Good Runs and Figuring out a Newish Ache – RunLog 9/21/19

Finally, a day where I felt half-way decent during a run and nothing happened to make things – shall we say more “interesting”.

After yesterday’s bloodletting and then a bit faster run, I was pretty sure that I wanted to just run easy. Well as easy as a run around the Middle Road can be anyway. Although I was pretty surprised when I looked at the splits the first 3.0 miles were all within seconds of each other and mile 4.0 was less than 10 seconds away from what the others were.

Of course the last mile was the slowest when you add in Blake and Stevens Hills, by the time I go up them I just want the run over.

What did surprise me about this run was that I was wearing my Altra Torin 3.5s and while I wasn’t pushing the pace, I was still easily maintaining a 9:00 minute pace. I really think that I do run a bit differently in them, but I also have noticed that they do pull on my hamstrings more than other shoes in my rotation, so that is something that I need to be careful about.

Part one of the run done.

Oh yeah, when I started this run I brought down my Zoom Fly SPs, just in case when I finished the Middle Road Loop that I had a energy left to do some strides. When I do strides I prefer to do it in my “go faster” shoes.

I felt good, but my hamstrings were a little uncomfortable, so I walked a little and then stretched the hamstrings a bit, before I changed shoes.

Since I was going from zero drop to around a 10mm, I thought it was prudent to do a warm-up lap around the Circle (about a half mile).

Then I got going on my 2 telephone pole strides.

The first stride was to just get the cobwebs out of the legs, the next couple were better and by the fifth one, the hamstrings were feeling pretty good and the body was remembering how to run faster. The fifth and sixth ones were good and I shut it down at that point and did enough of cool-down to finish up with 2.0 miles.

Part 2 done

So I was pretty happy with the good run around my Middle Road Loop and then 6 x strides to finish things up.

At least I think that I have figured out why my hamstrings have been bothering a bit more than usual lately – it has to do with running in zero drop. Especially, when the hamstrings did not bother me yesterday while running in my blue Zoom Fly v1s and then today by the time I finished running my hamstrings were not complaining nearly as badly, even though I had run at a decent pace.

1-1+1+1 = 2 sometimes you can connect the dots.

When I looked back through my old RunLogs tonight, to back when I was running regularly in zero drop shoes, I noticed that I complained more about my hamstrings for about 3-4 weeks after I started running in them. Then after that I stopped complaining about them as much – my body seemed to adjust to the different running stride.

One of the reasons that these RunLog posts are important, I can look back to see patterns or issues that I have had in the past to explain some current aches and pains.

All good things.

It just means that I have to use my Altra running shoes judiciously in my rotation.

Why Yes Running is my Hobby

Lately I have been hearing the words Hobby Runner a lot and it seems that the manner in which it is being used is meant to be less than flattering by some of the people who have been using it.

Although I used it myself, to quickly describe my place in the running world to a nationally known writer who writes about running, while commenting on a blog post that he had recently. In that context it seemed to be the proper description of what kind of runner I am in relation to what he was writing about. So in my opinion being described as a hobby runner is not always a bad thing, it depends on the context of how it is being used.

You know like calling a runner – a jogger and how that raises hackles for many of us. When used in that context, it brings up the image of someone who occasionally goes out for a slow run for a few minutes and then stops, all the while complaining about having to run. That at least is the image that I have when someone calls me “a jogger”.

That is not the runner I am or the image that I have of myself as a runner. You know from the vantage point of an old fart who has been running with varying levels of success and failure for over 48 years, who still runs 30-40 miles a week and can surprise people on occasion.

The people who are using Hobby Runner with dripping sarcasm in their voice/writing or having that slight sneer that people use when they are attempting to insult you with double entendres are in my opinion are rather ignorant or attempting to be elitist in their view of what or who runners are or should be.

Just what is a hobby anyway?

Using the screen shot from Apple’s dictionary app, I have a feeling that my running meets the definition of what a hobby is pretty closely.

1. I run during my leisure time.

2. I do not get paid for running.

3. Running is a sport, although some sports announcers do not believe that it is.

4. I would like to believe that I have acquired a fairly substantial skill set and knowledge about running over the 48 years I have run.

So do I meet the definition of what I would consider to be a hobby runner?

Yeah, pretty much to a tee.

Then Harold why would you get your knickers all in a knot about someone calling you a hobby runner?

It is not so much that someone is calling me a hobby runner, because really that is what I am. It is more that they are insinuating that I am not serious about my running and disrespecting myself and other runners with their snide ness when they say “oh you are a “hobby runner”, with that Snidley Whiplash sneer or sarcasm projected into what they are saying.

While the actual words might be accurate in the correct context it is more the intent and manner in which the words are conveyed to the listener or reader that make them unflattering.

Words are powerful and when they are purposely used to belittle or demean others, even when they might be appropriate in a different context, that is when I get my knickers in a knot.

A person who runs is a runner – that has been argued and thrashed around ad nauseom for years and finally I think that this definition has been accepted as the norm.

However, just like any sport there are different levels of abilities and expectations about the levels runners think of as “their” place in running world. Some people are getting too damn hung up on the levels and where they place themselves in comparison to others, when they should be supporting and encouraging other runners no matter what their ability level is.

After all without the hobby class of runners, there would be a helluva lot fewer runners out pounding the pavement or taking the trails and the brands/companies would be lot less focused on running related products, races, events or even paying professionals the amounts they now receive to promote their products.

So am I a hobby class runner?

Of course I am, I tend believe that most of us are.

However, I don’t worry so much about the type of runner that I might be, other than I am…

Just a Runner.