I’m a little stiff this morning, compliments of another shift in long run scheduling. My low back is probably the stiffest area. I attribute my lack of soreness to having stretched at every red light that stopped my forward movement. I would guess that having my long runs in the double digits for an extended period of time played its part as well.
Last night, when I finally finished off my long run, I was feeling the soreness. As I compared this run to last week’s, however, I was pleased with the difference. It appears that my body has come around in its adjustment to my blood pressure medication. Running with music, and in the cool evening hours helped too.
Although I am guessing that there isn’s a whole lot of folks who go long on Friday nights, it was a nice change for me.
Takin’ it to the streets
I started out just past 4 pm from my front step. The planned distance was 20 miles. I knew that I wouldn’t have time for it all before I’d be due to pick YaYa up from daycare. I had wanted to go earlier but I had to raise a stink at the Women’s Imaging Department regarding a mammogram that appeared to have gone AWOL. By the time I returned from the clinic I needed my run in a bad way.
The stress from the whole breast lump ordeal was now hitting again. I’d been good at finding the positive aspects of the situation all week. The ultrasound had not found anything alarming. I only needed the final mammogram results to confirm that my “lump” was a normal, but different, tissue type. I grabbed myPod for some distraction during my run.
I did not head for the trail. Instead, I ventured out in the opposite direction. The sun shone bright, but there was a cool breeze blowing. I tried to let the music take me, like it used to, but the songs have since been over played. I enjoyed listening, but I remained on my own for pace management. My guess is that Coach would prefer it that way.
The run took me into new territory. It was exciting but felt safe as there was plenty of traffic on the roads. I looped down (off the street) and into a local park for a few miles and then returned in the direction of home to get YaYa.
I’d planned for YaYa to join me on his bike for the remaining 11 miles. We’d head to the familiar bike trail where we have routine stopping points for him to wait for me to catch up. That was the plan, but YaYa had other ideas for his Friday evening. He protested loudly as we drove back to the house.
Lucky for us, the neighbors were happy to have YaYa join them at the school down the street for a father-son soccer practice. I was relieved and YaYa was thrilled. We quickly gathered his cleats and shin guards and I sent him on his way with a Go-Gurt to hold over his hunger. Then I re-filled my camelbak and returned to the streets – this time in the other direction.
The miles were not passing as quickly as I had imagined. As I neared the entrance for the trail traveled-too-much, I began revising my plans so as to avoid it. I headed right and ended up running through a quaint little part of town. The shops were closing down, but the restaurants were just getting going.
The smells were soothing. I ran past the people and enjoyed the emotions raised by the scent. Tom, of course, was a part of this. The area had changed a lot over the years (for the better it appeared), and the memories of good food, coffee shops and conversation was still as good as new. As I left the area, siren-blasting fire trucks reoriented me to the task at hand.
I wasn’t exactly lost, but I wasn’t sure exactly which streets to take to get me where I wanted to go. With 7 miles of running remaining, I caught a man’s attention just as he got into his truck. He set me straight – then right – left – right – and finally straight again on my desired street.
I ran through well kept neighborhoods filled with incredible houses. My legs were happy to get off the sidewalk and run in the streets. I am always amazed at how profound the difference is in the pounding. Before long, I was running towards home.
Unfortunately, the traveled distance was not quite enough. I ran past the turn for home and continued on. Past the coffee shop, the grocery store, and the baseball fields I went. Being so close to the house made my mind admit to being tired. I walked briefly to check in with the neighbors. They were still out playing soccer. I was relieved that I wasn’t yet missed. As I resummed running, I groaned and trudged onward.
Before I knew it, my house was in sight. I picked up the pace a bit as I happily waved at the evening walkers. I could not wait to stop running. But when I stopped in front of the neighbor’s house, Garminia reported that my 20 mile run was not quite 20 miles. “Close enough,” I demanded. She was happy too as she had been complaining of nearing complete exhaustion some miles back. I was glad that she hung on to the final steps.
Back at home – after motrin, soup for two, and returning missed phone calls, the final word on my lump was revealed. It turns out that I am healthy. Yes, healthy and normal – not that it is “normal” to spend Friday evenings running 20 miles through the neighboring streets. Correction: 19.56 miles. Garminia is keeping me from over exaggerating. I am healthy and normal (by my standards).