Friday, March 11, 2011

Mighty, fallen.

By yesterday afternoon I was exhausted and cranky.  I could barely get my act together and finish my day teaching, but I had a half hour meeting after school that lasted an hour.  I was all kinds of unmotivated as I drove home, but I tried to remember something that I read on Zen Habits yesterday:

Just step out the door.

He is right, you know.  Just step out the door and something good is bound to happen.  I've heard so many runners say I never regretted any run, and it's true for me too.  Even the crappy ones when I quit early are still runs when I tell myself it was better than finding myself at the bottom of the Cheetos bag.  I could just step out the door, I knew that I would find more to be happy about than I could complain about.

I feel like this run would have been Bob Ross-approved. Plenty of "happy little trees".

I had the best run.  It was supposed to rain yesterday (it might have sprinkled a little in the afternoon?) so the sky was dotted with some happy Bob Ross Clouds and a bluish-gray beast.  I said a quick prayer that the angry one wouldn't get any more angry, and I set out.

I am the captain of the I heart my Garmin fan club right now.  Running with a heart rate monitor has seriously changed how I run and what I recognize about what it feels like to run at the right pace.  Since I started wearing my HRM I have not had to walk on any runs.  I feel like I understand pacing now.  I feel like I am finally able to figure out what my own perfect pace is, where before I had been arbitrarily picking a number (say, 11:00/mile) and saying "yeah, that's my goal."

What a nerd.

Anyway, the funny thing is that I thought I wanted a Garmin so I could see how fast I was running.  I'm actually not so interested in my pace or speed as I'm running.  Those things are nice to see when I get home.  But when I am out on the road I keep the screen set on the HRM for about 90% of the time and I wait for the "auto lap" feature to tell me when I've hit each mile.  I've been running a route I know really well, anyway, so I don't have to look to know that it's a mile to the first driveway into Savemart or two miles when I hit the end of the fence at the junior high.

Last night I did another tempo run using my HR as a guide.  I tried to keep my HR between 65-75% of max for my warmup and cooldown miles, and then I ran two miles in the middle where I tried to keep it between 85-95% of max.  I'm using info I got from the website.  Those two miles in the middle were "comfortably hard" but I was really enjoying the smell of (almost) rain, the blooming trees, the Coldplay in my ears, and my non-chafed thighs thanks to my tight-covered legs.

My splits:

Mile 1: 12:41
Mile 2: 11:10
Mile 3: 11:25
Mile 4: 13:20
Avg pace: 12:20

Slow but steady, right?

It was going great.  So great, in fact, that I was thinking I'd do an ooey-gooey blog post about my awesomesauce run and how zen I was... and then I ate big pavement at almost exactly the two mile mark.

It wasn't as spectacular as my first fall--alone and in the dark at 5:30 AM--the one that left me with a stiff ankle and a fear of running before work.  I didn't hurt myself too bad, either, but since I landed this spectacular slow-mo fall right at the corner of the two major cross streets in town I am sure someone at work is going to say "OHMYGOD, Mrs. P!  I totally saw you laying on the sidewalk yesterday!"

My pride hurts more than my hands (which took the brunt of it), and I am mostly happy I didn't rip my one expensive pair of running tights.  I actually kind of can't believe that I have only fallen twice while running for two years.  I fall more times than that during any given morning teaching English.

I still don't regret it and it was still a really good run.  But for my moment of glory on the sidewalk, I didn't have to take any breaks.  I felt so good when I got home.  This run was exactly the quiet time I'd been craving.  Just get out the door.  Good mantra, right?

1 comment:

  1. ohmygod. It's your biting-pavement stories that make me reconsider my pregnant running habit.