Monday, November 1, 2010

Nothing like a week off!

My 2011 Mercedes Half Marathon officially started today!! After a week off, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel! I took the week off because I have been running pretty consistently for about 6 months, and my legs were feeling a little tired. My left hamstring and calf were getting really tight and not responding to massage and stretching. That’s a true sign of fatigue.

The plan this week is to run about 30 to 35 minutes every other day and try to stay on as much soft surface as possible. My soft surface course starts at the Homewood store. I stay on the grass to the side of the sidewalk down Hollywood Blvd and Cahaba Road til I hit Jemison. I ran to Shades Creek Parkway and turned around. It took me 32 minutes, and my legs felt great!!!

The lesson of the day! How to find soft surfaces to run on in Birmingham. You’ve got to be a little creative! I don’t have the time to drive to Oak Mountain or Veteran’s Park, so I try to run on the grass beside sidewalks as much as possible. Other options include running laps around a soccer field, loops at George Ward Park, and if you’re brave enough or an early riser, hitting the golf course. I learned this tactic from Scott , who probably has a list of soft surface courses in every part of town. It can get a little tricky! Not only do you have to watch out for sprinkler heads, holes, or those little prickly, gum balls dropped from trees, but be extra careful of the massive piles of dog poo along the way! The grass really helps lessen the impact on your legs, thus reducing fatigue and risk of injury!

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