For those of you loyal folks out there who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I ran indoor track last year with my running group. You might have been wondering “will she do it again this year, given her blogging has been really off?” The answer is a RESOUNDING YES! For those of you who are new readers, thank you for reading, and please drop me a comment so I know who you are, and if you’re on Twitter or have a blog, please let me know that too! (Full disclosure: I tend to spend more time on Twitter than blogs lately but I do try to catch up from time to time with everyone and find out what’s been going on, so you may not hear from me for a little while, and then all of a sudden you’ll see lots of comments all in a row.)
Anyway, Forrest Gump Anonymous is my husband’s nickname for my track workouts. This year, the sessions are still being held at the same high school, where 11 laps = one mile. But it’s with different coaches than last winter. This group has a different philosophy than last year. They try to be pretty inclusive and not necessarily stick people in groups based on pace. For example, for tonight, we worked in pairs, where one of us was running and the other was timing and tracking laps. Each of us ran a mile, while the other one yelled out splits and lap times. Then we traded places, and got time to catch our breath. Then we repeated the same thing, another mile. I worked with someone who is now going to work on doing the “run program” rather than the “run-walk program”, so unfortunately for her, she got less time in between than I did.
Because the track is so small, the new coaches want to treat these sessions more as interval sessions than as speed sessions. But, I kind of feel like this is the season where I do work on speed. They say that at the outdoor track sessions, that people are going to be doing speed work. But, to be honest, in the cold that we have to endure in the Northeast, I am not going to be doing outdoor track. To me, one of the worst feelings is when sweat dries on you when out in the cold, as you stand around in between laps. At least when you are outside on a normal run, you just kind of keep on going, and going, and going….you don’t stop long enough to get chilled.
So, tonight, during each of those 11 laps you were supposed to start out at a slower pace and gradually get faster. During the first mile, I’m embarrassed to admit, but I couldn’t remember how to start the stop watch, it’s been that long since I did track workouts. So my paces were all over the place, and to be honest, I didn’t want to start out that slow! So, for the second mile, I just started at 44 second laps, and tried to keep it consistent, at a pace where I felt like toward the end I could go faster. So, I know, I’m a bad rule follower, but I’m happy to say my first mile was 7:49 and the second was 7:43. Now here’s where I was a total idiot. I did one lap too many for the first mile that Gail timed me. She was yelling out numbers of laps that I had done, and I thought the number I heard was the number of the lap I was starting. So, I think I could have done the first one faster, but I was holding myself back a bit on “real lap 11″/”my brain thought it was lap 10.”
God, I LOVED running fast again tonight! (Well, fast for me, but not for a lot of other people out there.) It’s been a while, and I’m so glad I decided to do this again. Gail thanked me for running with her. She said that last year she always felt self-conscious being the last one out there running, but she was happy to see that this year, people that didn’t even know her were yelling out encouragement as she went around and around. (I wonder if she realizes she was pretty supportive herself?) The people in this track group look to be good for that reason. I hope it continues that way!
Because it’s late and I’d like to get up and get some writing in, in the morning, I’ll leave you now with one of my favorite songs to run to when I’m not worrying about my pace. It’s called Chances by Five For Fighting. I really like the lyrics, which I find to be uplifting.
I got into work today and one of my colleagues (who is a beginning runner himself, I am glad and proud to say) asked me if I’d run today. He knows I’m a die-hard, I guess. Or just insane, take your pic. It was 21 degrees this morning around 5:30 a.m., and with 20-30 mph wind gusts, the wind chill temp was 7, according to my iPhone’s weather channel app. I laughed and told him, “yep, because a guy from Scotland made me do it.” So, this is my shout-out to Mickdo100 (as he’s known on Twitter), or the writer of the Nowhere Fast Revisited blog I have on my blogroll. Funny how people you’ve never met in person can inspire you. Well, I guess that means almost all of you reading this blog, in my case!
I was sitting on my couch this morning, watching my dog Ruthie, who’s oh-so-cute, sleep all curled up on her chair, with her blue blankie wrapped around her (she will put up with anything from us as long as it means she’s getting attention, including being treated like a human baby), and listening to the wind howl. And I mean howl. We have chimes hanging on our one deck and you could tell from the lovely sounds that they made, that the wind was pretty strong. And when I took Ruthie out to relieve herself at 4:30 a.m. (imagine that being your rude awakening to the day), she could stand on top of the snow without breaking through. It was that cold.
So, the idea of getting out there and running (especially since I was afraid that somehow there’d be more black ice like yesterday when I was an idiot and didn’t wear my Stabilicers, thus forcing me to abandon my run for a power walk with Ruthie) was not really an appealing one. I mean, on the one hand, I have this good volume of the Vampire Diaries saga I’m reading (this book series is so much better than Twilight and mind you, coming from me, that’s saying a lot), or I could write some of my own fiction (really liking it the more I do it), and on the other hand, I could freeze my butt off. (Oh, my other hand [I know, this gives me something like 4 hands right now if you've been adding them all up] had the option of decorating our Christmas tree.)
So, what do I do? I start whining about it on Twitter. And the power of the Internet, Mickdo100 , being 5 or 6 hours ahead of me, time-wise, and who also had the day off, and is injured, well, he tells me to get out there, dress warm, and remember that even if it’s only for 20 minutes that I get out there, it’s still better than nothing.
So, I thought about it. For a few minutes, and thought, “well, now or never, I’ve got to be on time today, I’m covering the reference desk first thing.” So I started getting dressed. Not a quick proposition with our weather. Three shirts, a pair of tights, one long pair of pants, a neck muffler, heavy thermal hat and warm gloves, smart wool socks, sneaks with Stabilicer Sports later, and I was ready to go! (Oh yeah, and my Road ID, or Road Kill ID, as I call it with iPod were worn also but those go without saying.) For any of you who are wondering (and still reading), I do wear a headlamp in the dark. I want to live.
Running with all that gear can make it hard to move. It was not my fastest run, but I didn’t wear my Garmin either. I didn’t want to have to stand outside and wait for the thing to pick up satellites, it was that cold. So, just two laps around my nearby lake, which means about 3.4 miles, and that was it for me. But I got out there, and I did it, and I’m glad for that. Because sooner or later this season, those temps are going to feel downright balmy to me. (Oh, and I did stop about halfway to remove the Stabilicers, they just weren’t needed today. Luckily they are pretty lightweight so I put them in my pockets and started up again.)
While I was out there, I looked up at the sky, as I do many times on my runs when I can’t wait for the sunrise. The moon was very thin this morning, and of course the sky was completely cloudless (helping to keep the temps down.) This reminded me of another of my Twitter friends, TurtlePower1 (if you are on Twitter, I highly recommend following him. He has some great sayings, and perspectives. He protects his tweets but just send him a request to follow and if you’re lucky, he’ll agree to it.) He’s a runner that keeps his eyes on the heavens, watches for meteor showers, and has taught me a lot about the International Space Station and how you can see it in the night sky. I think he would have enjoyed the pre-dawn sky I saw this morning.
Anyway, have you ever noticed that the moon sometimes seems to move further upward in the sky as the sun tries to take over? I thought of it as an epic battle that gets fought every day between the sun and the moon for control over the sky. We all know how it’s going to end, yet it gets repeated day after day. It’s one of my favorite reasons for being a morning runner.
I leave you now with a picture I took of the Cape the last time I was down there. Don’t worry, there’ll be no shortage of my opportunities to take more snow pics and post them up here for you! LOL
Grey's Beach, Cape Cod
Ok, gotta go and decorate my tree now – thanks for listening!
By the way, anyone think this post wins the award for use of most parentheticals or run-on sentences?!