Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Double Dipping

The alarm went off this morning at 5:50 and I sprung out of bed and over to the running clothes I'd laid out what seemed like only a few hours before.  Still, with some of that excitement/anxiety that comes with a new routine, I was off and padding down the stairs.  For some reason, I'd hoped to actually catch a middle of the week run with some sunlight, but at 6:00 a.m., still no sun.  

I wrangled the dog who saw from the looks of things that this was more than just a morning walk.  She bucked and yowled as if she'd been penned up all day.  I kissed my wife good bye and Mattie and I started off in the dark around the golf cart path, both of us at an easy trot and on the lookout for deer.

I did my best tin man impression in the beginning, waiting for those stiff joints to finally get oiled and come to life.  Eventually they did and we were off.

Rounding the first mile, I started realizing that I actually felt much better than I had on the run I did less than 12 hours ago, and that only helped forge me on.  It's interesting to feel your body waking up on a morning run and the charge of cold air that wakes up the senses.

When we turned to the house, it was feeding time, and not just for the dog.   I filled both our bowls, mine with an apricot, banana, and some Kashi Warm cinnamon, and hers with, well dog food.  We scarfed it down and then the normal routine took over.

Coming out of the bathroom, I found Mattie sprawled out on the floor in front of my closet.  When I moved to get into it, she picked herself up off the ground and meandered to her bed, let out a long sigh, and promptly fell back asleep.

I went about my day, business as usual but with that afternoon run always in the back of my mind.  My concern wasn't so much that I couldn't complete the second workout, but more so that the extra run would put strain on my ornery IT-band that had tensed up some over the weekend.

Meanwhile, today's eating habits took on savage, garbage disposal proportions.  I'd go from completely content to ravenous in a matter of moments.  As I mentioned yesterday, though, I packed a yogi bear style picnic for myself with food never more than an arm's length away.

I fought off a 10:00 dip in energy with a bowl of oatmeal and some yogurt and made a requisite stop at Starbucks at lunch for a coffee...just in case.

On my way home from work, I chatted with my dad who assured me that my IT-band would hold up.  "So you top out at 13 miles today," he said.  "Haven't you done 13 miles in a day before?"  A wise man, my father.  He told me about the days when he would set out for a double.  "It's just an easy way to add mileage," he said.  "Of course I remember those 'easy' morning runs.  Easy pace being, oh, 6:30ish, you know, it felt like nothing."

Uh huh.

Still, taking extra precaution, I put some heat on it whilst stretching this evening, then headed out the door (again).  The morning run seemed so long ago, that it almost felt like a completely different day.  Instead of the jerky, sluggish stride I somewhat expected, I found my legs turning over cleanly and efficiently.  I glided through my 2.5 mile warmup and when it came time to pick up the pace for my steady state run, there was a pop there that I haven't seen in a week or so.  I fell into a smooth rhythm and cruised easily at 6:20 pace for 4.5 miles and when it came time to take my cool down, I slowed the pace and my breathing and heart rate immediately settled down.

Back at the house again, and extremely pleased with myself, I plugged the iPod in and started bouncing around the kitchen to some Sly and the Family Stone while sipping on a recovery smoothie.

Now, I'm just kicking back watching the Caps destroy the Islanders, and melting into the couch (with a precautionary ice bag on my IT band).  Channeling my inner-George Costanza, I dipped the chip today...and then I dipped again.  And I loved it.  Is that bed calling?

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