Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dim Sum's and Training Runs

So here is a little email transcript from last week that my friend Mark sends out to my little running group:


Hi all,
How about 7 am at the SDAC on Sunday for a relaxing 22?



Isn't "a relaxing 22" an oxymoron? Somehow I don't think I'll be finding this all too relaxing, but count me in.



So the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon is on May 31st which means yesterday was supposed to be our longest run before tapering back to save the legs before the race. Well it turns out the sort of "leader" of the group, Mark, couldn't make it, so our friend Gary decided to step up and chart a nice route for us to run and get our mileage in.

The problem is, it's difficult to be precise when your running 22 miles. I glanced at the route he had planned for us, but at a glance, it's difficult to tell a few miles difference.

I should have looked harder because after 15 miles or so, EVERY MILE COUNTS.

So we take off from downtown San Diego and begin our run through the city. It's amazing how much ground you can cover while running for many hours at a time. We seriously ran ALL OVER the city! For those of you who know San Diego, our route was something like this:

Downtown -> Petco Park -> Hillcrest -> Balboa Park -> Friars Road in Mission Valley ->Marina Blvd -> Mission Bay Park -> Sea World -> Old Town -> Liberty Station in Point Loma -> Harbor Drive -> Downtown!

The problem was, Gary underestimated the mileage on our route. Rather than going for a "relaxing 22" we ended up going for a BRUTAL 25! That's right. TWENTY FIVE MILES!

What makes this especially painful is that, unlike how I will prepare for the marathon, my legs take a beating throughout the week. On Wednesdays, I do lower body weight training including squats and lunges. Tuesday and Thursday I do a spin class. Wednesday I play basketball, and Saturday I play outdoor basketball generally for at least two hours.

Now I'm no mathematician, but when you add in a 25 mile run that seems like a formula for PAIN.

Apparently my math was correct.

About 15 miles into the run, my legs started to hurt. Cardiovascularly, I can go for days, but these long runs are all about training the muscles for endurance (and in this case, your mind).

By about mile 18, I was just repeating in my mind, "four miles to go Arun. Four Miles! 32 more minutes of pain!"

Little did I know I still had more than an hour of running left.

The last few miles were absolutely brutal. I desperately wanted to walk, but I wouldn't let myself.

"Will and Determination. Will and Determination" I kept repeating those words to myself along with a few other colorful choice words that I don't think need repeating :)

When we finally arrived back at our starting point, I think the worst part was stopping. I soon as I stopped, my legs started aching like hell. It took almost an hour for the constant pain to subside.

I've definitely gained a new respect for endurance athletes. It's just as mental as it is physical, and resolving to push through the pain barrier is the only way to successfully compete. Sunday's run was physically one of the hardest things I've done.

Afterwards, I called my friends up to go get some authentic Chinese Dim Sum. My super awesome Garmin running watch registered me as having burned 4200 calories!

I suppose I earned a decent meal.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dim Sum, you basically sit at a table while servers bring these carts around with different types of chinese food. They're all small portions, so you can try a wide variety of foods as they bring by new stuff every few minutes.

Now the problem is, all of the servers were very, VERY, Chinese. What I mean is, they weren't exactly speaking the Queens English. This was a problem because none of us had any clue what was in the food they were bringing. Each time we asked, they politely answered, but I had no clue what they were saying.

I'm usually very good at understanding through accents, but this was too thick for even me.

Arun: "What's that one?"
Server: "Ahh, that swee pow baahng"
Arun: "Come again?"
Server: "Swee pow baahng, eet vei goo!"

I was so hungry after the run that I didn't care and we just started choosing things based on how they looked. Turns out "swee pow baahng" is "sweet pork bun" - actually very good.

In fact, everything was awesome.

Despite the pain of the long run, there's nothing like eating a great meal afterwards. And if there's one activity at which I'm a naturally gifted athlete, it's eating!

1 comment:

Martha said...

On a smaller scale, I went on my first real run of the summer today. The gym DOES NOT prepare one for a nice relaxing run on the trails at Service High. 37 minutes almost killed me...tomorrow we're going for AN HOUR (if I can still walk by then). Happy training!