I wish all of you could work flex time. In fact, I wish I could do it year-round. I wish I’d asked to take off Wednesdays so I could have two days on, one day off and then two days on again before the weekend, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth!

We’ve had so much rain lately and today was finally a sunny day, starting around 10 a.m.  I think I’ve been feeling worn down lately, between the gum surgery, the lack of sleep (6.5 hours is the norm lately for me, setting the alarm at 4 a.m.), so last night we went to bed at 10, and I only got up a bit past 8 a.m. For me, I usually only get that much sleep on a Saturday night.

Our weather here has been about 20 degrees below normal – I remember sweating my butt of last year around this time.  But today at 10 a.m., it was only in the low 60s, and most of the humidity had burned off so it was kind of pleasant outside. I hadn’t run much since last week’s track practice and the whole gum surgery/percocet combo – just ridden the bike a few days. I ran for about 10 minutes on the treadmill last weekend, and it hurt a bit on my quads when I cranked up the speed, so I thought it would be better to run long and slow today than to go to track practice tonight.  I can always save the workout for a later day, right?

Today’s run was my longest in a long time – just shy of 10 miles (my Garmin stopped at one point so I’m going on my knowledge of distance from a few points on my route.)  I think the average pace ended up being about 10 minutes per mile, and to be honest, I didn’t really care it wasn’t in the 9s.  Lately, I’ve become so obsessed about times, even on long runs, that I think it was taking some of the fun out of things.  I realized this past weekend, the motivation behind wanting to run had just disappeared, and I remembered the advice of a friend of mine – you don’t want to do it when it stops  being fun.  So, waiting made it fun today.

I’m amazed at how different neighborhoods look during the daytime.  There are so many more cute doggies out going for walks with their owners/parents, and lots of little kids of pre-school age getting ready to go places with their parents, their arms loaded up with toys.  I saw one little boy standing alone outside of his house, making me wonder where his parents were.  He saw me running by and gave me a big smile. So I shouted “hi!” and then he started running toward me.  I was afraid he was going to run across the street and get hit so I slowed down, and we just kept yelling “hi” back and forth to each other, and then I waved and kept on going.  He was such a cutie.

Today’s long run was flatter than what I’ve been doing lately since I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for the elevation chart of the Boilermaker. This weekend, I’m heading home to my mom, and she’s going to drive the course with me, and walk the big hill/mountain in the middle of it, so I can mentally prepare for race day.  With me, fear of the unknown always makes things into bigger problems, so as long as I know what to expect, hopefully I won’t get too stressed.

For those of you who need a de-stresser these days (and who doesn’t, right?) I have a suggestion.  Take a few minutes, and a blanket, outside if you have a patch of grass nearby.  Lie down on the blanket with a good book, journal or pillow.  (Don’t take your cell phone or anything that can connect you to the internet.)  Just relax, and breathe.  Look up at the sky, and if you see clouds, try to figure out what they look like.  And then try to hold how that feeling in your heart, especially the next time you’re feeling really stressed.  It’s what I’m going to try to do.

Have a good night everyone, and have a good run out on the roads.  (In case you’re wondering, the picture below was taken in Nova Scotia, I wish, by me!)

Photo by jhoc, on flickr.com

Photo by jhoc, on flickr.com