Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mugged By A Naked Chocolatier - Godiva Summer Track Series

Lady Godiva beat me senseless with a baseball bat. A baseball bat covered in rusty, jagged nails. She beat my feet, my calves, my knees, my thighs and my lower back. She left me a quivering wreck, slumped in the seat of my car, nearly unable to shift gears or operate the clutch. To make the beating so much more humbling, she only took a dollar from me. Not an altogether expensive mugging, but a first class beating none the less.

I've been working on getting "faster" lately. I stink at it. Running fast hurts both physically and mentally. Physically, the lower half of my body just hates the fast turn over, and in my case, the harder pounding of my feet against the ground (I know this is form issue, but like I said, I stink at running fast). Mentally, my inner Captain Kirk is pounding on the con demanding warp speed, but getting only impulse drive. And he's not happy about that.

Ok, I admit it. My first session at the Godiva Summer Track Series left me bruised and battered physically, but I really enjoyed the experience, regardless of the frustration of my inner Captain Kirk. The fact that I'm still hobbling around like a car accident victim a day later doesn't mean that I won't go back for more sessions, because I definitely plan on returning. Even with the bruised left foot, and angry right ankle (self diagnosis - medial lateral plantar dorsal achillecankleitisneuroma), I managed to set my fastest mile time since high school (decades ago) - 6:19. And I did it while running barefoot! Although, now that I have stoked the fires of the metatarsalgia in my left foot, that may not have been such a wise decision. But still, a modern era PR! Woo hoo!

If I don't completely disintegrate, or end up in the emergency room beaten nearly to death, I have a few goals I would like to accomplish during this series.

  1. Learn to run "faster" and not feel like a victim of a violent crime afterwards.
  2. Run a mile in under 6 minutes. Match or beat my all time (high school) record of 5:47.
  3. Run a 5K in under 22 minutes.
I'm getting flames tattooed on my
ankles if I ever run a 5K
in under 20 minutes. 

Here's to a full Summer of senseless violence at the hands of a sexy chocolatier. Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wrath of Achilles - SAS Employee 5K

Every year my employer has a friendly little 5K race to celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day. I try to run the race each year, but it falls at the end of my self destruction racing season, so I'm rarely healthy enough to run well (or to even run at all sometimes). This year was no different. Until the day before the race I didn't know if my irritated achilles tendon would allow me to run, even slowly, on race day. And if I did run, how would I stop myself from getting all strung out on adrenaline and hurting myself even more. Only one thing to do - run the race barefoot.

I figured that running my first barefoot race on a hilly course, with stretches of rough, chip-seal asphalt, would definitely keep me at a sane pace. Hopefully a pace slow enough to prevent the last remaining, frayed, gristly strands of my achilles tendon from snapping like so many dry rotted rubber bands. I didn't count on Kirk showing up.

The Kobiyashi No-shoes Scenario
As the race started, I made it all of 30 feet before my inner Captain James T. Kirk took the con.

"Sulu, lay in a course for the finish in the gamma quadrant. Warp factor 6!" ordered Kirk.

"Oh myyy" muttered Sulu.

In a matter of minutes, I was at full speed. Too fast! Need to slow down! But.. can't.. resist.. the.. incredible.. fun.. of.. running.. fast.. while.. barefoot!

I passed all of these people in the next mile. Like the Enterprise in the opening
credits of the original series. Whoosh!!!

For the first couple of miles I was flying. I passed loads of people and never felt any real stress. My achilles was feeling fine and so were my feet. Of course it wouldn't last.

In the final mile or so, my left foot started to hurt. I could feel a blister forming on the big toe and I had stepped on "something" which was causing the ball of my foot to feel very put out. And then my achilles made its presence known.

"Keptin! Achilles beerd of prey uncloaking off the starboard bow!" shouted Chekov.

"Scottie, I need warp 9 now or we're all dead!" ordered Kirk.

"I canna break the laws of physics, Captain! The left nacelle is so hot the outer hull is blisterin' and the right nacelle's dilithium crystals are critical!!" screamed Scottie. "If I push her any harder, she'll explode!"

"For god's sake, Jim! You're gonna get us all killed! You're not supposed to be racing!" yelled McCoy.

"Not today, Bones. I don't believe in the no race scenario" replied Kirk. "Scottie, tell me you have warp power."

"I can give ya warp 7, but no more. And even that may not hold!" warned Scottie.

"I'll take it. Sulu, engage!" ordered Kirk.

Somehow, with one last, tender-footed surge, I held on to cross the line in just over 24 minutes, beating last year's shod time by over 2 and a half minutes. Kobiyashi No-shoes scenario - defeated.

Amazingly, there were two others who also
defeated the Kobiyashi No-shoes scenario.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Owlbear Attack - Clean Up On Aisle PR!

Apparently, the wizard who lives in the dark, foreboding forest surrounding Owl's Roost Trail didn't take kindly to me claiming a sub-2 hour PR (pathetic/personal record) while running on "his" trail. So, an Owlbear was dispatched to destroy me, or at least to peck viciously on one of my Achilles tendons. Although it took over 2 days, the beast finally tracked me down. PR's have a certain, distinct smell. A combination of musty flop sweat and trail dirt scorched by napalm. Easy for an Owlbear to follow.

Fortunately, Owlbears dispatched by dark wizards come with claws and beak soaked in sleep potion, so they can lay waste to your vulnerable body while you dream of your next PR.

Owlbear Rolls for Damage
The Owlbear attacks while I'm sleeping, so get's damage of D20 + 2 (modifier for my stupidity), and of course he rolls a natural 20. Results:
  1. Right achilles. Pecked full of holes. Seemingly attached only by a few, painful, frayed strands. Walking when getting out of bed is like being stabbed with a knife in the heel. 2AM trips to the toilet are now out of the question. I'm exploring new bladder capacity capabilities.
  2. Left shoulder. Completely dislocated by brute Owlbear force. I am unable to open the refrigerator drawer to retrieve the magical healing Sierra Nevada Pale Ale potion.
  3. Both hips. Actually, entire lower torso has been devastated by a wicked, strong Owlbear hug. Range of motion now limited to about 20 degrees. Good thing I can't walk, because I couldn't move very fast with 10 inch steps.
Next time I cast haste, I will make sure I cast invisibility first. Or, perhaps, I'll just run slower.