Tuesday, April 6, 2010

training old-school

After taking almost a week off of training due to my recent bodily shut down, I decided that it was vital that I at least run the long Saturday run that my training calls for.  Since my marathon is only a little over a month away (yikes!), now is certainly not the time to slow down.  Of course, it was Easter weekend, so we were out of town on Saturday and had to 1.) log the miles solo, and 2.) run in an unfamiliar place.  I have raced on a running trail a few times before, so decided that I would drive to the trail early Saturday morning and do a nice out-and-back run.  This way I would be finished before my training schedule completely interfered with the weekend plans (we had family pictures scheduled for that day, as well as tons of Easter stuff...you know how it is).
So, I woke up bright and early, got myself together, and drove to the running path.  I got out of the van and getting my ipod ready to go when...my ipod (and nike+ mile-logging system) dies.  Since I never run without my nike+ anymore, I had a small panic attack at the thought of not being able to check my pace, time, or distance, much less being able to see my run "count" on my profile.  There would be no little dancing "mini me" after today's run. 
I recovered rather quickly from this, since at least I was running on a path and the mile markers would tell me how far I have gone, and decided to get going, anyway.  Nothing was holding me back from making this run, not even the inconvenience of not having any music to listen to.  In fact, it felt kind of liberating, like a return to nature or something.  I started down the road to catch the jogging trail, and as soon as I got to where I turn off to it, I run into a very large "Road Closed" sign.  WTH?!?!  First the ipod, now this? It's like the running Gods were mad at me for taking the week off. 
I just kept running down the road, turned onto a large street, and just kept on going.  The road turned out to be very hilly, which provided a pretty good workout.  Fortunately, it was early enough that there was not much traffic.  I even saw quite a few joggers out, and felt good that I had possibly happened on a popular "running road".  The silence was amazing.  I loved just hearing the birds, a few cars, my breath, and the noises of "morning" as I jogged along. 
I ran as far as I could go, then turned around and ran back.  I had no idea how far I had run, but knew that it wasn't anywhere near the 12 I was supposed to run.   I drove the route afterwards and clocked the distance, and I ended up running 8 miles.  Not as far as I would have liked, but I still felt victorious.  Something changed in me that day, too.  I realized that I have a tendency to get so wrapped up in logging and pacing and graphing my workouts, I forget to just run. And, I love to run.  I guess I just needed a reminder.  So, maybe the running Gods were sending me a message, but not an angry one. 
This morning I ran completely nike+ and ipod free, and it was great.  I will still use them for my longer runs, simply because it is nice to have a pace, distance, and time monitor, but I am not married to it any longer.  That feels pretty free.

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