Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"He may pork her Russ, just keep eating"

Rogers Hanna 10.5mi
I have said before that many of modern man’s problems stem from the fact that he no longer lives in fear of being eaten by wild animals. In his book “Why We Run”, Berndt Heinrich proposes that man the hunter is a natural distance runner who, over the ages, has used his propensity for endurance to run down the swiftest of prey. This may be the case, but interestingly enough, running is now one of the few modern-day activities that turns the tables and places man back in the position of prey. Well, me anyways.
Today’s middle-distance long run starts with a straight shot to the east, down the sidewalks of Hanna Avenue into the rising sun. Last night’s sushi is making its presence known, and about three miles in I jog into the convenient store for some antacid tablets. I have to ask the clerk for assistance because the one-dollar rolls of Tums are closely guarded behind the counter. He apologizes for the inconvenience with a conspiratorial “you know the neighborhood”. Apparently, antacid theft has reached epic proportions here, yet the beer coolers are still open to the public. The message is clear: take all the poison you want, we’ve got the antidote right here.
From here I run north to River Grove and begin following the river back to the east. I’m enjoying the cool weather, the sun, and the slight elevation changes when I see the first dog. A large, mangy chow (it’s always a chow) runs into the street from a hidden driveway and chases me for the better part of a block. I don’t even look back at it, I simply cross to the other side of the street where I’ve spotted a metal garbage can that I figure I can use as a weapon if necessary. Eventually the dog falls away and I run on, a little disappointed that I didn’t get to clobber it with a trashcan.
Finally on Ola just south of Broad, I’m almost home when I hear a dog’s low growl from behind a parked car to my left. The animal comes into view, a medium sized pit bull/boxer mix, and I slow to a walk while moving to the other side of the street. In the front yard of the house ahead of me I spot its partner, a much larger male of similar breeding. There is a man standing in the doorway of the house and I ask him to call his dogs in the calmest voice I can muster. No response. “Sir, can you please call your dogs,” and he gives a half-assed whistle to which the animals simply cock their heads momentarily before returning their growling, teeth-baring attentions to me. “Don’t worry, they won’t bite you,” he says, obviously annoyed.
This is possibly the stupidest thing that anyone could say about his or her animals. “They won’t bite” is right up there with “Hey y’all watch this” for famous redneck last words. If you ever find yourself saying this to someone, realize that your animals have already invaded their space. I am constantly telling visitors that my dog will bite them. This is not just precautionary, he has and will, but this is his home. I would never let him out in the street and expect a stranger to show the slightest deference to his Napoleonic tendencies. My dog bites. Your dog bites. And if your dog only bites one person in its life, it will be me. You may say that it’s because they smell my fear, but I believe it is my unbridled hatred for their owners that causes them to perceive me as a threat.
“Well, they’re still growling at me.”
“Only the little one,” he says.
The “little one”, so-named only in contrast to “THE BIG ONE”, still has me locked in his bloodthirsty gaze. So, with less than a mile to go, I turn around and backtrack to Broad Street where I can detour around this idiocy.
I’ve had enough of the primal roles of hunter and hunted for today, but on that final mile, it’s the National Lampoon logic that really has me incensed.
“Your dog is going to bite me”
“He’s not going to bite you”
“I still think he’s going to bite me”
“He’s only going to bite you a little”

10 Comments:

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Marathon Recovery

Congratulations! You have just crossed the finish line of your first marathon, or perhaps just run another marathon. You have traveled 26.2 miles, burned 3,000 calories, lost six pounds, taken 37,000 steps, and subjected your feet to the equivalent weight of 20 million pounds.

A finisher's medal hangs around your neck, and a space-age blanket wraps your body. You are sweaty, tired, happy, and in much pain. The last thing on your mind is a strategic plan for a safe and quick recovery. So, here's one!

Your first priority when you cross the finish line is to keep walking. Your heart has been beating fast for several hours. It is safest to slow it down gradually. Lactic acid chokes your muscles. It is best to clear them gently. Finally, thousands of people had surrounded you in your individual effort. It is time to be alone, to talk to your body and promise never to run another marathon.

Fluid replacement is next on your list. Even if you drank two cups at every water stop, chances are that your body is dehydrated. Drink more water, sports drink, fruit juices, and enjoy a well-deserved cup of coffee. The diuretic effect of coffee will jump start your kidneys, which had been idle for several hours. Keep drinking as long as you are awake.

Eat anything that your body craves. Carbohydrates replenish depleted energy stores. Fruits, vegetables and salty foods replace essential minerals. Protein enhances muscle repair. Watch out for fatty foods that may cause indigestion. Remember that your stomach had been deprived of blood for a long time, and could get upset by a rude awakening.

Feel free to indulge in a massage if one is offered. Expert fingers and hands can relieve sore muscles. The psychological benefit may be even greater. Take an anti-inflammatory if you want. It may promote healing. Treat blisters immediately to prevent infection.

After walking, drinking, eating, bragging and celebrating for a few hours, it is time to return to your hotel. For once, you may take the elevator up to your room. Wash off with a warm shower, but avoid a hot bath. Submerging the body in hot water may aggravate inflamed muscles and joints. sportsbook Consider soaking your feet for a few minutes in a bucket of ice water.

For the rest of the day, whether spent at a hotel, on a plane or in a car, alternate resting with walking. Wear loose-fitting shoes, or none at all, and elevate your feet if possible. Walk a few minutes of every hour, and drink more. If you do not urinate within six hours of the end of the marathon, seek medical help to prevent kidney damage.

The first month following a marathon is critical to a healthy recovery. More runners get injured after a marathon, than before it, by doing too much, too soon. If it takes six days to recover from a 10-kilometer race, then plan on 26 days to recover from a marathon. Some runners, after missing their target finish time, run another marathon within a couple of weeks. Sadly, many suffer debilitating injuries.

Almost half of all marathon runners suffer upper respiratory infections within two weeks due to a weakened immune system. Heed the early symptoms with more rest and fluids, and consult your physician.

During the first week of recovery, it is best to avoid running altogether. Walk a few miles each day to loosen your body and promote healing. Resist the temptation to run. Increase your walking mileage to four or five miles by the end of the week.

Start the second week by running two or three miles. Alternate walking days with easy running days. Gradually increase your run to six or seven miles. Throughout the 26 days of recovery, avoid races, speed intervals, and hill workouts.

In the long run, it may be a good idea to retain the endurance that you built during your marathon training. Plan to jog an easy run of 10 to 15 miles, every two to three weeks. This way, when you return from marathon retirement, you will be prepared to resume training at a moment's notice.
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Blogger kimberly sayer said...

Bernd Heinrich, Ph.D (b. April 19, 1940, Germany), is a professor emeritus in the biology department at the University of Vermont and is the author of a number of books about nature writing, behavior, biology, ecology, and evolution. Heinrich has made major contributions to the study of insect physiology and behavior,costa rica fishingas well as bird behavior.In addition to other publications, Heinrich has written over ten books, mostly related to his research examining the physiological and behavioral adaptations of animals to their physical environments. However, he has also written books that include more of his personal reflections on nature.
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Blogger britney sayers said...

Heinrich has won numerous long distance running events and set a number of Open U.S. ultramarathon and masters (40+) records throughout the 1980s. At the age of 39, Heinrich prefaced his masters career by winning the Golden Gate Marathon outright, with a time of 2:29:16, on a hilly course in San Francisco,Costa rica toursCalifornia.In 1980, Heinrich ran 2:22:34, his lifetime personal best, in the West Valley Marathon in Burlingame, California, where he placed third and missed qualifying for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by just forty seconds.
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