Three weeks from today, I'll do the Tioga Pass Run with Kim and Ann. Though I'm now living back in the flatlands of Fresno, I've managed to get in some good hill climbing, sans the elevation.
I've been getting some great coaching from good friend and owner of Pinnacle Training Systems, Felicia Gomez. We kind of have a barter system going...having recently adopted two children from Ethiopia, Felicia asks me child development questions, and I ask her "How the hell do I run?!!!" questions. Here she is with some of her REAL clients, who actually know what they're doing.
Today, though, she sent me on an 11-mile run that was all uphill (for all you Fresno-ites, I ran up the 4-lane and then 2 additional miles up Alder Springs). To keep me from having to run back DOWN the hill, she, husband Gus, and kids Ereste and Begashaw, picked me up in their car at the top. Well, actually, they caught up to me at about mile 7.5 on the 4-lane, and Felicia ran with me the rest of the way.
It was AWESOME!!! I'm still a cyclist first, and probably always will be, but I can't believe how much I'm enjoying running. I'm still so slow that gnats had time to raise their families while lounging on my sunglasses as I ran today, but it's damned fun.
At about mile 5, a hawk started to circle above me. It circled, and circled, and circled...and I got to thinking that maybe it was Dad's spirit looking out for me. I think he'd be proud of this new challenge. Well, and he'd also be lecturing me on being careful running by traffic...but he'd still be proud.
Of course, there's some pain involved in the running, too. Felicia has been helping me with a pain in my left leg -- she could explain the science much better than me, being an exercise scientist and all, but essentially, some of my quad muscles are overdeveloped from cycling, and others are underdeveloped. And I've been straining the ones that are underdeveloped by running. She's given me some stretches to do that are helping, and after my run today, she ordered me to take an ice bath.
Directions: Fill bathtub with cold water. Sit in tub a minute or two to acclimate. Pour 20 pounds of ice into the tub. Sit in the ice water for 15 minutes. Well, and try not to shiver your teeth right outta your head.
Felicia told me I'd hate her for the first 5 minutes or so. I texted her that I didn't HATE her, but that she had fallen way down on my list of friends as soon as I poured in that ice. She texted back a laugh, and told me she'd be #1 on my list in the morning.
I think she might be right, as, considering I ran 11 miles uphill today...my legs are feeling pretty damned good.