Tuesday, April 10, 2007


12 miles today - my longest run in almost a month (sheesh). I headed out for a long lunch break, as - get this - later tonight we're supposed to get the start of 7 inches of snow. In April. Winter can puke on itself for all I care. Just get the hell away from me.

Anyhoo, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I certainly slowed down from my last 6 compared to my first 6 miles, and I wasn't without some discomfort at the end. But I tried to just relax, not overdo anything, and ride a nice comfortable pace. Interestingly, I tethered my Garmin to my arm for the first time (side story: my Garmin 305 crapped out about a month ago or so. I emailed the company, they said to send it in. I had a new one on my doorstep within 10 days from the initial email. That's customer service at work.) I've suspected that my iPod has been a little slow, despite my efforts to calibrate it, but didn't really care - it's not a serious training tool, just a helpful aid. (Did anybody ever see the South Park with Jared the Subway guy who loses a lot of weight because he has aides - as in, "people who assist" - like a nutritionist and a trainer and stuff - but everybody thinks he means AIDS, so they freak out when he says how helpful aids [sic] have been to losing weight. Good times.) Anyway, it was interesting; not only is the distance off (significantly - like, half a mile or a little more), but it's also about 15 seconds slow. How that's possible I have no idea, but there you go. And I generally trust that it's not the Garmin that's bad, because it's always extremely close to my official results at races.

Anyway, what's it's meant, though, is that all this time I've been training with the iPod, my goal has been to just hover around a comfortable 10:00/mile pace. But because it's been running slow - as I learned today - I'm actually running around a 9:35 pace when I think I'm at 10:00. So when the iPod tells me my pace is around 9:35, I look at the Garmin and I'm maybe 9:09 or something. What's interesting about that is that I found my body's conditioned right now to run a "comfortable 10:00/mile pace" - on the iPod. I'm actually running a comfortable 9:30ish pace. Sweet! So - 12 miles, after nearly a month away from such distance, finished at at 9:36/mile pace. That's pretty dope.

I'm going to try and get another long run in this week - probably 15 miles on Saturday. If I can get 15 under my belt, I think I won't feel quite so unprepared for a May 19 marathon - I can finally be getting back into the swing. Meanwhile, the house is finally, officially on the market, and I feel less all-consumed with it. Everbody send good vibes that it'll sell (my positive visualization says within 2 weeks!).

Two things of note today, running at lunch time - I ran by a playground full of kids running. Kids, when the run, they don't really jog or meander - they full-on, all out sprint. And then they don't stop to catch their breath - they maybe slow to a trot while they catch up with friends, or they cut around a tree to tag somebody who will then chase them at full sprint, etc. Their energy is totally amazing to me. And always, they run with a stupid grin on their faces. Ever noticed that? You never see a kid running without a smile, because that would mean it's not so fun, so they just walk then. I caught myself evaluating my facial expression, all gussied up in Lycra and out here for a Very Serious Run, and thought the kids had it down better. So I tried to smile more, and have fun, and remember that as children, the whole reason we go from walk to run is because it looks like more fun.

Also, there's this dog. This little terror who has a great big fenced-in yard that angles to this weird point, about 15 feet across, where it faces the trail I run on. The dog's primary objective, of course, is protecting his vast kingdom, and he spends his time surveying and patrolling the area. When I'm running up the block, I can see him sitting back by the house, serene but alert, evaluating smells and glancing casually at interesting sounds. Then he'll turn my way and see me approaching. In an instant he goes from sitting comfortably to all-out sprint, timed perfectly to intersect with my approach on his fence. And the little dude - he looks kind of like a scruffy Eddie from Frasier - he runs absolutely all out, top speed reached in moments, and hurls himself at the intersection point (which is fascinating in itself, his awareness of momentum and distance and time so that he never misses too early or too late) so fast that I swear he's going to face plant into the fence, all the while snarling and barking and growling with lips curled over impressive teeth, ears back, eyes squinted, seriously ready to kick my ass. But then at the last opportunity, maybe with 5 feet to go, his hind legs that have been so far driving his fierce charge instead dig in on every step, and he comes skidding to a stop in less than a second, all the while glaring at me and hating my guts. It's so primitive. I enjoyed it. Not maybe the part where he hates my guts, but I guess if his hatred fuels his impressive and entertaining display, so be it. I gots other dogs that love me.


TxSkatemom said...

great job with the 12. I find that happens w/NanoMark, too. he says I go longer than I do, and also says i am slower than I am... I just have kind of figured out the differential and round down since the Garmin apparently hates Denver.

I haven't run more than 8 miles in about a month. and i have a half in less than a month. best get to it. I'll just imagine your dog pal is after me!

Triteacher said...

Nope, neither dogs nor running kids prevaricate. :)