Saturday, March 12, 2011

6-mile run before a 10-hour road trip

Winter has done a number on me in terms of running. People hear about the indoor triathlon and think I stayed in great shape.

If only that were true. I stayed in shape if expanding is a shape.

There's this tiny little voice in the back of my head saying that if I'm still in Ohio the first weekend of April, I can do a low-key, local half marathon. As my sports med doctor once said to me, "Runners are stupid."

He meant it in a good way, I'm really sure.

You know three weeks isn't enough to train for a half. But I figured if I could run 6 miles, I might be able to run enough here in Ohio so that I could at least get 'er done.

It's not really a plan. It's also sort of stupid to run 6 miles with a cranky hamstring the day before an all-day road trip. Ouch.

When I run, I think about people and things. I rarely listen to music. I like listening to birds and neighborhood sounds like lawn mowers. I like to hear dogs behind creaky, leaning, 30-year-old fences.

I also think of stuff to blog about each run. I thought about blogging so much on Friday that I contemplated starting a whole other blog just so I could whine share my insight.

Mostly I wanted to blog about all my problems getting out the door in the cold weather.

In the summer last year, after I began training, I had a system in which all my gear was in a reusable bag from the grocery store. It sat in a chair in the dining room and I always had everything right there. That way I could get out the door quickly.

This year so far, the system hasn't worked so well. Cold weather demands more gear. I also can't find things like the electricity plug in for my Garmin watch or my Road ID shoe pocket.

It takes forever to get out the door.

One reason is because women's running clothes don't have pockets. I assume men's don't, either. If there is a pocket and that's a pretty big "if" although they do exist, the pocket is very small.

Too small for keys, too small for protective measures, too small for a cell phone.

I know many purists would say that you should run without all this stuff, but I think those people must run in protected environments, have an entourage or a coach to accompany them or they're men.

So I'm slow to get outside due to figuring out where to put what I have to take with me. I'll leave my cell phone behind if I have to, but then I couldn't call for help. I put my pepper spray in the waistband of my pants, which actually puts it right in a way that I can grab it quickly. I even practice grabbing it out of its pouch.

Then I get outside and it's too cold for the way I'm dressed and I go inside for a different jacket or it's sunny but windy and I need to go back inside for gloves. I wear a hat, but I get warm and need a pocket to put it in.

On days like Friday, I also think about how humbling it is to run around my neighborhood. I'm 45 with an extra 9 pounds, my face gets beet-red and I sometimes huff and puff.

If by sometimes, you mean all the time. I'm a noisy runner that way.

When I'm trained up or having a great run, my breathing falls into a steady, even pace. See? Humbling. I couldn't just leave it alone. I don't sound like I'm dying all the time. Just most of the time.

Lastly, last fall's hamstring problem hasn't gone away and that tripped me up on the run. Being in the car all day wasn't much fun, either.

Maybe it sounds like I should stop running, but that's not where I'm headed. I'm glad that after the winter I can still run six miles and although they were 12-minute miles with wee walking breaks for the hamstring, I know I can get back to 10-minutes.

But can I do it in three cold, March weeks? That remains to be seen.


Rambling Woods said...

Oh do be careful with that injury so it doesn't get any worse.. yes I agree, it is tough to get out the door to do anything at all...Michelle

Rose said...

I am reading to catch up...