Monday, April 9, 2007

Caloric Expenditures and Endorphins

Saturday afternoon I busted off the kind of run that makes you say, "Hey, I should blog about this." Far and away this was the best run I've ever had, and easily the longest and most satisfying in my marathon training (which is just starting). For the past month or so, I'd been running 3 or 4 miles, three or four times a week - just to ease into things. However, Saturday I blew the doors off...for reasons I'm still not quite sure of.

Until Saturday, the longest distance I'd ever run non-stop was about 3.5 miles. And lately, I'd been doing about 2 miles, walking for 30 seconds or so, and then finishing out the last mile or two. But on Saturday, I busted off a 5 mile run non-stop, and actually felt like I could go another mile or two.

Being a man of science, I'm still trying to figure out the reason why my body suddenly jumped up from 2 miles to 5...with no real pain or suffering.

Possible catalysts:
  • Perfect weather: About 45 degrees, just a bit of a cool breeze coming off the river
  • I chowed 2 pieces of licorice right before I stepped out the door
  • I popped an Advil and a creatine pill 2 hours beforehand (as my marathon book suggests)
  • My newly created iPod running mix was in effect. A solid mix of WHAM, Nelly, 50 Cent, and my personal 'power song': Holding out for a Hero - by Bonnie Tyler. Try it.
  • Did some sprints Thursday night, which maybe created new muscles or stamina?

Whatever the cause, it was a pretty solid run and I felt pretty accomplished at the end. In the larger scheme, 5 miles is child's play compared to the longer distances to come in the months ahead...but nonetheless, a good milestone.

The picture above is the running trace from my iPod/Nike+ run tracker (which everyone should get if you want to get motivated about running). Below is a pic I snapped right after the run, which I did along the Raritan River that runs past my place. The black skull cap scares off possible muggers and possessed squirrels.

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