Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Una Carrera Larga, Una Tortuga, Y Un Martes

So tired. Just so tired. I am so excited about not having anything major planned for this weekend. I am going to sleep in so late on Saturday! Woohoo!

My running schedule mixed with everything else is kicking my butt. To accomodate racing and travel and air guitar sessions I've had to really do some weird things with running--like doing my long run on Tuesday night after work. Man, I did not feel like running for almost 2 hours when I left work. It was stormy and gloomy all day and my back ached and my hips were uncomfortably tight all day at work. And I already felt worn down and tired. Also, the thought of running in the park post huge storm was not so appealing--the humidity, the bugs, the trail slop, the fallen tree obstacles. But I'll have you know that once I warmed up I really enjoyed the run. It was ungodly humid. Luckily, it wasn't too hot. I made sure to hit a couple of water fountains a long the way and that surely helped.

I started from my usual parking lot and ran a wide flat loop of the bridle path before heading down a steep hill to our local burn-out's paradise known as Squire's Castle. I then continued on the bridle path and was feeling pretty good. I was actually pretty happy to be running and not totally mortified that I still had almost an hour and a half to go. I was trotting along when I saw something big in a puddle and it was moving. "Huh?" I thought. I got closer and realized it was a turtle! La tortuga fue gigante! It was definitely a snapper so I gave it wide clearance. I had to stop to gape at it. Poor guy. Just wanted the big ape thing to move along so it could continue on it's 10 foot long journey to the other side of the path in peace. But yeah, I stood there talking to it in baby talk in awe of it's huge turtleness. Ahh. I love aminals! Good thing the park was pretty empty. Someone might have thought I was crazy. Carrying on, I restarted my watch and got the pace back up. I was meandering down the path to the stream I usually hop across from rock to rock, no problem. Last night, it was a problem. The stream was raging. I turned around and headed back. This time I just teased the turtle and kept right on running. It probably saw me coming and thought, "oh great, it's back." I picture it having a sour-puss Eyore voice and everything.

Yeah, back to the run. So I kept going until there was a place to get on the road where I could bypass the stream. I ran down the road and jumped back on the trail, although the access to the bridle path from the road was pretty grown over and I'm sure I have a patch of poison ivy on me somewhere now. I skipped along mudding myself up on the soft post-storm trails. I decided to jump back on the road for a while before heading back up to the top of the park to give my legs a break from the softness. The road that is adjacent to the park is beautiful rolling hills through the woods, at least in this stretch. I really enjoyed it. I decided to run a side street loop that meanders along the river before turning and joining back up with this main road. This was nice for a while, until I saw a dog up ahead. I figured it had an electric fence and wasn't too worried. "Ok then, no electric fence," I said to myself as I got closer and doofy dog was bobbling into the street. I realized this pretty late too so the dog was ambling right toward me. Nothing to do but pretend I loved it. "Come here pup pup!" I lied. The dog looked rabid. It was jumping around in circles on it's way over to me. I thought of Atticus Finch walking down the sidewalk. Great. Luckily, this dog was not rabid--at least I don't think so. Just overzealous, or perhaps I'm just that attractive in dog circles. I just don't know. The thing was just jumping on me and licking me like I was it's best friend. I said rather loudly, "Where's your home, pup pup." But no one came looking for doofus. I decided he was harmless and decided to just start slowly moving away. This worked. Doofus bounded and circled back to his driveway and looked back at me forlornly as I backed away. Sorry, buddy. I'm a player like that.

So, I continued on my merry way back down the main road and then onto another before heading back into the park. Here's the hill back to the top. Oh boy and it's a doozy. It seems to last forever. I've done 800 meter repeats on this hill and they were only on part of it. I'd say the hill is close to a mile. It came right smack dab in the middle of the run. I felt really good and plugged away at it. No problems. As I was running up it, I saw a lady running down it wearing a heavy track suit and carrying hand weights jogging her way down. I'm never sure if I feel more happy that someone is out excercising or sorry for them for how they must feel in thick polyester when it's in the 70's and 85% humidity out--oh and the fact that they're carrying handweights. I've decided that handweights (and water bottles for that matter) are sort of the universal sign for working out. "Now I will carry my hand weights (or water bottle) which means I am not just moving as a means of transportation--I am working out like Jane Fonda!" Ok, I'll be nice now. I think I am happier that people are out there enjoying the park and taking care of themselves, but sometimes I can't help voicing my mean girl observations.

After I made my way up the hill I headed back to the trails for my last 6 or so miles. These last miles felt good. I realized I hadn't tied my shoes tight enough as my feet felt slidey in them and I saw a bunch of deer, but other than that, nothing exciting. I picked the pace up a bit and cruised along before heading back to the parking lot around 8:30 PM with a run time of 1:54:34 for my14 miles. There might have been more observations but I'm sure my blood sugar was low and my ti ti factor was high, so that's all you get.

I managed to drive home, eat dinner, pack mrp's and my lunch, stretch thoroughly all by 10:30. I crawled into bed and reluctantly set my alarm for 6:00. But I'll tell you, that was the best 7.5 hours I've slept in a long long time!


Quinto Sol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaisyDuc said...

Way to tough it out on a Tuesday night!

Did the turtle ask you to race??

Jim said...

Nice pace for a 14-miler Salty. By my calculations you averaged 8:12 miles. Was this a pace or tempo run or a steady-state run?

E-Speed said...

I think we all have a little "mean girl" in us sometimes.

Went last night to NC and the river was low as can be again. Guess that rain didn't really sustain the creek.

Quinto Sol said...

My guess is that as you get close to your goal marathon, that pace will only get faster, closer to MP. Say 7:10-7:25?

Carpe Viam