Sunday, December 14, 2008

against the wind...

I ran four miles on Saturday. This was a big day for me, a day full of firsts since my stress fracture: first long run, first run alone, first run with my orthotics, first run with my new and improved short run playlist (thanks ladies!), first run where I belted out tunes to myself at the top of my lungs....

The odds were against me, it had warmed back up Saturday to about 50 degrees when I went out in the late afternoon, but the wind was just ridunckulous! The four mile route I did is the hilliest in my neighborhood. The hills, combined with the straight-line, gale-force wind, proved for a challenging, yet fantastic, run. If I wasn't running up a hill, I was running into the wind, or was facing both straight on. Maybe it's the sick mind of a runner, but I enjoyed every single challenging moment of it.

Since I know myself so well, and since I was running alone and left my doorstep charging, I realized I needed something to help me reign it in for most of the run. I decided to sing to myself. Out loud. Please note I am a horrible singer, and am even worse with lyrics. Think of the worst imaginable person on American Idol try-outs, I am worse. Plus, you would think someone who knew a song well could repeat the lyrics, but no, not me. I throw in a few of the actual words to my mostly "mmmmm laaaa ffaa beeoo booo laa laa"-ing when I sing along. Unless of course, I'm at the Sound of Music sing-a-long at Hollywood Bowl (best time EVER) while consuming more guacamole, cheese and wine than humanly possible..... back me up here Meaghan! But did that stop me? Absolutely not. In fact, it really did help me keep an even pace. There is your tip for the day runners, if you need to keep a slower pace and are alone with no one to help pace you, sing to yourself.

With about a half mile left, I was running into the wind while going downhill and I decided to let myself have a treat and did a sprint until it leveled out. There I am, sprinting down the hill, straight into the hard wind, singing "Paper Planes" at full volume and wiping my runny nose on my sleeve, when I spot a guy walking his dog. I'm sure at this point he had noticed me, so it was either let him think I was embarrassed and stop singing and wiping nose, or just keep on going full force and smile at him to let him know I didn't care. So I smiled and sang, he smiled back. I'd like to think he danced to it, even if just for a few seconds.

This running route ends by going back up hill for about a quarter mile until I hit a one-block plateau right before my house. I try to end all my neighborhood runs going up that hill. I like to end my runs alone as hard as possible, again sick, I realize this. I was finally tired, my arches were screaming at me from the orthotics, but I charged up that hill in the wind like nobodys business. I stopped singing and let my legs go. I felt like I was back. There was something so satisfying about running my heart out this afternoon, knowing I could do it in brutal wind with feet aching.

It was a good run. The thing that I loved about it was running into that wind, belting out a song and going full force. It was the most freeing thing I had done in weeks. I needed that run. It made me feel like my months and months of hard work, long miles, and speedwork before my fracture weren't entirely lost. I ran those four miles in 36:40. I declared it a success. I'm praying my guts out that it wasn't a fluke, and I really am back...



2 comments:

californiameaghan said...

GUACAMOLE!

Kristen said...

I can't belive you're coming back from a freaking stress fracture and just ran 4 miles faster than me. Grrrrrrrrrr.