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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Running Again

For those of us with real jobs, staying in top form by cycling year round is practically impossible.
For reasons stated and well developed in other posts, and for that matter, probably within the realm of common sense for most, cycling in the dark (the only time left over after working all day) is ill advised. Don't get me wrong - I do it, and others say it can be done safely, but it does make the long afternoon training rides inconvenient at best.

I shot the above pictures from my mobile phone at the top of Briones Regional Park while out on a run with Vince and Moses. (The view Tuesday evening was stunning, and I had to attempt to capture it.) We had just run to the Briones Peak from the upper parking area via some narrow, winding, and rather steep single track. Upon reaching the peak, we met 2 MTB'ers preparing to go down the same section of trail. As we came up, the trail was already dimming, so we watched with concern as these 2 descended the way we had come - with no lights. We're not sure exactly what happened, but still within our hearing, someone evidently tumbled, and then through the trees we spotted them walking the bikes.

We feel that running in the dark is marginally safer than cycling in the dark.

After an hour of running (4 -5 miles depending on the terrain, 2-3 times per week) we feel like we've married enough O2 molecules and red blood cells to maintain till the days lengthen.

Running is rewarding. I enjoy it thoroughly -especially the trail running with friends, and it's relatively cheap compared to cycling. For just over $100 one can purchase a good pair of running shoes, and be completely equipped for a year's workout. (This assumes one has at least one pair of shorts and a t-shirt.) Yes it can hurt. I went through several months of pain last year, learning how to stretch. The lesson was, stretch every morning and night, and before and after runs. I now rarely have lasting or noticeable muscle or joint pain, and wake up without the neck and back aches that plagued me for many years.

I will resist drawing the endless correlations between this type of productive physical exertion with its inherent benefits, and other aspects of life. Suffice to say; Everyone should learn to embrace the experience of massive amounts of air being processed by burning lungs. It's what they were designed to do.
And, it never occurs while sitting in front of a television. Or, while typing at a computer for that matter - gotta go...

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