Thursday, April 05, 2007

Well, slap me up the side of the head

You mean I could have been dreaming about fudgsicles, eclairs, birthday cake and cigarettes? Mmmmmmmmmmm! [If you haven't a clue what I'm talking about, read yesterday's post and comments.] Y'all have much better dreams than I do.

I found many recipes for fresh spinach lasagna yesterday – Google is my friend – and chose this one from I need to find some basil today; if I don't, I'll just throw in some pesto and call it good. [Heh ... like you really needed a link to Google, right? I'm just full of linky love this morning.]

So I did my seven miles yesterday in 80 minutes. That's an 11:25 mile pace – much faster than I expected. My knee didn't bother me a bit, and hasn't since. I didn't even need to ice it, but I'll definitely remember the frozen peas trick. I have one of those frozen gel packs. Would that work as well, or is there some magic in peas that I don't know about?

I was pretty tired yesterday afternoon and decided to rest and let the house fall apart for one more day. Just as I hit the couch, what turned out to be a fairly mediocre movie called The Long Run was starting. It takes place in South Africa and is about a surly old running coach who discovers a young African woman with natural running ability. He trains her for a race called the Comrades Marathon. I have no idea if it was based on a true story or not. I'll tell you this, though: I've watched several marathons and none of the African women runners are as short as this one was, nor do they have such juicy booties.

It gives one hope, especially if you're short and have a juicy booty. Heh.

The first Comrades was run in 1921. It starts in Pietermaritzburg and ends in Durban –
a distance of 89 kilometers [that's 56 miles for those of us in the U.S.]. Last year's male winner ran it in 5:35:19; the female winner did it in 6:09:24 – a 6:35 mile pace.

My seven miles in 80 minutes is looking pretty lame.

The Comrades is billed as the Ultimate Human Race, with the tagline "It will define you." Pretty challenging words, there. Hey, Lainey, Mary, Adam – wanna sign up? Registration is still open for this year's event!

Anyway, back to the film: I had, of course, hoped to pick up some nifty tricks on how to increase my speed. She seemed to kind of swing her arms back and forth in front of her; I tend to pump mine along my sides. Her stride, even for a short girl, was much longer than mine. Short of a leg replacement, I don't know what else to do about that. But it was only a movie, and I'm sure they weren't marketing it as a training film.

I'll just keep plugging along, grateful to get back to my car with the key still on my person and my knee still working like it's supposed to. Four easy miles this morning and then I get to go to a drug program graduation at the prison this afternoon. I know I say this about every graduating class, but these women are so inspiring! I wish them all the very best.

Twenty-three days until race day.


mehitabel said...

The peas are good because the bag will conform to the shape of your knee, giving you better coverage than a block. Any smallish veggie works--we had a bag of brussels sprouts that worked for a long time! I fell on my bad knee (again) and now it's painful just walking. I'm hopeful that it's temporary as my "walking tour" to France is coming up fast!

PastaQueen said...

I'm very impressed with your 11:25 pace for 80 minutes. I was so proud of myself for completing 3 miles in 33 minutes, but there's no way I could do that for over twice as long. I think if we were being chased by a grizzly bear my only chance of survival would be to develop keen tree-climbing skills. Remind me never to go camping with you :)

Debbi said...

When I started running I didn't think I would ever run faster than four miles an hour, and I was sure I couldn't run more than two or three miles without stopping. Ever. That's what the training is all about. I'd like to keep the training mentality all the time, whether there's a race in the future or not.

Congratulations on three miles at an 11-minute pace! That's really terrific. Now if only I could borrow your long legs for the half-marathon ...

Anonymous said...

We have a gel pack that I keep in the fridge. It works as well as peas, plus you don't have to worry about marking the bag of peas as"not to be eaten"! And really - your time is very impressive!