Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tuesday April 10th - three and a half miles

Last night's run was great. Really great. It's been a little while since I've run in the Park and even longer since I've run around the Reservoir. When I left my apartment it was a little chilly and kind of windy. I was worried the run would be miserable and I considered turning around and going to the gym. I told myself to suck it up because there would probably be times I had to run in worse conditions. I got to the park and saw a guy running in shorts and a tshirt, and then another in shorts with no shirt, so I figured I'd probably survive for 30-40 minutes with my yoga pants and running jacket.
I downloaded a running app in lieu of a watch until I can/want to spend the money on one. The reviews were great up until recently when they started saying the mileage was really off. I downloaded it maybe a month ago but didn't use it until last weekend because I'd always forget or would be on a treadmill. When I ran in NH I made sure to use it because the thought of running in a completely foreign place with no clue how far I'd gone wasn't appealing. The mileage was definitely off. Every five minutes it checks in and tells me how long I've been running, the mileage, and minutes per mile. After the first five it was telling me I'd already gone over a mile. Since I run between 5.5 and 6 miles per hour, I knew that obviously wasn't the case. But hearing the amount of time I'd run was helpful because I could guess about how much longer I had to go.
Last night I didn't exactly know a good path in the park for three and a half miles. I mapped it out on before I left but decided to give the running app another try. At the first check in at five minutes it told me I'd run 0.0 miles. Great. A few minutes later I realized my phone was on airplane mode and obviously couldn't track me that way. I always turn my phone on airplane mode so I don't get distracted by texts or calls while I'm running. I sort of hate cell phones and hate always being reachable. This is one reason my phone is always on vibrate and I don't have qualms about tossing it in a bag or leaving it in another room. I guess I could turn it off but for me there's something about shutting myself off from being contacted for a little while (and then sometimes there's a nice surprise waiting for me when I take it off airplane mode.) :) I'd left it off airplane mode when I ran in NH since I was in unfamiliar territory and I'd told Brad he could call me if I was taking longer than he expected.)
Anyway, so I guess for now I'll have to leave it off airplane mode when I run. I usually don't notice texts or emails, but calls interrupt and if I do feel a buzz from a text it's hard to fight the curiosity.
So the run included most of the reservoir. I was so thankful because I was able to run under the cherry blossoms. With the great weather we had a few weeks ago the blossoms came early and I'm afraid I missed most of them at the reservoir, but it was still gorgeous. There's a point at the north end of the reservoir where you look south and you see the water, and then the trees in the park, and then the lit up skyline including the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building which we all know is my favorite.
I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude when I look at this view. It always prompts a quick prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for all my blessings. Last night I started thinking of all the things I was thankful for in that moment. They included:
-my legs that can run
-my eyes that can see
-my sense of smell because all the lilies everywhere right now smell so glorious
-the opportunity to live here
-Giuliani for cleaning up the city and making it safe, and Bloomberg for keeping it that way
-Oprah for running a marathon
-Brad for reminding me that if Oprah and Al Roker can run fulls, I can do a half
-the hard bodies running in the Park that inspire me
-the free time I have to run
-the new found discipline to make running more of a priority than it's been in the past
-so many runner friends who inspire me
-little quotes like, "right now someone busier than you is running" that remind me excuses are for people who need them
-modern technology so I can listen to my music from my phone instead of using an old school discman like Brad used during his marathon years ago
-songs that have a tempo that perfectly matches your pace (last night it was Aerosmith's Dream on)

I actually made it to the end of my route quicker than I anticipated. I will admit a lot of it was downhill so it wasn't too bad, but the uphills weren't torture. Last night was the first time I've felt like I'm actually getting a little stronger. I also recently watched a little video about a girl who ran a marathon somewhere in the south. She said some of the hills were really bad so she started telling herself every time she had to run one she'd repeat in her head "I love hills," and when she'd turn a corner and see a new hill she'd think, "Oh great! I love hills!" I've been doing this also, and it actually helps. It's not so much that it takes the pain away or makes it that much easier, it just gives me something else to focus on and the hills are over before I expect them to be.
Last night I thought I was at 77th and realized I was at 72nd. The next thing I knew I had a hill and started thinking about how much I love hills, and was seriously shocked when I saw my exit on 69th. Since I had restarted my running tracking about 7 minutes into my run, I figured once I hit the 30 minute mark my 3 1/2 miles would be over. When I excited the Park I hadn't been alerted yet that it was 30 minutes so I worried I might have to jog past my apartment until the time was up. Luckily it ended a block before I got home. Exactly 30 thirty minutes and exactly 3.00 miles. I had been averaging about 10:15-10:23/mile before this so I was happy to see I ended up speeding up towards the end. I have said before and I still say I really don't care about my time, but that doesn't mean I don't get happy when I go faster than I expect.
I have a five mile run scheduled this weekend and I've only done that once, and I did it without realizing it. I've been nervous about this run but after last night I felt like I could have easily done another mile and a half if I needed.
PS I just mapped my run and it was 3.69 miles. And it made me really wish I could just go outside right now and run.

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