Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Go! And Stop. And Go!

I needed to cover 6 miles for my marathon training tonight, but for some reason I think in terms of distance instead of time. I can't figure out if this is a good or a bad thing yet.

If I liked running on treadmills, I knew it'd equate to approximately 53 minutes of running in place, which is totally doable regardless of when I decide to do it. But because I'd rather go out in the cold than watch myself run at my reflection for an hour, I instead think, Oh man, I have to [insert landmarks, such as: make it down to the lake, run around, and get back] -- all while it's still relatively light out.

And that's when I start to panic about whether or not I'll be able to do it -- and that's when the dark part of my mind gets very good at talking myself out of things because I'd rather not fail.

I left work early enough where I'd be able to fit in a 6-mile run before the sun went completely down. That is, I left early enough assuming I wouldn't hit a crapload of stop-and-go traffic. Yesterday a house exploded right off the highway, and today there were a bunch of firetrucks still monitoring the area because of the gas leak. You know, regular everyday stuff. And you also know how traffic gets when they see big trucks and lights. They had to stop and gawk when they should have been going 65 mph instead.

So I got going a little bit late for my run ... but I got going.

I headed off down the Midtown Greenway, sneaking in between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun, and fitting in a few extra blocks of running from my regular 5.25-mile route to the lake and back. I ran (quite literally) into a guy who had some kind of complex about running behind a girl. Imagine I'm running on a path and Mr. Inferiority is running on a different path, and the paths converge into a Y shape. The intersection of those three points is where he and I meet shoulder to shoulder, and he immediate took off sprinting because he's scared of me being ahead of him.

Keeping my natural pace, I eventually caught up to him, got in front of him for about three steps, and he took off sprinting to get ahead of me.

This happens -- no joke -- four times. I don't think it's cute, I don't know what he's trying to prove, and finally, I had had enough of his insecurity and decide to skOOl his ass. I picked up my pace to a hair slower than short-race pace, and left him in the dust to cry like a little bitch. I kept up my pace for a good mile or so, just to be sure he had ample time to realize that he was "losing" to a girl.

I turned off the lake trail back onto the Greenway (noticing that Mr. Inferiority was very far back) and I heard what I thought was a plow behind me. The Greenway was unusually slushy because it's been above freezing almost every day as of late, and it would make sense that there be a plow attempting to keep the path clear like usual. I turned back around and realized there wasn't a plow heading my way ... there was a TRAIN heading my way.

There are two points at which I cross the tracks on the Greenway, and I sprinted until my cold little heart was pounding in order to beat the train to the first crossing. I felt like a daredevil, jumping in front of that beast. He blared his horn at me.

Here I am, laughing at the train, because he was my second slaughter of the night.
But then, silly me, I still had to cross back over the tracks at crossing #2 ... so I waited for the train.
And I waited.
And I waited.

I think that really was the longest train in the history of the world. I am pretty sure my heart rate wound down to that of a slow-moving shark, because I felt completely refreshed to finish my run.

Seriously fun run tonight! I need to find more insecure men and long cargo trains on my longer weekday runs.

6.1mi splits: 8:48, 8:50, 8:41, 7:52, 8:34, 8:52, :46
Windchill: 6F (Air Temp 17F)

1 comment:

  1. Maybe Mr. Inferiority Man was using you as his marker for his fartleks. Isn't it nice to school someone every now and again??? :-) Just make sure it appears completely effortless (no heavy breathing) while you're doing it! Did you sprint to your finish after your little rest at the train? Glad you had fun! BTW, it looks COLD - what was the temp????