Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Run, Walk, and Wheeze Rocklin

Every year in the early spring, or “monsoon season,” as it was known this year, I sign our three boys up for our elementary school’s running club. Every Tuesday for seven weeks after school, the boys run for an hour. It’s great! For me. I’m at home in my office getting work done. It’s probably not so great for them, because they have to run.

The program is run (literally) by our amazing husband and wife PTA president and vice president team. They are an awesome family, who all seem to be constructed out of rubber, steel, boundless energy, and good looks. I don’t know how they do it, but they’re definitely keeping up the average for all the rest of us slacker families at the school.

Each week when they send out the reminder email, they politely ask for any parental help we’re willing to offer. Here’s the thing - I don’t sign my boys up for running club every year for physical fitness reasons, or togetherness. They get plenty of exercise just beating each other up at home every day, and I get plenty of interaction with them breaking up the fights. I sign them up so I can get an extra hour in my office on Tuesdays. Since I’m two years behind on my current book, that’s a good thing.

So, I have yet to show up and help with running club. I am beginning to regret that decision.

You see, the whole point of running club (from the running club organizer’s point of view, anyway), is to lead up to the big final event - our town’s most popular annual foot race, the Run Rocklin. Every year so far, I have gone along with the charade that we were all just doing this to train for the 5K, and not to gain an extra hour in my day, so I’ve run the race with my boys. And every year so far, I have survived. I’m not sure that’s going to be the case this year.

The race is this Sunday, and as of today, I have logged exactly no training miles. None whatsoever. In year’s past, I have always put in some miles each week for four or five weeks before the race so I was at least prepared to not die mid-race.

This year, however, things kept getting in the way of my ability to train. Things like nachos. And beer. And naps. There was a lot on my plate. (Actually, there was nothing on my plate by the time I was done eating, but by then there was just no way to go for a run without turning my after-nachos beer into a foamy mess. And what happens when that beer is gone? You can’t run with a cooler. You see the problem.)

I’m already past the point of no return. It’s too close to race day. Any training runs I manage do now will only hurt me, since I’m about to turn forty-five years old. These days my muscle and joint recovery time from a thirty-minute run is about a month and a half.

The only problem is, I need to keep up the charade. I need to keep that extra hour in my week next year, so I need to run with my boys on Sunday.

Since a traditional training regimen with actual running is out of the question, I have cleverly devised a new plan. The Advil Training Regimen should be my ticket to surviving the race.

Here’s the plan:
I’ll start with a standard dose of the anti-inflammatory wonder drug today, taking 800mg on four-hour intervals. Tomorrow, I’ll up the dosage to 1500mg and slowly decrease the interval times, so by race day I’ll have worked up to 20,000mg every eleven seconds.

That should get enough ibuprofen in my system to allow me to walk under my own power back to the car after the race, and at least army-crawl out of bed on Monday morning. Sure, it may not be as wise as simply preparing for the race by actual training, but that ship sailed, my friend. Now we must get creative. And I really think this is the best course of action, because a side benefit of the Advil Training Regimen is that you can wash ibuprofen down with beer. That just makes good sense.

While compatibility with beer is a major plus, unfortunately, the ATR will do nothing to prevent my lungs from collapsing and coming out my nose if I try to keep up with Son Number Three. It will also do nothing to keep my heart from simply exploding directly out of the front of my chest and onto the pavement if I try to keep up with Son Number Two. Ibuprofen and beer can only do so much.

Luckily, I think I can still pace with Son Number One, who is not a fan of running at all, and will be complaining that 5K’s are stupid before, during, and after the race, especially on the hills.

I hear you, man.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to head to Costco for some more Advil. And beer.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2017 Marc Schmatjen

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