Saturday, March 28, 2009

Obsessive Compulsive?

After my last post on Monday morning (M-Cubed), I was coming off a great 52 mile weekend and feeling great. Monday night was my massage therapist's chance to "correct" me and find all the issues I didn't know existed...and she did! Actually, I expected a messed up lower body but that ended up being pretty good. I got a few comments about my glamorous toes/toenails and also the multiple fresh cuts/scrapes on my calves from misc. branches on the trails over the weekend, but it was my upper body that was all twisted. (In trail running, I use my upper body quite a bit on the hills as I create momentum with my arms to get me up the hill.) She often finds that my diaphragm (just below the bottom of your ribcage) needs "released" so she always starts there. After an hour of work, she found something in my right shoulder and and went after it like a lion after a fresh piece of meat...I yelped like a puppy. Come Tuesday morning, I was more sore from that "beating" than after the weekend. I went out for a post-massage run to get the muscles warmed up followed by lots of water to release all the junk she broke up the night before. By Wednesday, I was good as new.

Looking ahead to the weekend, my wife had a 12hr shift on Saturday so my Saturday morning run was on the backburner so what every good runner does, I improvised and thought a night run could takes its place. The original plan was a Thursday night run at 9pm but that got shifted to Friday night which ended up being a wise choice as I got 4 others to join me on the crazy train. We met up at 9pm at the Boston Store. Before we even left, the park ranger was there questioning what we were doing but quickly left telling us to have a good run. It's truly a good relationship we runners have with the National Park. The running community continues to respect the trails and don't ever give the Park any trouble and in return, they give a little latitude when it comes to runs like these. So who showed up? From left in the pic below: Brian, Chris, me, Courtney, and Chef Bill.
It was SO awesome running the trails last night. The temp was in the low 50s and dropping into the mid 40s. It was perfect. Plus, we were running at a pace that was very casual compared to normal. One reason was not to face plant on the trail since visibility is a bit tough but also to more mimic the 100 mile race conditions. The pace will be slower and hills we walked so that's what we did. I actually ran 6 miles before work on Friday morning to make sure I was tired at 9pm Friday night. Hey...that worked! By 9:30pm, the time I normally shut down and hit the sack, I felt like curling up on the trail and saying "night-night!!!" This whole tired running thing is definitely a unique and sometime euphoric experience. I loved it. My favorite part was hearing the water trickling below us, beside us, and around us as we ran. Multiple streams and waterfalls are within the park. Hearing it without seeing it was almost meditative. Very cool. So as the miles clicked away and the trail provided a soft, cushioned ride, I felt tremendous and the whole "Forrest Gump" concept about going, and going, and going was creeping up. I even boiled some of my potatoes and had them with me in case this night turned into an all-nighter. Well, we got back to the Boston Store at 10.3 miles and Chris, Courtney, and Chef Bill called it a night and Brian and I decided to head to Pine Lane and shoot for 20 miles. As we hit the trail, I was really yearning for my soft, down pillow. The stars were starting to push through the thin clouds, turnpike traffic is roaring above on top of the silhouette of the bridge above us, and my legs were feeling great. But, I feel the "passion" meter on "E". I eventually broke the bad news to Brian and after unsuccessful prodding by him, we took the turn about 1.75 miles in that leads down the gravel road next to the turnpike that leads back to the Boston Store. I finished up with 13.4 and 19.4 for the day. Brian headed out for another 1/2 hour then headed home, too. The ride that was another story. I had the hardest time staying awake and hit the rumble strips multiple times. If a cop had seen me, I am 100% sure I would have been pulled over. Once back home, I literally had trouble driving up my street 0.2 miles from my driveway. I was so trashed. I had been up for 21 1/2 hours and it showed. That drive home was stupid and I'm lucky to be alive.

So here I am: it's almost 1pm on Saturday, my girls are spending the day with Marjie's parents, Marjie is working, and it's 61 degrees out. Let me say that again...61 DEGREES. I just told Brian on the phone that I feel blasphemous for not being out there running! Remember, this was supposed to me a down week and semi-taper for next weekend's Fools 50K. Right now as I type this, I'm at 42.4 miles...not really a down week, right?! So here's the conversation in my mind: "Why not go out for an easy 7.6 miler in the warmth and make it an even fifty for the week?" And so it goes, I'm giving in. I'll wrap up this post in, let's about 7.6 miles. Be right back... (in the meantime, watch this video below and make sure you keep your eyes on the trail the next time you're running, walking, or biking!)

OK, I'm back. Like the video? Humor is a great thing, isn't it?! My run was great. I miss the feeling of sweat dripping down my face so that was nice. So now it's 50 for the week...I'm happy. I'm even happier that Marjie is getting sent home early so that means a date night for us. Yea! We've been trying to find a night to head to Luigi's in downtown Akron so that's where we'll be headed.

So to the title of today's post: Here's a snippet of what Wikipedia thinks about "obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)": "Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts resulting in compulsive behaviors and mental acts that the person feels driven to perform, according to rules that must be applied rigidly, aimed at reducing anxiety by preventing some imagined dreaded event. However, these compulsive behaviors and mental acts are not connected to the imagined dreaded event." OK, I'm not too sure about the "dreaded event" thing and really, I think OC more applies to ultra-running...obsessive compulsive minus the disorder. Anyway, Wikipeda continues: "The phrase "obsessive-compulsive" has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used in an informal or caricatured manner to describe someone who is meticulous, perfectionistic, absorbed in a cause, or otherwise fixated on something or someone." Yea, I'd say ultra-runners are a bit OC. A good thing? Well, I think you know what I think.

Happy Trails, everyone!


Chris said...


Nothing like a night run. Glad to run with you guys last night

Kron aka Chris

Anonymous said...

Nice to run with you guys last night. Doesn't get much better than that.

Chris aka Kron

Sensationally Red said...

It is just amazing that you are able to get so much running in and still keep the peace with the family. Sheesh...I wish I ran faster, because I get grief from the soon to be ex for training for one lousy spring marathon. I may have to get out and about at 3 in the morning to get my training in! Really...I can't believe he doesn't see that if I do get my training will be much easier on him! LOL!
Love Luigi's....I need to go.

Anonymous said...

Wow talk about OCD. I posted twice


Susan said...

So maybe this weekend you can get a spring running picture?

Nick Billock said...

Susan...I know! The snow is killing me on the main page but I just don't have the perfect picture yet to replace it. Don't know how much "foolin'" I'll be doing with the camera on Sunday but who knows! I agree. The snow has got to go!