Got your attention didn’t it?!
Before I started crossfit in 2009 the only time I ever ran by choice was when I was playing softball and volleyball in high school. I graduated in 1996 if that tells you anything. Sure I attempted to start running a few times, but it never stuck consistently. Enter crossfit. I could not even finish a 400 meter run in a warmup, let alone an actual WOD! I despised running out the door of the gym, ugh. And then something magical happened. I started to actually like to run! WODs that had 400 meter intervals didn’t scare me any more, and I even started to run on my own. WTF? I wouldn’t say that I am good at running necessarily – I heal strike (especially when I’m tired), I sometimes have a SUPER long stride – but overall I can hold my own and even managed to run an entire 8k, yes run the whole thing! By choice I don’t think I’ll ever run more than 5 miles in one stint though, I’ll leave that to the marathon professionals.
No mo’ runnin’
After surgery I actually thought running would be one of the first physical activites I would be able to do. Practically the only one I thought I’d be doing. I was sorely wrong. Go figure, you need your arm to run! Turns out it’s practically the last thing to come back (overhead movements being the very last). Dr. B told me it would be months before I’d run again, and when I did start back it would be very slow. Boy was he right! It HURT a ton! All those little muscles had no idea what hit them. And in hindsight I probably tried to run too soon, even though I waited until the exact day the doctors said it was ok.
Need an excuse?
So, I got new shoes. I knew I’d eventually run again and my BareFXs weren’t going to cut it for my sweet running style. February was the first month I added short, slow runs in to my WODs, March is when I got those pretty Inov8s over there. Prior to that I was legs only on the Airdyne (aka “death cycle”) which I actually started to like. Then March 26th I attempted my first distance run since surgery (which I will remind you was in November). That run was HELL! The first mile or so was fine, and then…then…my legs turned in to cinder block pillars that no longer felt as though they were attached to my body. They felt so heavy I just wanted to stop. That was the longest 3 miles I think I’ve ever run. And I did NOT run the whole thing, in fact I likely only ran the first mile and that was IT.
After that first run I made the executive decision that I needed to run intervals and NOT run for distance. My body was so out of whack after being off for nearly 6 months. My fiance, Lisa (over there on the left), states that she “hates to run” and yet I can still get her to go running with me once a week. And, now that we are training intervals she actually says she likes to run! Don’t tell her I told you her little secret.
Running intervals has not only improved my conditioning, but it has kept me motivated to keep running. It has taken the “oh god, how much further do I have to go?” out of the weekly runs.
What are intervals, you ask?
Crossfit Endurance has some great workouts involving intervals whether you run, bike, swim, ruck or all the above. Basically you run for a specific amount of time, rest for a specific amount of time (all variable) and toss in percentages (jogs, full out sprints). Not only does it improve your time trials, but it really improves overall conditioning. Probably why I like crossfit so much – it’s constantly changing and adaptable.
Patience is a virtue…or something…so, why did I choose to tell you all about this running business? WELL! On our last run, Lisa and I literally almost ran in to a snake at First Landing State Park, where we do most of our runs (so much better than running on pavement!). While running down the Long Creek Trail (one of our favorites) I completely soccer armed Lisa (with the reconstructed shoulder mind you) before we came face to face with the specimen to your left. Look closely…it’s the only shot we could get before it slinked back in to the brush. That sucker was HUGE! It definitely saw us, checked us out while we paused to check it out, and then it casually turned around and went on it’s merry way. Another testament to how aware one needs to be of their environment! A cool sighting none-the-less, and one of very many reasons why we enjoy running off the pavement. Nature is everywhere if you just keep your senses open to the possibility! Now, get out there and move!