The first four miles were swell. I did them six minutes faster than normal. By mile 10, I was still feeling super-hero-like, so when I got to the point where I could measure the same first four minutes, I raced it again. I came in five minutes faster than normal. Can you imagine? Ten miles into a 15 mile run and I was still coming up with little games.
And that’s the trick.
The best thing I’ve done since September 11th was take control of my life. Most of that is reflected in my weight loss, in my improved self-esteem, and in my new goals surrounding even better fitness. I am completely different from the guy three years ago. Only the genes are the same.
Want a little butt kicking for cross training? Try tennis. Man, that really works other parts of you out, and keeps your cardio right up there. I’m just starting out, so it’s a little more jumpy than need be, but really fun.
Tennis Welcome Center has lots of information.
One cool trick I’m doing on my runs I wanted to share:
I do my first four miles on water only, and then do diluted Gatorade (powder mixed watery) from the Camelbak for the rest of the run. I then take a sip more of water from the hand bottle to swish out some of the gummy afterfeeling of Gatorade.
Well this morning, boys and girls, I got a firsthand experience of what the expression means, “deer in headlights.” I was running along that particularly thin piece of single track with the cliff-ish right hand side that drops about forty feet. This is in the dark mind you. But with my headlamp on, I suddenly see two green eyes glowing back at me about 15 feet away. Aieee!!!!
I stop. The deer doesn’t move. I take a few deep breaths, because hey, I’ve been running here. And then, I realize, “oh yeah, the headlight thing.” So, I turn off the headlamp and the deer bounds off the way it came, somehow scrambling down part of the treacherous part, but hey, it’s smarter than me, right?
I find it odd and yet telling that my first and second half-marathon-distance runs have been in the woods to absolutely no fanfare, and existed completely as a training exercise.
I started running at 5:03AM. It was still fairly dark, but that’s part of the fun. I twisted my ankle fairly roughly early on, like after the first mile. Though I had to walk a few hundred yards, I otherwise didn’t notice an issue, so I kept going.
It starts off in darkness, with crickets and dew-necklaced grass. The moon is getting fatter; I think she’ll go into labor soon. I run down a track no bigger than my shoes, into a small stand of pines. The track’s wider here. They throw sawdust chips all over to absorb the mud and keep it viable.
Today, I’m running with my Camelbak Lobo (9 bucks on clearance at EMS), loaded with diluted gatorade. It’s not that I need that much hydration today, but this is training for the 15 miles in a few weeks. I also have my handheld water bottle. In my head, I’m singing a weird mix of Eminem and Jolie Holland, one line of each over and over. Stop it!
I ran 8 miles this morning in Maudslay. It was EXCELLENT! I started in the dark, just before 5AM. I had my new headlamp (Petzl somethingorother) and needed it. The sun didn’t come out until around the third or fourth mile, but that just made the trial running a little more complex. The roots showed up fine, and so did the rocks. The muddy patches weren’t *as* visible as I thought they might be, but hey, this is trail running. That’s what I say every time I squish ankle deep (or more) into mud.
By around the time I should’ve been done a decent wide loop of the forest, the sun was up, and I smiled, turned around, and went back the way I came. This was beautiful, as I got to see the same course from the opposite direction, and in the sunlight. It felt like running two completely different terrains.
(First off, Blogger ate this post yesterday)
I started yesterday at 5:05 at the pine swamp. Too swampy. My new headlamp didn’t work. All I saw was fog in all directions. And the swamp was overwhelming the path for the first 1/2 mile, so I quit and turned around.
I just signed up for a 23K mountain trail race coming up in a few weeks (september 19th, I think). The guy running the race was really friendly, and gave me lots of information, but seemed the “understating” type. I’ve got no clue how difficult the terrain will be, and as it’s 2+ hours away from my home, I’m not exactly going to head over for a pre-race checkout of the course.
So, this ought to be fun. 15+/- miles run over varied elevations, with roots, loose rocks, streams, and what have you. I’m so jazzed for this.