At 8:30 am sharp, practice kicked off at the designated meeting spot (81st and Central Park West). 150 people showed up to this first meet (of the 1500 that will run with TFK this year!) Practices are Mondays (easy run), Wednesdays (different training runs, including speed and hill workouts), and Saturday long-runs. This first practice -- like all of them -- consisted of a brief warm-up jog, some "dynamic stretching" (i.e. moving joints in different ways rather than just holding stretching), a run, some stride sprints and then some "static stretching" (this is when you just hold the poses) to complete.
|Picture TFK took on Saturday of us and our "dynamic" stretching.|
Evidently these two different types of stretching are good for you. One of the many ways in which I am attempting injury prevention this year is to listen to the advice that is given to me from my TFK coaches and from running experts. As opposed to just not. Which is basically what I did last year.
According to this article (and many others) the dynamic stretching before and static after is good. Why? Well a dude in the article says, "Basically, by engaging in these activities, we can neurologically activate specific muscle groups prior to running, which helps us minimize injuries and perform better in the subsequent workout." Whereas by static stretching "... you are asking the body on a subconscious level to relax."
Whatever. As long as I don't get hurt I'll do whatever damn method of stretching you'd like.
For the run, the coaches separated the group into Beginner, Intermediate and Experienced based on current running ability. And seriously, I don't mean to brag, but I was totally Experienced!! It was kind of awesome to be the Best Ever. And despite being the slowest member of the group ... and the fact that we're truly all in it together as a big happy team family.. I really do feel like it's vital for me to say what I was feeling at that moment. Which was: "HAHA SUCKERS! YOU ARE NOT AS GOOD AS ME!"
You may say a lot of things about me in this moment, but you can never accuse me of dishonesty.
Because I am Experienced at honesty too.
So anyways. The run was almost 6 miles long on the Central Park Bridle Path, which coming out of training for two Half Marathons back-to-back is an oddly comfortable distance to run.
After practice, I had the full day ahead of me. As tough as it can be to wake up early on a Saturday, it's actually kind of nice to be done early and then be able to go about my business like a champ. Even if that "business" is not always the most stimulating of efforts. On this particular afternoon I did some quality-grade hanging out, had a few Sam Summers (delish) with friends, played some Guitar Hero (on Expert level! more winning!), did some eating (also Expert level), and then it was time to call it a night. [One hazard of the regular early morning runs is that I now have the sleep schedule of an 86 year old lady].
So this brings me to The Bug. Two capital letters for emphasis. I was changing for bed and noticed Archie being a little weird behind me, staring at the ceiling with big wide eyes. I look up and saw -- no joke -- the biggest insect I have ever seen not in a museum display case. It was a roach (or a roach-esque creature) and it was no joke five inches long. And, as I discovered in a harrowing manner... the beast could fly.
I'll sum up the rest of the story by saying that I didn't handle the situation as one might qualify as "optimally." I have a *slight* bug fear (and by that I mean a paralyzing phobia), so needless to say I wasn't at my most calm or happy place. As a couple of particularly patient friends can attest (Kelly and Rachel, my deepest apologies for knowing me).
With my money, bra, shoes and keys all locked in the room with this prehistoric creature, I was stranded in a one-bedroom apartment of hell. I felt like this:
Luckily, Rachel and her boyfriend Josh came to a valiant rescue, which was great because A) I needed them to take care of the situation and B) seriously, I needed back-up to vouch for the back that this was a no joke, non-hyperbole, flying roach on steroids situation.
I slept with the light on. With Archie on the look-out.
Looking forward to attending TFK practice again on Wednesday and Saturday as I get to know my teammates and attempt to convince them that I am as normal as can be. Expert-level normal.