Saturday, December 29, 2007

a long run. for real.

happy holidays again!

i'm just off a long run in the park, the first one i feel like was really a *longer* run and it was great.

i wasn't sure how it was going to go this morning...yesterday was a bit of a long day, i went to bed late, i probably didn't drink enough water and i didn't eat breakfast. i was thinking we'd only be running 6 miles, so figured i could get away with it with a little pain.

i got to practice on time, and said hello to the brooklyn coach lisa, who i hadn't seen in a while. i don't really know many tnters out here in brooklyn, a few girls who ran my first season, but its enough that i feel pretty comfortable.

we headed out to our little field for squats and lunges, etc (owe) and we got our mileage assignments:

1/2 marathoners: 1 loop (3.4m)
beginners: 5 miles
intermediates: 8 miles
advanced: i wasn't listening because i was thinking "8 miles! crap."

last week intermediate was supposed to run 6 - 7, so it made sense, but i had run about 5.5 so i was pretty sure that i shouldn't run 8. lisa confirmed when she said we shouldn't be adding more than 1-2 miles. i decided i'd go for two loops. i confirmed that it would be a little shy of 7 miles and took off. i had forgotten to charge my ipod so it was just me and my thoughts.

it was what i've decided is the perfect running temperature - about 40 degrees. after the cold, it feels positively warm but it's not so warm that you really sweat until after you're done running.

lisa told us that if we were doing more than one loop, to reverse direction on the 2nd loop because there is a slant in the park, and you want to try to keep "balanced" by not always having the slant on your left leg. so i went the traditional direction the first time, tackling the big hill. the more i run that hill the more i like it. sick, i know. it's definitely work, but good work. as i passed barb, the walk coach, she said "you are making this look way to easy." my grin turned to a smile and i remarked back that i was glad that it *looked* that way.

after the hill, i passed the picnic area and before i knew it one loop was done. i turned around, and on the way back i stopped for water. all the fountains are off in the park, and i am resisting with ALL my might getting a water belt. what's a water belt? this lovely thing:

yeah. no. i do not need to be carrying around the extra weight thank you very much. one drink between two loops is not really enough, but i know that i can get away with it at these shorter distances. off again, this time in the other direction and in for a lovely downhill.

the thing about downhills is that while they feel good at the time, they are actually harsher on your body, especially the knees if you're not careful. you don't want to run them too hard, because that pounding can cause all sorts of bad things. being paranoid of shin splints, i tried to let the hill do the work, and sort of glide, rather than thump down the hill. ha. i just giggled at the idea of me "gliding". i'm sure that i didn't look glidy for sure.

as i headed down, i encouraged some other tnters on the way up, and waved at barb again. once that very long downhill was finished, there was a long flat around the "bottom" of the park, and then the slope starts up again as you head back towards where we started. once that hill started i knew i was nearly done. but that hill is one of those gradual long ones that i don't like. blah. i gritted my teeth, gave a wave and a wink to bouv as i do when i get ouchy, and kept truckin'.

i had a thought as i headed up the last part towards the meeting spot. its that running is a lot of work, especially for me. this may be fairly obvious (demps, i can hear you saying "duh!"). i think its more about me being someone who is fairly good at a lot of things. i always joke and say "jack of all trades, master of none" in regards to me being pretty good at stuff.

running however, is not one of those things. it does not come naturally to me. it sometimes gets easier, but it is very rarely, maybe even never, easy for me. it may never be easy. but i've kept at it anyway. this was all dawning on me as i passed the starting mark and with it, i decided to run the last 1/2 mile to bag watch. i started smiling my dumb runners grin as i finished up, thinking that working for something that you believe is important is pretty damn cool.

yes. i am a cheese-ball. sorry to break any illusions of cool you may be harboring about me.

i trotted over to get my stuff and barb and luis were talking. as i approached, barb exclaimed "there she is! every time i saw you, you were just smiling away like 'yeah, i'm going up a hill!' and it was just so great to see your big smile. that is exactly what it is all about."

me with a big dorky grin. yep, that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

today's mileage: 7.3
season mileage to date: 38.3

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