January 16, 2002

And another beautiful run!

5.31 miles, three times around the park. I’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t matter how boring the park is. I’ve got it figured out. I know where the splits are, I know what my time should be at each split, I know who goes there at 7 a.m., I’m just going to have to accept it for now. Won’t be running on the levee for a while. Kristina’s sick and mad at me, so she can’t run, and I don’t even think she would, since she’s mad at me. Not exactly sure why, but whatever. Best to just go with the flow at this point. (Really, I should be mad at her, not the other way around, but there’s really no talking to her when she gets like this, so I’m just going to ignore it now. It all stems, see, from the fact that I exhaled when she asked me to put the VCR tape in so we could record Scrubs while we watched 24. But see, I was tired. I exhaled to get the strength to stand up and walk to the VCR. But she saw it as a “get up yourself and put the tape in” and poor thing, she’s got a cold, so why would I do that to her? Really, I was tired. I’d gotten up that morning after very little quality sleep, ran for 3.5 miles, went to work, grocery shopped at lunch, came home, cooked dinner, cleaned out my bathroom vanity looking for the thermometer for her, cleaned the kitchen, and was finally comfy, not to mention further from the TV than her. So if she’s mad at me because I exhaled, then fine. Let her be mad. I’m mad that she overreacted and dared to think that I was being lazy? After all I had done already that evening for her? Did she really think I wouldn’t get up and put the tape in? Yeesh.) Ahhh, glad I got that off my chest!

So the run this morning. Lovely. Cold when I woke up, put on my usual layers, drove to the park. Went once around. Walked the first quarter mile to warm up. Ran around, stopped every so often to get water or stretch. After the second time around, I went to my car, took my long sleeved shirt off and drank some more water. About 5 minutes after starting the third lap, I passed a woman who was just starting out on a walk. She was all bundled up in coat, gloves, hat, etc. She asked me if I was freezing, since I only had a sleeveless shirt on top. I said, “It was the first time around.” So here she is thinking I’m doing two laps of the park, thinking I’m all hardcore (well, this is of course, all in my head. Most likely, she didn’t give me another thought.) but really, I know that it’s my third time around, and I really do feel all hardcore and a real runner and stuff. Of course, a good runner probably considers 5 miles a tiny jaunt, and it certainly wouldn’t take an hour and nine minutes. Ha ha!

It was a very strong run, overall, though. I always have enough energy at the end to really push the last quarter mile or so. I wonder if that means I should be running faster the whole time? I averaged 13 minute miles the entire time (but I took some short walking and water breaks) but the last 1/2 mile was 5:45 or so, so I really pushed that one. If I can push that hard at the end of an hour long run, maybe I have too much energy left at the end? I made up a new game to make the last mile and a quarter go by faster. And I ended up running a bit faster the whole time. Interesting. So here’s what I do. Every ten yards or so (I’m totally guessing about that) there is a stencil of a person running painted on the path. So I started with A. And while I ran from the first man to the second man, I just thought of words that started with “A”. And then when I got to the next man, words that started with “B”. The words didn’t have a theme, or anything, just words. It’s actually more difficult than it sounds. Well, for some of the letters. It’s hard to think of many words that start with X when you’ve been running for 55 minutes. Actually, ever. Anyway, I went through the alphabet twice, and towards the end, I had to think of enough words to last through two little men. At the end of the alphabet, it’s especially difficult. Okay, so my new game may not make much sense, but for those last few quarter miles, I was averaging 3 minutes instead of 3:10, which adds up.