Saturday, June 30, 2007

Path Dreams

Running tends not to be without peril.

I’m chilling here on my couch after today's nine-miler watching Food Network, with my right leg propped up on a pillow and an ice pack on my knee. For the last several weeks, my right knee has been sore. It’s getting progressively worse… choosing to walk around on a concrete floor for a week in heels was probably not one of my best-laid plans.

If that wasn't enough, today was also my first experience with the dreaded chaffing. I realize that I’m lucky that after a year of running distance, this hasn’t been a major problem for me. I guess it’s finally time to buy body glide (for some reason the thought of using a product called “body glide” makes me feel like I’m doing something dirty).

And...

Though not curled-up-in-the-fetal-position-nauseous like last year, my stomach was a little ripped up after the run. I blame the Gu. Coincidentally, today also marked my first experience eating Gu (I like to call it “Ew…” I know... I’m clever). It’s generally not necessary to eat this disgusting crap until your runs pass the hour and half mark. Like today… though I’m questioning whether or not I needed it.

However, knee pain, chaffing, and stomach unhappiness aside, today’s run was fan-fucking-tastic. You cannot ask for better weather on the cusp of July in Chicago, and 65 degrees with a light breeze and not a cloud in the sky made for a near-perfect morning. I’m not actually sure what perfection would be. Hell, maybe this was it.

Our group today was small (only four of us), and we ran sans pace leader, which tends to make me nervous. However, at some point, Meg and I broke off from the other two runners and managed to do a negative split, which means you do the second half of the run faster than the first (we started running probably around 12:15 minute mile and finished around an 11:45 minute mile). Our time was approximately 1 hour 48 minutes.

Only four more miles to go.

Some thoughts… I know I say this a lot, and I don’t want to be at all health and fitness preachy or sound completely high on myself… but, I am consistently amazed by my progress. And, I continue to astounded by the things I never knew. I still have a long way to go, but I failed to realize how unhealthy my lifestyle was (and how out of shape I was) until I actively sought to change it. So much is connected to diet and exercise, but it's hard to know just how bad you feel (and the various parts of your life that are effected -- mood, energy level, etc.) until you feel better.

What a difference a year makes.

This week, Sarah and mom are in town, and Sar and I are going to run next Saturday’s six miler together with the eleven minute pace group. I’m excited to see if I can keep up. Especially since my over/under eight-mile alcohol rule states that I can drink on Friday night. I just made that rule up, but I think it's prudent.

Good times ahead!

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