Friday, May 23, 2008

0 Run, Run, Run!


At 8:19 pm tonight, I ran 4 laps (2.96 miles) in 33:28, or an 11:18 minute-per-mile pace in approximately 66-70 degree weather. At the time I was running, it felt like I was running really fast -- in fact, much faster than my last run -- but apparently it was all in my head! ;-) I've learned from experience that sometimes running at night in a cool breeze can be deceptive. Even when I've felt like I've had a really fast, strong run, I'm often surprised when I check my iPod stopwatch afterwards! ;-) Even though the large & rather unwieldy crowds of people slowed me down a bit tonight, I still felt like I was really motoring past them when I was able to break free!

At any rate, I was definitely putting in the effort, working my heart & legs & not letting up, even as I was tiring towards the end. Mid-way through lap #3, my energy began to flag a bit & I began to slow down slightly & also think thoughts like "Oh, I'd really like to slow it down, or stop, or just go home & plop down on the couch right about now," but then told myself to ignore that lazy thought & keep going, which is exactly what I did! ;-) Thankfully, at that very moment, a really inspirational song started to play on my Pod with an insane number of beats-per-minute that got me all pumped up again to keep going!

Have you ever had that warm flush of energy just rush into you when you listen to a tune that makes your entire being tingle with excitement?! Now THAT's exactly the feeling I'm talking about here. It's a a spontaneous burst of adrenaline-charged energy, spurred on by inspirational music & then it just suddenly morphs into a runner's high!

I literally leaped out ahead of everyone like a gazelle & just breezed past the crowds like they were moving in slow-motion! I just felt this incredible surge of energy, which seemed to come from out of nowhere, & just couldn't stop myself from propelling myself forward like a super-turbo-charged rocket launcher. It was fantastic! The only other time I slowed slightly was to recover from a side-stitch which set in during the second half of the final lap; however I sped up again after it went away, & had a really strong finish. I guess that was my "badge of honor" for all of that effort. Hahahahaha.

Some final footnotes: Right now, I'm not really following any running plan or program per se. My friend is out-of-commission due to her knee, & so lately I've been doing my own thing. We stopped the CT5K program right before the Day 3 of Week 5, i.e., before the start of the first 20 consecutive minutes of running, so I figured I could easily just skip ahead to 25 minutes (i.e., Day 3 of Week 6) & then do 30-minute runs for a while.

In essence, I'm basically doing the first part of the BOHR program, running 30+ minutes for three weeks, & then seeing where my fitness level is before deciding upon the next step.

Frankly, I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do when my friend rejoins me for our runs. In addition to her being out of commission due to her knee, we're also facing scheduling challenges, due to the fact that my new job & her existing job don't have similar hours. I don't want to resort to doing double runs again (i.e., a joint run followed by a solo run, or vice versa, etc.), as I think that played a role in burning me out a bit last time. Of course, I'm not about to stop running, but I also don't want to have to backtrack to an earlier stage. I also don't want her to feel pressured to run before she's ready, as neither of us wants to see her incur further injury.

A possible solution could be that we still could meet at the lake twice a week, but would only start out running together for only the first few consecutive minutes & then each do our own separate thing. I know it's not anywhere near as social, but atleast this way, we could do some part of our run together.

Hmmmmm. On the one hand I feel sincerely attached to my friend, enjoy running with her, & of course, want to see her succeed (i.e., before we stopped running together, she was just starting to get that internal spark of motivation to keep running), but on the other hand it's certainly important that I run to the best of my ability, & not hold back my own progress. There has to be a way to join together both priorities somehow as a common goal. Hopefully, we'll find a way to make this work.

I'm hoping she'll agree to the above plan, atleast until she's able to "catch up" to me fitness-wise, in as much as is realistically possible. Of course, I'm not saying that we've got to be at the exact same point in our fitness, but I'm hoping she'll atleast be able to get to the point where she can run 20+ minutes consecutively. Then we atleast have a better shot at making our joint runs work.

The additional kicker is that I don't have nearly as much scheduling flexibility as I once had when I ran my own businesses & did freelance consulting, nor do I have very much leisure time these days -- So it's imperative that every moment count! My time is very tightly managed right now, & it's just something new that I & everyone else who interacts with me will have to accept & get used to at this point. This is not said to be rude or insensitive. It's just a fact of my current existence. That's just the way it is.

This also means that I've also not been able to blog or respond to comments quite as often as I'd like -- In fact, my running blog is one of the few & only blogs to which I've contributed to on a regular basis, as running has been the most essential activities to buoying my existence right now & maintaining a healthy perspective on all of the above-described changes.

On that note, commenters, please don't be discouraged by my lack of responses; I've read all of your comments & certainly appreciate every single one! Thank you most sincerely! I really do enjoy listening to your thoughts.

Hope you have a great night!

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