Monday, January 14, 2008

Give Me a Why!

No news on the job front to report. On the running front, I ran 40.25 miles last week! I am particularly impressed with myself because I had to work late almost every night last week and I also had to come into the office this weekend. Even so I made it out to a local park for a glorious 8 miles on Saturday afternoon. It was sunny and a brisk 37 degrees and mrp and I decided to forgo the park where we do almost all our weekend and summer running in favor of a smaller park that conveniently provided a Christmas tree recycling service. (Bye bye Christmas tree, we will think about you every time we mulch our flower beds.) We dropped the tree in the bin and then headed off for our respective hourish runs.

I used to run at this park in high school, but since then I only really run there if I'm doing a long run from home because I thought there was only about 3 miles of good running trails. I've heard that recently (sometime within the last 15 years, anyway) that the park has put in more trails. I never explored because it was at least 4 very hilly miles to the park from my house and I didn't want to get lost at the very hilly park and still have to run the very hilly 4 miles home. But, doing a run completely in the park gave me freedom to get lost. So, I went for it.

After running around the trails I was familiar with, I ended up running down a steep hill I never ran down before. I rounded a corner and saw a trail head. It ended up being about 1-1.5 miles long and slightly downhill all the way out and then slightly uphill all the way back. I wish I knew about these trails this summer. It would be the perfect place for a very challenging tempo run. The trails themselves are impeccably groomed and the scenery can't be beat. In any event, I am happy to have found a place where I actually look forward to run.

Speaking of motivation, I can't tell you how demoralizing it is to run on a treadmill these days. Last winter I did a lot of my training on one, and although it was difficult I made it through just fine. This year, I just hate every minute of it. It's so tedious and boring and just not fun at all. I suppose when you're running for running sake, rather than running with a particular goal in mind, running in a very boring environment kind of defeats the purpose. I can't say running around downtown Cleveland is the most exciting place to run, but I am going to try to do my weekly runs outside unless the roads are icy, snow covered, or the wind is out of control. I am much more likely to be amused by seeing other runners scarily overdressed, having snow collect on me as I run, the greetings of a friendly homeless person, or spotting urban wildlife. Sure beats watching the family feud or bonanza reruns (seriously, there's nothing better on at noon?), the interns working on their upper body strength, my middle-aged coworker appearing to perform lude acts with an exercise ball, or the dude next to me trying to show me up by running .1 mph faster than me at all times.

Anyway, here's the summary of last week's training. I ran 6 days in a row last week. Maybe I can make it 7 this week and maybe, just maybe I might get all 7 of those runs outside?

Mo: 7 miles with about 5 of those with my friends around downtown in sunny 65 degree weather! (averaged 8:04 pace)

Tu: The same run pretty much, but it was INSANELY windy but still toasty! I ran a speedier first mile on my way to meet them and then a speedier mile on my way back to the office. (averaged 7:54 pace)

We: I made it to the track for 8.25 miles.

Thu: 6 miles slow by myself along the windy Cleveland lakeshore. (averaged 8:25 pace)

Fri: 4 miles on the treadmill. I couldn't stand it for any longer! (averaged 7:48 pace)

Sa: 8 glorious hilly miles. Started slow and picked up more and more as the run went on. (averaged 7:48 pace)


kenyarunb said...

I am so intrigued by your new job prospect! It does sound like an awesome opportunity - even if it does pay less. I think we all struggle with the money question. As a lecturer at a university, I make pennies, but I am happy and that happiness really does make up for the financial woes (my three sisters are very generous when it comes to "retail therapy" - I always seem to have a lovely wardrobe!).

I would try to listen to your gut on this one - see what happens. Maybe nothing comes of it, but maybe something really awesome does.

It's kind of like running: sometimes we just have to jump the gun and go after it . . .


Mindi said...

Nice week despite long hours.

Cue index finger jammed into each ear and Mindi singinig, "lalalalalalalalalalala I can't heeeeeear you" re the tedius treadmill. :)

Joseph P. Wood said...

I get why tmill running sans goal is a bear: part of the intrinsic reward of running outside is sensory: hills, scenery, sounds, etc. No matter how much one tries to doll up the tmill, there's just no way to recreate the sensation.

Otherwise, ditto Bridget. You got to follow your gut; if and when the time comes, you'll figure out whether or not the job is right.