Beck and I pulled up to a packed parking lot tonight and so I had to park behind an old delivery truck in the back corner of the lot. Perfect location for post-run clothing changes before going in for a few beers. I was testing out my right foot this evening. The previous morning I had a long run planned but cut it short at 8 1/2 miles because of some intense pain on an outside tendon on the top of my foot and ankle. I had taken three ibuprofen about 1/2 an hour earlier (I know, not a good idea), and I was hoping it would kick in soon. I pulled the truck key off the key ring, zipped it in my back pocket and grabbed Beck’s leash. He was happy to be back at run club and pulled me up to the sign in table where the other dogs (and runners) were gathering. After signing in, I did my pre-run stretch and warmup while trying not to kick Beck in the process. Everyone was kind of standing around waiting for the first person to start the run, so with headphones in and my long run playlist going, we headed out and the rest of the group quickly fell in behind us. It had been awhile since Beck had been to run club so he gave me an extra pull down the initial hill. After about a half mile we fell into an equilibrium where he was no longer trying to pull me faster and I was finally able to swing my arms and concentrate a little on my running form. I’ve been trying to improve my footstrike to be less heal intensive and hit on my forefoot. Swinging my arms in rhythm with my legs does seem to help considerably. The weather was warmer than it had been lately and I was quickly regretting wearing my long sleeve technical shirt and running tights under my shorts. The air would have felt great against my bare skin tonight. I normally try and keep my heart rate below 145 bpm, but since it was a relatively short distance tonight, I opted for a little more speed instead and pushed it to between 145 and 150 bpm. My watch kept chirping and vibrating it’s irritation as I went over my heart rate alarm. My tunes were cranking, my rhythm was good and I was enjoying the speed to much to pay it any heed. As we headed into the last 1/2 mile there is a large downhill section and I leaned into it and really opened up my gait. Gravity was paying me back for the climb up this same hill earlier. My last mile would be my fastest split. I love seeing those reverse splits on my Strava graph. After the temporary gravity boost there is the final climb back to the brewery and I took it as an affront that anything would try to slow me down and keep me from a cold brew. My breathing and heart rate climbed with the hill and we turned into the parking lot huffing and feeling good. Clicking my watch to end the run, we did a quick water grab, checked ourselves as returning on the sign-in list and headed to the car to change into a dry outfit. After drying off with a hand towel and letting the night air cool down my half naked body, I put on a dry shirt, grabbed some cash and headed to the bar. Beer is always tastier when you’ve earned it. My watch let me know that my run was ready on Strava and after a few quick edits it was ready for all my friends to see. I grabbed an IPA from the bar and headed out to the food truck for some post-run refueling. Trying to stay somewhat reasonable on my diet, I went for one of my favorites; fried plantains. Beck and I chatted with a few of the run club regulars and interjected in a few conversations that we overheard. Sometimes it’s lonely being out by yourself so you have to be a little forward if you want to socialize. We capped the night off with a nice Russian imperial porter, Sexual Chocolate, Foothills Brewing’s annual release that you have to get while it’s still available. It disappears after a few weeks until the next batch is released a year later. I had been feeling a little depressed earlier in the day, but the weather, the run, and a few good beers had swept the dark clouds from my mind. I had even forgotten about the pain in my foot. Another successful run completed.
The Foothills Brewing run club, aka Foot Soldiers, meets every Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Come out and join us for a run! All the latest information can be found on the Facebook page.