Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eight at the Lake

Sunrise over Lake Natoma. Click photo for source.
I love running.

Yesterday Kel and I did eight miles out at the Lake just after sunrise. The crew teams were gliding across the lake but we had the trails almost entirely to ourselves. It was still, sunny and fresh.

I have a new attitude about running since my injury. I already know I'm not going to win any time trials. When I think about what I want to get out of running, it's two things: longevity (in life and the sport) and health (also in both life and the sport). I want to be running, walking, jogging into my retirement years. I want to be crazy-free because I can run my worries out. I don't want a health scare in my fifties that forces me to make a lifestyle change. I've decided that the time I spent comparing myself to others and beating myself up about times and not being good/fast/strong enough is just wasted energy. Besides, what would I rather do: PR in a race this year but injure myself and be forced to take time off (or quit altogether) or enjoy my runs, gain strength slowly and be able to run for a long, long time.

That answer is so easy. My heart rate monitor has helped to show me what a good pace is, anyway, so the new attitude is this: run at my own capacity, but don't push it because I know I'll regret it.

Kelly agreed to run S-L-O-W with me yesterday and slow I was. I didn't look at my pace at all but I tried to keep my HR around 85% of max because I knew I could sustain that over the whole run without having to walk. I was able to run the whole thing and feel great at the end. No hip pain. Our average pace (by my Garmin, when I got home) was about 13:33. For Kelly that's a lot slower than usual, but we had the best time chatting it up. We both agreed that it felt like a really nice run overall. I'm thankful she wanted to take it easy (and I'm laughing as I type that because any time I run 8 miles feels like the opposite of easy, no matter the pace!).

I told Kelly I'm way too big a fraidy to run on the trails by myself. Too afraid Rapey McRaperson or Scratchy McBobcat is lurking behind a tree for me. BUT--with a buddy, there's nothing I love more than being out in a natural setting to run. After my swan dive at the corner of MainStreet & EverybodySeesYouPDawg on Thursday, I appreciated a smaller audience of only wild turkeys and squirrels. And I didn't fall this time. So there.

The other thing about yesterday is that it's kind of magical--like, hugging a unicorn under a rainbow magical--to spend a few hours in nature like that, sweating it out, and then to be finished with both your workout and your zen time by 8:30 AM. So you could, let's say, go to your son's baseball game and then come home and nap the afternoon away.

I was after a little quiet time this week and I feel like I accomplished it. The more I can get out on the trails to run, the better.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for inviting me out with you! I'm still feeling euphoric after such a great run yesterday!

    You are wise beyond your years young PDawg. I'm so happy you have found your running zen!