On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I did not want to run on Tuesday

After staying up until an ungodly hour trying to get a project done, I forgot to unset my alarm.  Even worse, the alarm was on my phone, which was in another room.  I had to get up.  It had only been 6 hours - which, for me, is a miserable, miserable night of sleep.

Even more miserable?  It was not raining.  In fact, there was almost sort of sun.  One of the reasons I stayed up past 1 doing work was based on the weather report of 24 hours of rain.  I figured I wouldn't be running anyway, and I don't need as much sleep to just go to a spin class.  But, no!  Cruel, cruel world: I had no excuse not to run.

So, first run after the half marathon.  The nice thing about being slow is that I don't really have a "race" mode, which means that I don't seem to need as much rest after races as I could.  Maybe that's also because I don't push myself that hard.  Could be.

Despite my lethargy, I came to some realizations while I was out there last night.  Such as...:

Fact:  I started at the bottom of this hill, then I got to the top of it.  See those tiny cars down there?  I ran past them, half a mile earlier.  That's pretty cool.

Fact:  A lot of people in my neighborhood evidently like to smoke pot on the way home from work.  That is not cool.

Fact:  This course is less erratic than my Garmin's elevation profile shows.  It starts off with a very, very nice rolling downhill, which I flew down, and then picks up gradually over about a mile.  Then, it drops down again for a few blocks before about a mile of solid hill.

Fact:  That mile of hill sucks.  SUCKS!  It's punctuated by these terrible faux-crests, where you think you're at the top of the hill and you finally reach the peak and then you realize that that hill keeps going at a slightly lower incline.

This route used to defeat me, but yesterday it was no big deal.  Yes, I slowed down a fair bit (I love how the Garmin says I maxed out at a 2:54 minute/mile - bless you, Garmin).  But I ran the whole thing, minus one half block where I was so disheartened by a faux-crest that I slowed.  Per Garmin, my paces were not as inconsistent as I would have suspected.  (The route is on city streets, so the stop-and-go of the paces are about 30 blocks of crosswalks and streetlights.)

In fact, I felt so good after 3.5 that I strapped on my VFFs and took the dog for another .4 around the block.  Lovely night.

Fact:  There's more than a little truth to the old adage that you regret the runs you don't take.


  1. Way to go on the hills. It must be fun to run in an urban environment. I have cows and countryside. While pretty, the road kill alongside the road tends to damper some runs!!!

    I also have no "race pace" - nice to hear others don't either!

  2. The grass is always greener, isn't it? I miss running in the country. I have more to look at here, sure, but it can be VERY annoying to have to stop for traffic! Luckily I haven't seen any road kill... knock on wood. In my neighborhood it probably wouldn't be an animal that I found.