Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Miracle Shoes Let Me Get Sore

Boy, am I sore today! I went running with John on Monday night, and I'm definitely feeling it! We ran on the Nike field on campus rather than on the streets, and it was actually much nicer than I expected. I mean, I knew the surface would be better than asphalt (it's made of recycled Nike shoes, so it's nice and cushy, and, as a special bonus, it doesn't get muddy when it's wet! :), but I always think it's boring to run around in circles in the same place. But I guess it helps to run with somebody so you can keep a conversation going - and it's nice for me to have somebody count laps, since I seem to be incapable of counting when I run. :P Another thing that was different about the run was the pace. First of all, John's legs are about twice as long as mine, but he generally does a good job of pacing with me. But what was different was that, when I street run, I usually just run at whatever pace is comfortable, maybe go up and down some hills (I like hills), but generally keep to a steady trot and don't really push myself too hard. Well, after we'd run about 4 or 5 or maybe 6 laps (not only can I not count laps, I can't remember how many I've done even if I know!), John said, "Okay, now let's step it up and run at 150% of our current pace." So we went a bit faster for the next lap. When that was over, he said, "Alright, now 150% of this pace" and I had to stretch my stride about as far as it would go to stay in stride with him. We only went one length of the field at that pace, but that was certainly enough! And it was only about 3/4 of his full stride length. Sigh. :P But it was really good to have somebody to push me like that, and get me out of my comfort zone a bit. After the run we did handstands and cartwheels on the field for a while, which is becoming a fun after-run cool-down tradition.

Anyway, back on to being sore. What is unusual about this particular soreness is the fact that it's not my shins that are sore. It's my glutes and quads. That is absolutely thrilling, and I am not exaggerating. I have no pain in my shins, whatsoever. I have been so used to running until my shins hurt, and letting that tell me when to stop, that it's a real shift to not having to worry about that. My shins are no longer the limiting factor in my running, at least for the fitness level I am at right now, and I can run to the point where other parts of my body get sore the next day. I think I'm going to write to Brooks and tell them they make miracle shoes. :)

On a completely different note, and because I can't seem to complete a post without somehow mentioning food, I had a marvelous dinner tonight. The first quintessentially autumn dinner of the year: leek and potato soup with freshly baked bread. I didn't exactly pick the best day for it (that would be a brisk, crisp, cold grey autumn day, and this was a gorgeously cool, sunny and bright autumn day), but boy! was it delicious! :)

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