Friday, September 7, 2007

0 Run 2, Week 7 (CT5K): Running Through A Human Obstacle Course!


Tonight, in keeping with my promise to run earlier or not at all, I went for a run much earlier, at 9 pm tonight. It was a stuffy 80-something degrees outside, but I persisted to the finish of my 25-minute run. As it was Friday night, there were lots of people out & about.

I have to admit that the effort it takes to dodge all these people can be rather intense sometimes, especially when you're tired & don't have as much energy to steer clear of people who aren't body-aware & can't seem to manage walking in a straight line. 8-) It can be some zig-zagging, fancy footwork! But the alternative is bumping into people, or stepping on toes, which of course isn't pleasant either. ;-)

So, I have to keep reminding myself that the obstacle course of screaming, aimlessly darting children, smooching couples that stand in the middle of the road -- completely unaware that others are passing, smokers that blow clouds of smoke into my path, & people who walk ten-across like they own the path & inconsiderately don't bother to move aside (even when I announce "to your left!"), are the same people who are keeping me safe. So thank you annoying, spacey, rude people, from the bottom of my heart! 8-)

I think I probably started out too fast for about the first 10-15 minutes of the run. I was particularly stoked to run tonight, as last night's run was prematurely cut short, & so I was more than ready to run. I was a tad bit fuzzy from not having eaten since lunch, but feeling well enough to run. At the outset, I ran a very strong pace, feeling confident & strong, & full of energy. My arm muscles felt particularly strong tonight, as they helped propel me faster & faster past the crowds of people.

Where I run, where there's people, there's usually smoke (which sounds very much like another familiar saying! 8-) ) So I tend to run faster to get past the smoke clouds, which really make me suck wind. I have to either cover my nose with my hand, or temporarily hold my breathe when I go past the smokers. It really bothers my lungs, & plus I don't want to inhale that poisonous carbon monoxide-filled air. (That's one big disadvantage of running earlier in this particular locale.)

So, in order to even out my pace, I usually slow down in the parts where there aren't as many people to catch my breath & recover.

For about half of the run, I think I ran a sub-10-minute mile pace. And then for the remainder, I probably ran around a 10-minute mile pace. The last minute was particularly difficult, but I kept going, as I knew no matter how tired I was, that I still had something left to give. I kept telling myself, "you know you still have something left," up until the very finish. Psyching myself up mentally like that really did the trick. Also, I knew there was a finite end point, which made me run faster to reach it! 8-)

My reward for a rather grueling run tonight was a wonderful breeze during the final stretch. You runners out there who run in particularly hot or humid weather know exactly what I'm talking about here. How fantastically soothing is it to feel a cool mellow breeze fall over your face, after you've given it everything you've got, & your muscles are warm & tired from all the effort!?!! (And when you've been running for 20+ minutes through particularly stagnant hot air, it's certainly a big relief! Almost as good as a cold splash of water on your face. Well, almost!)

Today really should've been Run 3 of Week 7 & not Run 2. Since I'm slightly off schedule, I'm going to have to run two 25+ minute runs back to back. There's no way around it. Otherwise, I really fall behind schedule. I want to get back to running on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays. This is especially necessary, since starting Tuesday of next week, I am running with a friend who's going to start the CT5K program from scratch. We are going to run together on Tuesdays & Thursdays, & she'll do the final run of every week on her own on Saturdays or Sundays. That means that, starting next week, I'll be running 5 days a week, Monday-Friday.

So of course that means I'll either have to run Run 3 of Week 7 (i.e., another 25-minute run) either tomorrow (Saturday) or Sunday, & then run Day 1 of Week 8 (i.e., a 28-minute run) on either Sunday or Monday, depending on when I run the previous run. Either way, I want to be fresh for the run with my friend of Tuesday.

So hmm, let me consider my options:

(1) I could run 25 minutes again tomorrow (Saturday), take a break on Sunday, run again (28 minutes) on Monday. Tuesday would only be a 20 minute workout with 8 minutes of total running time with my friend, which should be comparatively easier than what I'm currently doing. I think I can definitely handle that! ;-) That sounds reasonable, & is probably my best course of action.


(2) I could take tomorrow off, run 25-minutes on Sunday, 28-minutes on Monday, & then run with my friend on Tuesday. Yikes! That'd mean I'd have far less recovery time on the back end before I run with my friend, (I'm sure to be totally exhausted by Tuesday!), so I think I prefer the first option.

OK, I'm finished writing for the night.

In closing, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who expressed their concern for my safety either in person, via email, &/or via their blog comments (especially cutetoes!, who wrote a particularly nice note!)

Thank you! It's nice to know there are so many nice, thoughtful people -- fellow runners & bloggers, friends, family -- who care about my well-being! I likewise hope that you stay safe & healthy during your runs. Please take care of yourselves & be careful on the trail!

Have a good night!

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