Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A different sort of run

I believe I have discovered a new kind of Fartlek* workout. It starts by giving your 4 year old son a new bike. Build up his confidence for riding fast by giving him a great helmet. Sadly his enthusiasm for going really fast downhill completely outmatched his ability to utilize the coaster brake to slow himself. Luckily for him, he hasn't yet had the same pleasure I have had of going over the bars at speed and landing heavily on very solid pointy rocks. So after dinner he set off for a bike ride and I jogged after him; he fueled by chocolate milk, and me by a Smithwicks. He laughed with joy as he pedaled at full speed down every hill and ignored my helpful instructions to "pedal backwards" as I ran flat out to try and intercept his collision course with random bushes, trees, telephone boxes. Eventually, he decided to actually try to stop before reaching the nearest streetlight pole and locked up the rear wheel for an awesome 30-foot skid just in time for me to catch up with him.
We circled around the neighborhood for nearly an hour as he'd accelerate wildly at different speeds up or down hills and stopping or slowing at random times when he thought it was a good idea. This resulted in me running varied paces and stopping or dodging every few hundred feet. I had learned from Sunday's experience doing this to wear shorts and my running shoes instead of the clothes I had come home from work in! The sun was getting low in the sky so it was only about 88F with a low 60% humidity and I didn't sweat enough to blind myself. Given that I felt pretty recovered from Saturday's 5 mile run and didn't have another run scheduled until Wednesday it was a great filler that I hope to repeat under slightly more controlled circumstances--and without the beer.

* A Fartlek workout is not (normally) something as unsavory as the name may sound. It's where you vary your running speed and distance to vary the muscle fibers being used and get a good aerobic workout. If you do this after having a beer with dinner before beginning this workout, as I did not really plan on a workout, you might get to taste the beer twice, and perhaps regret that choice of beverage for the evening.

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