Monday, August 9, 2010
Kasey and I go running out on woodsy trails, designed for hikers, runners and mountain bikers. It’s a great place to get a good workout with all their convoluted trails. Up and down, sharp curves, rocks and tree trunks for obstacles, trying to avoid the mountain bikers racing around the corners. Never a boring moment and anything but an easy run.
Last Saturday, we were getting ready to set out on the trails when he looked at me and said: “You have a 10 seconds head start then I am coming after you. If I catch you I will kill you. Go. NOW.” It’s amazing the amount of adrenaline his statement alone released. Now while Kasey is a friend and I know he would not kill me (I trust him with my life) I was very well aware that if he caught me, there WOULD be pain involved. And when I say “if” I really meant “when”. If this strapping young officer could not catch a little old women half his size, he doesn’t deserve his badge. I don’t know if you have ever seen Kasey or been on the receiving end of his attacks but let me tell you, it’s not all that pleasant. Trying to outrun a highly trained and skilled SWAT operator as him IS nothing short of stressful.
I kicked it in high gear right off the bat. The adrenaline was flowing, my heart racing. The fight and flight response was in full bloom. When your heart rate reaches above 175 bpm, your capabilities start to disintegrate.… loss of peripheral vision (tunnel vision), loss of fine motor skills, loss of cognitive function. While I knew that technically my life was not in danger (we can all survive pain or injuries), the sprinting alone increased my heart rate and brought me well above that 175bpm mark. After about 1/3 miles I was starting to slow down and I could hear his footsteps catching up with me. I started to look for a place to possibly hide … nothing. No dead branches to use as a weapon. My mind was not seeing the other things I could have used…. rocks, sand in the eyes. Soon I came around a corner and I was facing a steep incline covered with a large flat rock. Yup the typical horror/ thriller movie cliché happened… I slipped and fell. Me!!! I DESPISE those scenes where they ALL fall down, twist an ankle, trip… come on…. All you need is to run… can’t you handle it!!! But I see how easy it is to lose your fine motor skills, your balance when you are under a high stress. This is where training and specifically training with stress inoculation comes in handy.
This was a great way to add reality to training, how to turn a basic run with the potential of being boring into something exciting and most importantly a learning experience. It showed where my skills are lacking and what I need to train harder with.