Thursday, August 30, 2007

0 Run 2, Week 6 (CT5K): Running Under A Full Moon


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Today's workout was great! Lots of energy & feeling good. The interval training consisted of alternating intervals of two 10-minute-walks, interspersed with two 3-minute walks (& of course the usual 5-minute cooldown & warmup walks on either end).

Before I left the house, I happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection & I did a doubletake -- I could actually see the effects of my running -- especially in my legs, waist, & face.

I'm not just talking about the weight-loss either, although it IS absolutely amazing how effective running is for shedding pounds. (It's as if the body send out a signal saying "I can no longer shuttle around this extra weight because it's really getting in the way of my running!" ;-) )

My muscles are definitely getting more toned & definitely feel stronger than before. Also, my endurance is improving, as evidenced by tonight's great performance. My recovery time after my runs is also getting better too.

Also, note to self: Recharge iPod, & do it often!

During tonight's run, my iPod batteries went dead on me with only 2 more minutes left to my last (10-minute) running interval. Since I didn't feel like counting "one Mississippi, two Mississippi" 120 times in a row, & therefore, wasn't able to accurately gauge how much time I had left, I approximated what two minutes of running felt like, judging by the distance I was covering & the fact that I was doing my usual pace most of the time. I decided I'd play it safe & run extra long to make sure I ran long enough to adequately cover the 2 minutes. In fact, I think I ran closer to 5 minutes total during that last stretch of running. I could definitely tell because I was really starting to feel the effects of the extra running time towards the tail end.

I know that I definitely ran faster in certain sections: There's a creepy little alcove that I dislike running by, especially when it gets dark. Even though the area where I run is, for the most part, well-lit, & there are always people around even when it's dark, this particular area of my running path is a pitch-black little pocket of darkness. I can't really see that well when I pass it, & so I usually dart up the hill like a lightening bolt to get past this area. I am so totally paranoid that I usually imagine someone jumping out of the enclosure & grabbing me. That would certainly make most people run a whole lot faster!

The other unnerving thing is that tonight a man passed me, who first looked at me for a while, in an odd way and then, as if he couldn't decide what to do or which way to turn, backtracked & headed back up the hill towards the creepy alcove, as if he was going to hide in there & wait for me until my next go-round. This really got me wondering & made me reconsider whether or not I was going to loop around again back to this area. (I usually like to do circuit runs.)

Against my better judgment, I ended up passing the alcove again.

Of course the entire way up the hill & a few paces beyond it, I kept constantly looking behind me & glancing sideways, etc., to make sure no one was following me.

Also, I usually wear those typically recognizable white iPod ear-phones for the duration of my runs, but I definitely removed them when I passed by this area. Atleast if I was going to be stubborn about it, I wanted to have the full faculty of my senses to stay alert at all times.

Hell, I was even spooked on the way back home when I heard leaves rattle along the road. I jumped when the sprinklers went off. Boy, was I glad to be home after tonight's run!

Of course, as it turned out, there was, thankfully, no one lurking around the next corner in the darkness or hiding in the next bush, (or atleast no one jumped out from the bushes that I could see!). Apparently, my overactive imagination was getting a good workout tonight as well!

Admittedly, I was being stubborn about maintaining my running routine. I was afraid that if I had taken a different route, I wouldn't have been able to gauge approximately how much mileage or how many laps I covered!

I know this route practically from memory, & can tell you the approximate distance I've covered at various points along the route. Still, in any event, it doesn't change the fact that my judgment was questionable in the situation at hand.

Since I'm obviously here typing this post, things turned out OK. (Cross the fingers anyhow, so as not to jinx any future runs.)

However, I think next time I'm going to run earlier in the evening, even if it still 80-some degrees outside. It'll be a tough-go, but perhaps with my improved physical conditioning, I'll be OK in the heat. (I am a tad bit skeptical about this, as I was in much better shape 10 years ago & still had the same problem running under similar conditions. My legs are usually fine, but my lungs really take a beating in this area's stagnant hot air & stultifying humidity.)

The temperature takes such a long time to drop around here in the late summer months: At 9 pm, I believe it was still in the 80's. By midnight, the temperature had dropped to 73 degrees, which ironically is the absolute PERFECT temperature to run. But of course!

Well, I hope my mother doesn't read this post, knowing how she worries. What I wrote, regardless of whether tonight's concerns were real or imagined, would definitely freak her out. (Ab, if you're reading this post, please don't share its contents with any paranoid family members, including Mom. Thanks! :-) )

Seeing as how my mother never usually reads my blogs anyhow -- mostly due to time constraints & a low threshold for anything even slightly geeky -- it's truly a slim possibility.

Whether the matter at hand is personal safety issues, natural disasters, the horrors of possibly ending up in the emergency room with "swiss-cheese"-sized wholes in your underwear, or any other possible forms of impending doom, my mom just wouldn't allow herself to rest until she reminded her children of anything & everything that could possibly go wrong. :-)

Home-training not-withstanding, I do personally like to be prepared for the unexpected, but within reason. I'm not going to take along a 10-pound bag with everything but the kitchen sink in it to do so. Or shout like Chicken Little that the sky is falling.

So, on my next run, I'll take just take along my mace and my bowie knife, thank you very much. :-)

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