“As if every thought that tumbles through your head is so clever it would be a crime for it not to be shared.”
Erica Albright, better known as Mark Zuckerberg’s angry ex-girlfriend in The Social Network pretty much sums up what form the Internet today has evolved into. Can this quote describe the narcissistic nature of blogging any better? No longer are the confines of 140 characters adequate enough to fully dive into the depths of the mind. Well, that’s not entirely why I am deciding to get back into the blogging game, it is because I believe in the power of story telling. I believe you can learn the most from personal experiences. Make a few of the same dumb mistakes again and again and you’ll get trained quicker than Pavlov’s dog to not do it again. But the next best thing to experiencing something for oneself is to hear the story of a lesson someone else learned and to absorb it vicariously through their words.
This realization was prompted by some events that took place last week during practice. After struggling to establish any consistency with my health during the indoor season, I was off to a strong start outdoors in a training sense and actually got some miles and workouts in. On Monday after a shakeout run in some 90-degree weather, I spiked up to do my weekly “speed development” work. It is essentially just touching top end speed for a few seconds at the end of some shorter strides, and then shutting it down. It’s a great way to keep in touch with the sprint systems and get those muscles used to firing at such a fast pace. “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” is definitely a fair cliché to describe the purpose of this practice. However, on my cool down, my gastrocnemius muscle [that big chunk of meat behind the knee at the top of the calf] started to seize up on me. That evening I added a little bit of limp to my step, and while my swag levels were through the roof, pain levels were also uncomfortably high.
That next morning I got up at 6am (Thanks Texas heat!) and felt considerably better walking around, so I joined my teammates for our ceremonious jog on the infield. Well, after a few miles of running, the soreness started to creep back and then a couple of pain stricken strides later and I had to have a little pow-wow with Coach Hayes. Together we reached the conclusion that I should sit this one workout and come back when it made sense. As you could imagine, I went into the training room frustrated that my momentum was temporarily halted, chugged a muscle-milk and got in the ice bath. Fifteen minutes later, when my temper and my man parts were cooled off, I reflected on the morning’s events. In one night I went from acquiring a gimp to being able to jog three miles with relatively low pain (only to be exacerbated by strides). I caught it early, and I was being smart. Rather than allowing this ache to develop into a legitimate injury, I had some foresight to play it conservatively, and even though it sucked terribly in the present, within a few days future-Kyle will be praising past-Kyle for his heroic actions.
Well, that’s what happened. The next day I jogged easy on the Alter-G for an hour, and the next day I did an easy run outside. By Friday the pain had subsided and turned into a weakness, and I was able to successfully complete my prescribed workout. I came back on Saturday to pace some teammates in a 1500 through a 2-flat 800. Needless to say, Coach Hayes and myself were feeling like geniuses by weekend’s time. All this prompted me to issue out the following tweet:
The Internet has done wonderful things for the sport of Track and Field, and it has arguably been at the center of this recent Golden Age of running (Flotrack-Running Renaissance). I’d like begin to get creative and continue to contribute in a way beyond anonymously telling HS kids on Letsrun that they are ready to break 5 minutes in a mile because they can do 100 pushups with their eyes closed. The more information out there being shared amongst runners, the more lessons we will each learn, and the faster we will all run.