Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Slow Decline Starts Already?

If you could smell things via the internet, which I'm sure we'll be able to do soon enough, right now you'd be graced with the heavenly odor of my sweaty, slimy body. With the weather as nice as it's been the last week or two, I've been putting in runs outdoors as often as I can. Partially because of the warming temperatures and also partially because I want to whip my sorry ass back into road race shape.

Before winter set in, I was running the hilly routes of the Rochester neighborhood I live in with ease. Three miles with half of it hill work? No problem. I'd finish my run, stretch the light burning out of my calves, and do my calisthenics. I was a well oiled machine.

Over winter I ran just about as much, but it was all treadmill work. To offset that, I did get more actual weight lifting in, but that was more used for toning up my upper body. The running I used to keep fat off and my bottom half modestly slender. I realize that sounds pretty feminine, so don't even point it out or I'll beat you to within inches of your life.

With a couple of weeks of outdoor hill running under my belt, I still come in from each run tired out with tight calves and thighs that feel like boulders. It's never taken me this long to adjust to my outdoor running routine before. It was only less than a month ago that I turned 25 so I wouldn't think it was my simply getting too old to perform like I used to. Heck, I hope I have at least another strong 10 years of athleticism in me. There's no way that I'm giving up on pushing myself to be better than the day before.

So what the hell is it? Why am I not handling my running as easily as before? This needs to get figured out fast before race season starts. There's going to be a boat load of races in the Twin Cities this summer and I want to be able to at least finish them in the middle of the pack. There's got to be something I'm doing wrong or screwing up because I refuse to believe it has anything to do with age.

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