Silver Lake, Thursday morning, in the mist

The lake was eerie, but so amazing at the same time! I took these really quickly and then headed off to work. I’m also putting here some pictures of two trees on my property – they are oak trees, I believe, so they really hold onto their leaves, for what feels like FOREVER! (Sorry, I see some of them are turned on their side!) To see them larger, just click on the thumbnails below.

The other morning it was 25 degrees when I went to work. Yes, I mean it, really, 25 degrees. And I wonder why it is hard to get out of bed in the morning, in the dark. While I like the change of seasons, it is hard to get up in the dark, and come home from work, just about in the dark. Pretty soon we’re going to have to change the clocks, and then it’s going to get even more difficult. I am not sure if I will need to get a stronger headlamp or not, I don’t want to spend even more money on gear for running, so we shall see. (I did just buy two pairs of tights, which were about $40 and $45 each.)

Many of you commented on my last post that I should start running with a group or a partner, and I agree. While Lis and I really liked running together over the summer, we do live a bit away from each other, and with the darkness like I mentioned above, it’s unrealistic to think we’d be able to run together in the evenings. We had hoped to run together at least a few times before the half-marathon we have in a few weeks, but she’s been hiking a lot with her husband, and still feeling the effects of those shin splints when she does, sometimes. So, I’ve been contemplating joining the Merrimack Valley Striders, the running group of my colleague and friend Will, who just ran the Bay State Marathon last Sunday.

Part of my problem with running by myself so much lately is, as Will says “I know and have heard all my own stories before.” 🙂 Sometimes I am simply bored, others, I am thinking about stressful things, clearly not helping matters. Also, I found out this past Saturday, I appear to be sweating about the same level as this summer (almost) but when it doesn’t feel like it or you can’t see it as easily, it’s pretty hard to judge how much fluids to take in. I can’t be the only one with this problem.

I am happy to say that on Saturday, shades of the old “running me” broke through at times, and I felt pretty good. I ended up doing 11.1 miles – when I started, I ran somewhat of a new route for the first 6 miles or so, thinking the “newness” would help me to keep my mind active. The first 3.5 miles were definitely the hardest. I kept it mainly flat the whole time too, on purpose. (I have other routes I can do during the week that are “rolling hills.”) What’s sad is that I really did feel the miles in my legs toward the end, like I used to when we were building on the mileage all summer long. 11 Miles shouldn’t feel like that when you’ve just done 26.2 three weeks ago, should it?

I did find some music helped. John Mayer’s “Say” came on my iPod, which made me think of that movie “The Bucket List.” That reminded me of a T-shirt this guy was wearing, and who ran the marathon “crossing one thing off of your bucket list: priceless!” It made me think of what a good experience that Maine Marathon was just a few weeks ago, and it also made me think about that movie. I’ve not seen it yet, but it’s about two guys who are terminally ill and they do all this stuff on their life lists. I’m not dead yet, far from it. Thinking about that, I found I could keep on going. Anyone else out there have a song that involves such a stream of consciousness like that?

Anyway, I am really not sure what to do over the next two weeks – do you do a “taper” for a half-marathon? How do I handle/what kind of mileage should I be doing if I run three days a week and then ride the bike 1 or 2 days? My plan was to do a 11 or 12 miler next Saturday to remind my muscles what it is like to run that far.

Here’s the Trailer for The Bucket List: