Sunday, October 12, 2014

Run Journal - #41

Details: 13 mile run
Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 5 (surprise, surprise)

Polka dots! Who doesn't like polka dots. I don't, as it turns out (below)
It wasn't happening today. Maybe it was the humidity and the return of higher temperatures of maybe it was just "one of those days", but this run was a struggle from the start. Every time I looked down at the pace on my watch, it was slower than what I thought it would be, so I'd pick it up a little, but then I was getting tired. By the fourth mile I was frustrated. I was comparing myself to the folks around me and sinking into a bad mood, but then I remembered something that an instructor said in a yoga class I'd had that week. I'm paraphrasing, but the gist was to let go of your expectations and just live in that particular moment. That's not something I typically do, and I'm not even sure that it's something I even want to always do, but at that moment, in that situation, it seemed like a good idea. So I stopped paying attention to my pace, and instead just ran at a speed that was near the top of my comfort level, but not beyond. I had to catch myself a number of times, but I didn't look at my watch even once more the rest of the route. My frustration and impatience faded away over time and while I'm not sure I can truthfully say the rest of the run was "enjoyable", it was a far, far better experience that it would have been had I not followed that advice from my yoga class. In the end, my final time, while not great, was acceptable, but even if it hadn't been, I think I would have been allright with that today.

Oh, I mentioned the polka dots calf sleeves in the caption of the picture above. I like the pattern, but it looks like the thread or material used to make the dots is different than the rest of the calf sleeves. When the run was over I noticed that the sleeves were constricting deeper around the dots than anywhere else. This end result was quite uncomfortable. It's a shame as these are fairly high quality calf sleeves and I love the other pair I have from the same company.

I'm not sure what the deal was but I think I sweated ("sweated" doesn't sound right to my ear for some reason but I looked it up and apparently that's right) more on this run that at any other time in my life, I went through almost twice as much water than normal and by the end, my shoes, and of course my clothes looked like I had waded into a river. Every step would push water (well, sweat really) out through the mesh upper portion of my shoes. Uggg!

Fortunately rejuvenation and and one of the best experiences I've had a long, long time were just a hour away at my yoga class. The Saturday classes have been a godsend. Since I've been doing yoga after my longs runs, I've recovering much more quickly. Saturday used to be an almost lost day after the run and some Sunday's were not much better, but now things get back to normal pretty quickly.

The class was great. The Saturday instructor does a lot of balance, stretching and some core strength. It's perfect my needs, but the real treat came afterwards. A few days ago I mentioned some annoyance I was feeling that the milestone of running a half marathon was going to come during a mundane training session this weekend instead of a few weeks later at an actual event that a number of us in the running group were signed up for. The event would be a real, meaningful marker of this achievement for those of us who were first-timers. Well, a new friend of mine read that blog entry and did THE coolest thing in the world. After class she said she had something for me and then gave me this:


You might not be able to see it in the picture but it's says 13 miles and has a pin to attach it to my shirt like a medal. I was dumbstruck. It's a day later and I'm still misting up a bit as I write this. Even now, I don't have the words... it was one of the most thoughtful things anyone has ever done for me. In a few weeks I'll do the Houston Half and I'll get a finisher's medal, but that will be junk compared to this.

The rest of my day turned out pretty fantastic as well, so despite getting off to a rough start, yesterday isn't a day I'll soon forget.