Friday, April 8, 2011

A Lesson in Humility

A few samples from

People that put themselves above others will fall longer and harder. ~Gina Lindley

Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple. ~Barry Switzer

If I only had a little humility, I would be perfect. ~Ted Turner

I'm concerned with my upper body strength, or more accurately, my LACK of upper body strength. On long runs my shoulders sag and ache. I'm sure it affects my speed because I can't pump my arms to maintain momentum. But mainly it wears on my mind. On a long run or marathon the last thing you need is yet another thing to make you feel miserable, so the lack of upper body strength probably hurts me most in the mental department.

Of course I could just do a few push-ups and yoga exercises right after I finish running, but who has time for five minutes of exercise after an hour+ of running? (Sarcasm.) The truth is that I'm too lazy to do anything other than run if I'm going to do "exercise". The deeper truth is probably that I don't like to do things in which I'm not good, and I'm certainly not good at anything that requires upper body strength.

So today I had what I thought might be a solution: a hybrid run/arm exercise regimen. I carried a 2.5 lb hand weight in each arm as I ran my normal 6+ mile route around the bayou. This is the point in this post where I tie into the title -- "Humility". Not only was it much hotter than recent days (85 degrees), I was running with tired legs thanks to two-a-days over the past two days and a hilly tour de bayou race yesterday evening. But I think the kicker was the weights. It's hard to say what portion of my excuses contributed to the higher heart rate and slower pace, but it was without a doubt my hardest "easy" run in many weeks. My heart rate hit the mid 150s late in the run, which is where I would like to be while running sub 7's as opposed to the 8+ I ran.

5.84 miles
8:18 pace
141 avg HR

I'm not going to abandon the weight idea, but I need to switch to some sort of weighted glove implement as opposed to clutching a mini barbell the entire way. My right hand "went to sleep" over the course of the run, indicating irritation to the nerve.