Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ouch II: Danny Boy Falls for Nothing

Danny Boy is awake at 3:30 AM, which is a little earlier than planned. Good, he thinks; he may be able to get an extra mile or so in. Eleven would be really nice, but he will still settle for ten as he'd planned.


Danny Boy is out the door and on the street at 4:39 AM, which is a little later than planned. He should never, never, never check Facebook before a run. Just a quick minute, he'd thought. Enough time for the coffee to kick in, he'd thought. It never works out as planned. Now he may have to settle for even less than ten miles. What will this do to his weekly total?


There is still a glimmer of hope, he thinks. If he can only run really fast, he might still be able to get his miles in, and still get back in time to get off to work.


Danny Boy is running as fast as he can go, and that isn't so fast. But it's still early in the run. Maybe he can still do it.


Early miles give way to middle miles, and Danny Boy is still not running very fast. It's not for lack of trying. Maybe he's still recovering from Sunday's almost longish run. The one where he had intended to run more, but ran out of time. Yeah, that one.


On one of the deep, dark side-streets near home, Danny Boy approaches a pile of branches and other debris that someone had thoughtfully placed in the road. He easily scoots around the pile, but as he returns to his running lane, he finds himself falling. The fall took several steps and at least one very bad word. He has time to break the fall with his hands and right leg. Once on the ground, he looks over and determines that he had tripped over one tiny stick that had escaped from the nearby pile.


Danny Boy often makes fun of his running partners who fall. But who is laughing now?


Danny Boy also looks around to make sure no one saw him. And also to make sure no one heard his expletive. Danny Boy is not known for using bad words. At least not very often. At least not by people other than his wife. At least not when he's not engaged in some wayward home improvement activity.


Danny Boy finishes his run with nine miles. He's not in any more pain than usual. Maybe he can over, rather than under-achieve tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tales of Danny Boy: Ouch


We here at Blog Central made a sincere promise a while back. We agreed to never again post stories of The Kid. We still plan to stick to our solemn oath; the Kid Chronicles are no more. However, in the spirit of Great Third-Person Literature, we now introduce the Tales of Danny Boy.



“Ouch!” Danny Boy says out loud. It’s 9.3 miles into his 10-mile run. He thinks he may have once again done something pretty darn stupid.



The thing is, running had been improving once again for Danny Boy. To review, a couple months ago, he was ramping up his mileage and his intensity in anticipation of running two and a half marathons this Spring. Then he had his SETBACK. In the ensuing weeks, besides dealing with the intensified Achilles pain, he lost gobs of fitness. Due to that lost fitness, Danny Boy decided to opt-out of Marathon Number One, the Canton Hall of Fame Marathon. But now, over the last couple weeks, he was beginning to feel better again, and was clawing his way back up to 50 miles per week.



Until today.

He hits the road at 4:25 AM, and immediately runs into Neighbor Runner Rita, who is running with her dog. Kind of weird talking with a neighbor at that early hour, but after a few nice words, they each run their separate ways. Danny Boy runs over to the track at his usual easy, slow, loping pace. Once under the fence, however, he lowers the hammer.

 

It turns out that that hammer is not of the sledge variety, but more like a 6-ounce ball pin type. Having run 10-minute miles to get here, he’s now doing four miles at 8:20 or so pace. He supposes that this fast-feeling is sort of like a tempo run, such as it is. This poor excuse for Something of Substance will have to do today. Danny Boy only wants to survive the run without re-injury. He had been thinking that the soft track surface would be good for him. The constant turning may be stressful, but at this extra-slow pace, there shouldn’t be much torque, he thinks.

 

Towards the end of the track run, Danny Boy’s Achilles begins talking to him. “I’m here,” it says. It talks more during the run home, until Danny Boy makes his “Ouch!” exclamation. Danny Boy feels stupid.

 

Maybe it’s not totally dumb. Maybe Danny Boy will easily recover.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

More or Less

I've lost my base, and don't know where to find it.
...

More

It's Saturday, and it's the usual gang, more or less: Debbie Scheel, Theresa Wright, Harold Dravenstott, Michelle Wolff, and, somewhat surprisingly, myself. My Achilles injury got so bad a couple weeks ago, that I've done almost no running at all of late. Even though I was beginning to feel better, I had informed the group that although double digits would be nice, anything at all would be better than nothing.

Fast forward an hour and a half, more or less. The others want to do more, but I ~~wisely for once~~ decide to quit early. I got ten and change in, and I am feeling pretty darn good, relatively speaking. In fact, I could do more. I've just chosen not to. I feel so darn smart.

Less

It's Sunday, and it's the usual gang, more or less: actually the same as yesterday, minus Harold and Michelle, but plus Frank Dwyer. I got through the rest of yesterday without major mishap, and as we begin today, I am still feeling pretty okay.

But today is Sunday, and so this must be Hinckley. Hinckley, as in hills. Hills that we did not have yesterday. I fall behind right away on Bellus Hill. It gets worse. Even as I battle back, the others get far ahead of me again on other hills, but stop and wait for me at times. Sympathy for the old man, you know; he lost his base, more or less, and can't seem to find it.

Then comes Effie. I'm behind again, except more than ever now. It occurs to me that this day, I could have done less.

I do manage to complete this, and get another double digit run under my belt. The base will come back, won't it? In the last couple downhill miles, Debbie scoots up ahead, and I mention to Theresa that she (Debbie) was doing the right thing for her upcoming Boston run. Theresa, who is going to Beantown as well, sprints hard to catch and even pass Debbie. Never, ever challenge Theresa, or even kid her to say that someone else is doing some training that's 'good'.

But now I'm really tired. And my Achilles hurts more than yesterday. I feel so darn dumb.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Superstition

From Dictionary.com: [soo-per-stish-uh n] noun
1. a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
...

I don't consider myself any more superstitious than the next person. But I did pause a little as I posed a question to the Canal Corridor 100 Mile Endurance Run Facebook Page. The question itself isn't important, but my thoughts at the moment were: am I jinxing myself by simply asking something and thereby implying that I am even considering running 100 miles?

I wouldn't have been considering it at all, except that things had been going so well for me. In preparation for my Spring races - two marathons and a half - I'd upped my mileage, and my speed, strength and endurance had all been going the right direction. It had taken an extremely long time to get there. The Achilles pain had finally subsided enough to let me run 50, then 60 and more miles per week, including long runs on the hills of Hinckley. If anything, the increased mileage had knocked the pain down a notch or two.

That was when I stepped on the mill and did some speedwork. It was only a day or two after the question. And it wasn't extremely fast; only a bit more intense than other recent runs. Of course the Achilles hurt afterwards - that's fairly normal. I took the next day off before tackling the Hinckley hills for an attempt at a long run that failed badly.

The pain has only become even more intense in the past week and a half. So much so, that I've only done a smattering of miles, and it hurts even to walk.

Now comes the most painful part of being injured: admitting it. And part of that is admitting that you probably can't run the races you've registered and trained for. The first one, scheduled for the end of April, is out for sure. The other two, in May, are in serious jeopardy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Until I Wasn't

I was planning to get a long run in today.  Until I wasn't.
I was running fairly well. Until I wasn't.
I was feeling pretty darn good during the run. Until I wasn't.
I was actually enjoying myself. Until I wasn't.
I was even having a good week, running wise. Until I wasn't.


And finally...
I was even even starting to think that this Achilles thing was finally beginning to get better. Until I wasn't.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Don't Think About an Elephant

Another Hinckley loop; another adventure.


We're loping along in the dark, and a male runner who is not me (let's call him 'Prank') stops to go into the woods. I notice that he's not too far off the road, so in the interest in preserving Prank's privacy, I tell a female runner who is also not me (let's call her 'Veresa'), "Don't shine your (headlamp) light on Prank." Naturally, that's exactly what Veresa does.


In retrospect, I suppose this is akin to telling someone not to think about an elephant.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Roadkill

Michelle Wolff was running alongside me... and then she wasn't.

For the second time in two runs, she did a faceplant. This one was more sudden than the last. For a moment, I thought she'd disappeared. I am allowed to make fun of Michelle's falling adventures only because I've had my own share of difficulty remaining vertical. You could almost say that I'm vertically challenged.

What was it that tripped her up? This time it was a rather large dead raccoon. I actually had noticed it, but of course I didn't say anything; I'm the silent running-mate type. Just ask my friends.

Later on, several of us nearly became roadkill ourselves. Not long after turning onto Kellogg Road (motto: it's all downhill from here), an extremely large rottweiler jumped out and surprised us. We stopped, but the dog still seemed threatening, even as the owner came out and tried to keep us still whilst she wrangled her animal. The thing wasn't happy until it gave Debbie Scheel a very good all-over sniff. Only then did it decide that we were probably okay, and allowed itself to be wrangled.

Our second Hinckley loop was no less eventful. First, Frank Dwyer decided to kick the raccoon off to the side of the road. He said it didn't smell too bad, and it wouldn't stink up his shoes. I was a little dubious. Then a different Kellogg dog attacked, paying particular attention to Theresa Wright, and then me. This one was much smaller, but I still didn't like being nipped at. When I yelled, "go home", the owner found this hilarious. I am still trying to understand the joke.

Just one more story. The raccoon fiasco reminded me of an incident that occurred around about twenty-five years ago, in Michigan. I was running alone in the early morning darkness, on the left side of the road. A car approached from ahead, and came to be even with me at the same point in time that a large dead raccoon appeared in the middle of the road, in between us.

I have since long pondered the probability of all three of us (the car, the raccoon, and I) all occupying that same twenty square feet of road at precisely the same moment. I've decided that only in a Dan Horvath Roadkill Nightmare could such a thing happen.

The result? SPLATT!! The car had decided to run right over the carcass, spraying me with blood and guts. So much so, that when I got home and removed my reflective vest, and interesting geometric pattern appeared on my white shirt.

Roadkill Cafe, anyone?

Ouch II: Danny Boy Falls for Nothing

Danny Boy is awake at 3:30 AM, which is a little earlier than planned. Good, he thinks; he may be able to get an extra mile or so in. Eleven...