For the next few weeks, my coach has asked me to either leave Ms. Garminia at home, or simply ignore her during my runs. Instead of focusing on fixed paces, he instructed me to run by feel.
He gave me the following guidelines:
- easy pace means I should be able to speak in full sentences while running
- moderate pace means speaking in short bursts
- tempo is one word sentences
- hard means I can’t talk at all.
Armed with these instructions, I dressed for my run and was out the door. No sooner did I step foot outside, did I want to return to the air conditioned building. It was HOT. Maybe not as hot as in the depths of hell, but HOT none-the-less.
I signaled to Ms. Garminia (the only attention she would get during the run) and started off on my run. At least I think that is what I was doing. It didn’t feel much like running. It felt more like walking but I couldn’t be certain. Remembering my instructions, I avoided looking Ms. Garminia in the face.
Easy pace or not, this was not going to be one of my easier runs. I launched into self-talk mode. After all, Coach said I should be able to speak in full sentences.
“It’s hot,” I complained. I complained out loud so as to test out the ease of my run. I could do it, but still it didn’t feel like the usual easy pace that I normally enjoyed. “Yup. It sure is…HOT that is,” I answered back. I ran a bit more. “TraLaLaLa?” I asked. “Still easy,” I replied.
There I was, running in the heat of day and talking (out loud) to myself. I’m sure I was quite the sight. But, it seemed that I was just about the only one crazy enough to be out in the heat. The only others were two older gentleman, whom I gave an earful to and a bunch of workers who were paving the bike path.
I gave the workers an earful too but I don’t think they understood a word I said. They just stared at me in disbelief. I’m still not sure if they thought they were imagining this crazy lady who was running in the hottest part of the HOT day and talking to herself or if they just found me entertaining. They just stopped what they were doing and smiled as I went by. Then they begrudgingly returned to their work.
As I turned the corner and ran back towards the office, Ms. Garminia tried to get my attention by chirping at me. Rather than completely ignoring her, I smiled in knowing that she was telling me that we’d just passed the 3rd mile mark and had only one more to go. She seemed to be satisfied with that. I didn’t hear a peep out of her for another mile.
When Ms. Garminia piped up again, I stopped running all together. I thanked her for accompanying me, walked through the parking lot and back into the cool building. This is where she and I sent secret messages to Coach to report on the run.
By the way, today “easy” equates to 9:14/mile x 4 miles.