Friday, November 26, 2010

You know your a runner when . . .

The only good thing about business travel with crappy weather in the forecast is the ability to check out and compare the fitness facilities. On my recent trip to Edmonton I was shut out of my usual haunts due to not booking early and the Grey Cup being held on the weekend. As such I checked out the Ramada in the not so downtown core. The rates were cheap due to its less than desirable location.

You know you’re a runner when you choose a hotel based on the treadmill you see in the photos of the fitness room or the proximity to a good trail or a track. This year alone I have chosen a hotel because:
1) It was on the marathon course I was running in the fall and I could preview the course this way.
2) It was about a mile from the only track in town and I had an interval workout scheduled.
3) It was less than a mile from a well known trail I had heard or read about.

All sad and yet all true. Yes I have an addiction!

So the Ramada Inn in Edmonton not only had a great rate but a great treadmill. Typically I prefer to run outdoors no matter what the conditions but this hotel was in a bad part of town AND it was -25C with snow on the ground. I know when to stay inside (most times).

The treadmill au jour was a sweet LifeFitness commercial grade model. After my workout I pondered purchasing just such a beast to replace the Sears/Walmart residential strength model I have in the basement. The comparison of the two makes you lean toward the LifeFitness brand for sure. The LifeFitness treadmill has a wide deck probably about 20” or so. The length of which I could probably lie down on (okay it was 60" but it felt longer). The decking itself was a thick rubber. And I could actually hear myself think or listen to Oprah, not like my home jobby that is more akin to a Harley Davidson Fat Boy idling with 88 cubic inches of pure thunder. This beauty also inclines to 15% whereas my home model goes to 6%. The differences clearly favored the LifeFitness right up until the price tag. LifeFitness treadmills start at about $2500. Yup that’s right I didn’t add an extra zero by mistake. Ah well, I’ll stick to my bought and paid for Sears special (gratis by my Mom who was gonna throw it away after her exercise New Year’s resolution failed).

I was inspired to run the treadmill after watching a Youtube video of Tony ”Naked Guy” Krupicka, the superhuman ultrarunner having a treadmill race against James Bonnett , another ultrarunner sponsored by The North Face. Check it out, It is pretty nuts! If you notice they start the race at 15% grade. I’m guessing the pace is like 8 mph. I tried 15% and made it up to about 5mph but had to stop because I feared getting shot off the back if I stumbled. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sleep deprived for no good reason

It doesn’t help that I’m suffering from Post Marathon Blues and I lack a little bit of motivation right now. But this shoulder thing is really starting to bug me. It started as a small minor twinge that I felt occasionally when I ran and never any time other than that. Now four weeks post marathon it has built itself to a nice little crescendo. (That is music talk, folks)

I can lift my arm albeit slowly. I can crawl on all fours into a burning building (simulated), search for victims and drag a 180 lb dummy out a hundred feet through stacks of tires on one hand (attached to the same shoulder) and not even wince. I did that on Tuesday. I can throw a ball side arm and underhand did that Thursday

But throw a ball over the top has me screaming like a little girl. Okay I didn’t really scream but I wanted too. Trying to sleep can be a problem too. I never realized how much I move in my sleep until you get woken up because you’ve lifted you arm a certain way and the pain sends high voltage down my left side. It’s like an alarm clock for some sadomasochistic Spanish Inquisition torture freak.

I don’t mean to whine. I hate whiners. I’m from the School of Suck It Up. Although I am only at high school level, I haven’t graduated to the university level, the infamous U Suck. It is just a distraction that keeps me up at night and deprives me of rest. I mean I could be worse off. I’ve been following a few blogs. Colin has a heel problem that has dogged him forever but he managed a marathon though his problems. He’s now on the long road to recovery with a surgery option if need be, whatever the case he can’t run. I wish him well. Gary broke his 5th metatarsal in his right foot. Once again out for 8 weeks and no running.

I can still run. The twinge is still there and Jen says I shouldn’t aggravate it. I’m not so sure. I always take a layoff after an event: marathon, ultra or whatever. I race so infrequently that the event becomes the pinnacle of the year. So 4 weeks of little training I’m not sure if it is a coincidence this shoulder thing flared up, was it due to lack of exercise or is there something else. I could try and get my ass off the couch and run for a solid week and see if the pain goes down. But I keep waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning for a few painful minutes falling back asleep so when the alarm goes off at 5 a.m. I am beat.

In the mean time I’ve been to the doctor who sent me for an X-ray for which I await the result. The doc was skeptical the X-ray would show anything. He said an MRI would be better but in this province it takes about 15 months of waiting before you get an appointment. Unless you have $800 and can do it privately. For $800 I’d rather do something frivolous . . . like eat.