August Arrives With…..A Thud

Sunday, August 1st ……….The morning after running those 11.5 miles, I woke up with the athletic equivalent of a hangover.  (If you’ve read my blog up to this point, I’m sure that you’ve come to the same obvious conclusion as I have: my porch light is out.)  I was sore – my legs were stiff, my left heel was extremely tender, and my chest felt like a small elephant sat on it.    As I climbed out of bed, I felt like a shorter (yet much more suave) version of Frankenstein.  My legs refused to bend at the knees.  My left leg didn’t want to participate in the exercise of getting me from the edge of the bed to the bathroom.  My muscles were inciting rebellion and my brain, technically the dictator of this operation, had lost control over the masses.

As I began to hobble around the apartment, the legs began to loosen up and the pain in my heel steadied to a dull ache – par for the course as far as I’m concerned.  I changed into some running clothes and put in a very light 5 miles in the park. 

As I waddled through my workout, realized that I should have taken everyone’s advice: once I got home, I should have submerged my legs in a tub of cold water.  Should have thrown some ice in there, just for good measure.  According to articles I’ve read and coaches I’ve listened to, the first three minutes in a REALLY cold bath are brutal – but the next 10-15 pass fairly easily.  Then, once you get out of the shower and begin to thaw out, the lactic acid that has built up in the legs gets easily expelled, thereby making recovery much quicker.  At the very least, I should have iced my left heel.  What did I do?  I sat on the couch and snacked on chips and salsa like a real gavone.  At this point, let me enroll each of you into Joe’s College of Knowledge for a moment – you can use the Italian term “gavone” in several really fun ways:

  • to describe a rude / crude person
    • Vito: “Oh Jimmy!  Check out that chick over there!!!  YO BABY!!!!”
    • Jimmy: “Vito you are a real gavone, do you know that?”
  • to describe someone that takes much more food than he can eat
    • Vito: “Oh Jimmy! I just grabbed us 5 slices with extra cheese and a pepperoni calzone.  There’s one slice in the box for you because I’m a nice guy.  The rest is mine – forgetaboutit.”
    • Jimmy: “Vito you are a real gavone, do you know that?”
  • To describe someone that’s an embarrassment to himself or his friends
    • Vito: “Oh Jimmy!!!  Look at this jacket – when was the last time you saw a real Members Only jacket, huh?  Feel that – that’s real polyester blend!  Between this jacket, my Jorache jeans and a clean white T shirt, I’m ready to check out the opera.  Wait until Lincoln Center gets a load of ME!”
    • Jimmy: “Vito you are a real gavone, do you know that?”

So feel free to work this word in whenever you can.  Its fun to use and it’s VERY versatile.  Thus endeth the lesion – now back to my normal nonsense….

By the time I finished my 5 mile run, I felt a bit more relaxed.  My head was clear (because that’s one of the main things running does for me – it helps me clear my head), and the legs didn’t hurt as much as when I woke up – but they still ached.  I guess I’d consider running 5 miles on the day after a long run as the having “the hair of the dog that bit me”…..


“Ask yourself: “Can I give more?”. The answer is usually: “Yes.””   – Paul Tergat