazzie track bike or anything, although you should hide out of shame if any real cyclists show up or else they will mock your sissy brakes and lack of kit.

I’m solidly middle of the pack when I compete.  I’m just in it for fun and fitness.  Recently I did P90X and it was a good time.  It got me interested in doing more strength training and focusing more on overall fitness rather than racing.  When I run long distances I’m always either Injured or Recovering.

I’ve recently heard about CrossFit and I like the idea of mixing up cardio and strength, but I don’t have any fancy equipment.  By “heard of” I mean “read on Wikipedia”… that’s the extent of my knowlege, but it sounds cool.

I’m trying out something new with the last couple of runs.  I work in some quick exercises through a short run and try to run fast (I can hold a blazing 8-minute mile).  Here’s what I did today:

-Jumping jacks and ballistic stretches to start
-1/2 Mile run
-2 minutes light stretching (hamstrings, quads, calves)
-1/2 Mile run
-30 Push ups
-1/2 Mile run
-40 alternating side step lunges
-1/2 Mile run
-20 plyometric jumps onto a thigh-high retaining wall
-Cool down / walk around and gasp
-12 pull ups

In a later post I’ll describe how I built the pull up bar beside my house.  That thing is awesome and way better than the doorway iron-gym style pull up bar.

The distances were very approximate because my total distance ended up being 2.5 miles.  I’m looking for more exercises to incorporate that don’t need any equipment.  Last time I did burpees,  very exhausting.

For each exercise I started running immediately after finishing the last rep, no waiting.  The run-after-lunges was particularly excruciating.  My legs had that one-ton, running-through-mud, feeling that they have in the bike-run transition of the triathlon why you ever thought a tri would be fun.

I was thoroughly exhausted after the run and the whole process took about 30 minutes including warm up and cool down.  I’d say it was a good way to workout  before work without having to wake up before sunrise and was equivalent to a leisurely run twice as long.