Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jogger Frogger

There are people standing right outside of my office discussing baseball. How am I supposed to concentrate on my WORK while they bs about that crap. If you want to be unproductive, at least don't bother people who want to work! I'm sure I've been guilty of this in the past, but right now I am morally superior, so I have the right to complain. Heh.

So, last night mrp and I headed out after work to a lakefront park in the city to run. It was sunny and 73 degrees! Woo! But, it was WINDY. Oh, was it windy! It's always even windier at this park because it's a little peninsula that sticks out into the lake. Oh well, we figured it wouldn't be that bad. So, we pull in and it is just JAM-PACKED with city folks out enjoying the gorgeous weather. There were roller bladers and horny couples and little kids on bikes and kite flyers and pitt bulls (yeah, I know) and crazy homeless people. You name it and it was there! Of course, all these people were clustered on and around the running path. Back in January mrp and I went to this same park and it was PERFECT for tempo running. No one was there and the path is a .92 mile loop and made up of a nice solid paved surface. Well, what a difference a couple of months makes! Anyway, we would not be deterred! Well, actually we thought about it. We opened the windows of the car while we were changing and the wind just tore through it. Yikes! We thought about bagging it and heading to the metropark by our house. But, we were already there and it would be maybe less windy at our park, but windy nonetheless.

So we soldiered on through the throngs and the gusts. I stayed on the tried and true loop while mrp headed off through the areas neighborhoods. I did a twoish mile warm-up and then started my 6 looooooong miles of tempo. I was shooting for 6:50's. I started out ok, maybe a bit fast and I was doing good until I rounded the first corner. Wham! Right into a gust of wind. Whatever, I pushed on through a half mile of wind in my face and was so relieved to turn the corner and be out of it. I was still on pace, actually a little ahead at this point and I was happy. As I came around the final turn of the lap there was the first couple walking a pitbull and luckily it seemed docile and was on a short leash. I had to run out a bit though to make sure I gave it wide clearance. Those things freak me out and I don't want to take any chances. Then, just when I thought the pit bullage was over, I spotted another couple walking one. This one was UGLY and rambunctious and the couple weren't exactly being gentle with it. Oh my. I thought I gave the first one wide clearance. This time I ran WAY around on the grass even. The couple laughed at me, but in a nice way, and I was relieved el vicious doggo was behind me (hopefully still on his leash!)

Despite all that, I finished the first of my 6.5 loops and I was just a little under pace. I was already tired a bit, but I pushed on determined to keep pace. This time I rounded that first corner of the loop and the wind was worse. I didn't care I pushed through it and pushed and came to the half mile mark and was still slow. Ugh!! I was starting to feel bad about the workout, like it was pointless to keep going, but I did. I made it to the turn out of the wind. I continued on around pitbull bend and had to laugh when I spotted pit-bull walking couple #2 were sitting at a picnic table and had now put a muzzle on Fluffy. I made it to the end of the second loop and now I was a little slower than goal pace. I felt crappy, but I kept going. Again, the corner with the wind. Again it seemed worse than the time before. Again I wanted to quit and felt like a loser for being so far above pace now. I don't even remember anything funny about this lap. I finished the third lap now way above pace.
I rounded the first corner again, I made almost to the half-mile point of the loop which was just a little over the half-way point of the tempo run and I just couldn't keep battling the wind. I was so frustrated. I just stopped. I almost quit. I walked a few steps and then just turned around and started running the other direction around the loop. It wasn't any better, but the different perspective helped take my mind off of how crappy I felt. It also allowed me to rethink my approach since the windy part was now the same part of the loop that was by far the most crowded. I decided to chill out in the wind and the crowds. Why fight? Just maintain an even effort which is what you're supposed to do anyway. I still felt like crap but taking the pressure off myself and being all zen through the yuck parts allowed me actually kind of enjoy the rest. I even picked it up the last quarter mile or so and finished strong.

As I cooled down I was able to actually look around at all the little ones playing and the couples cooing and just was so happy to be there. I still felt like total shit and wanted to stop running, don't get me wrong, but I just felt at peace and appreciative of the little things like the rasta dude jogging in his funny hat and mrp stretching on the par course bench thingee and encouraging me to complete my cooldown even while I'm sure he was anxious to get home.

This morning my legs feel dead, just depleted of all energy. They don't hurt (for once) they are just ti ti. This is right where I want them to be at this point in my training cycle, so I'm happy. I don't know if I'll be saying that in an hour or so when I'm out for my recovery run today, but I certainly can say that now.


Jim said...

Hi Salty One,

Nice, inspiring entry today about working through your frustrations.

I'm confused, though. You said: "There are people standing right outside of my office discussing least don't bother people who want to work!"

Did you mean "don't bother people who want to write in their blogs?"

Tee hee. I promise not to tell your boss.


The Salty One said...

Heh. Yes, I specifically chose to leave it to the reader to see the irony!