Friday, May 13, 2011

The motorcyclist’s wave

It’s the same non-verbal greeting. The head nod, the flick of a hand, seasoned saying hello to the newbie, newbie checking out how others “ride”. The specialty clothes, the road races, the packs.

The reason it’s so similar – if it was easy, everyone would do it.The secret is every can do it – it just takes work. That wave, nod, recognition is acknowledging someone's hard work.

The reward is in the freedom the ride (or run) creates. Motorcyclists have all their patch of expo’s that they’ve gone to; have war stories of breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Runners have race bibs, finisher’s medals, stories of blisters, injuries, races that they struggled through, sometimes didn’t finish.

I watched a new motorcycle rider today. I always watch female riders. Because she was wearing sneakers  I shouted out AT GATT (all the gear, all the time) but I still watched. One foot was flat to the ground at stops; distance left between her and the car in front of her when stopping wasn’t enough to escape a backend crash. Then I saw her actually ride, her balance wobbled back and forth and I couldn’t help but wonder if I did that too when I would ride. I know that I’ve been off a motorcycle for two seasons, so I’m sure I would be wobbly picking up the 750 again.

I watch other runners run, usually when driving past them, sometimes when they run past me or in front of me. Sometimes I see their stride in time with my music, other times I see foot flopping, and legs that kick out to the side. I usually wonder if I kick out to the side or what my particular runner's wobble looks like.

At physical therapy the other morning my therapist watched me run. It’s still the flexibility in my left foot that is making my leg & arch tired which leads to bad form peter.  I’ve got to work up my calf muscles and do lots of toe raises on the stairs to build up my calf to support the full forefront running. My right foot kicks off the way it should but my left foot tires out and doesn’t follow through it just flops & stops.

In other news, I finally beat week 6 of Couch to 10K. I’m moving onto week 7 on Saturday because my legs are really tight and I’ve got to spend some time stretching.  The longer runs of an hour plus my stretching before & after and making my workouts approach 1.5 hours. While it’s worth it there are times when right after work it doesn’t fit into my schedule. I’m just not read to do the early mornings yet. I know I will eventually have to in order to get used to early race times and to beat the heat. This weekend I am going over to Parish, NY. On the way home I may stop in Utica, I may actually stay overnight there. If I do, then I am going to try and run a little bit on the boilermaker race route, or try to drive the route so I can see it all.

Also, next week is my first race. I don’t have any other goals besides put the race bib on and cross the finish line, and look like a fool. I really have all those things accomplished already. It’s a night race next week so if people want to come out after work and cheer me on that would be awesome. Ya know, signs like “zombies are chasing you” – things like that motivate me. Zombieland rule #1: CARDIO.

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