Thursday, December 27, 2007

Run, Forrest, Run!

When Dori came home before Christmas, a familiar feeling overcame me. Run, boy!

After Friday's 5.6 miler, I've run the following:

Saturday: 5.0 miles at Radnor Lake
Sunday: 3.8 miles in our neighborhood with Pepper
Tuesday: 4.5 miles at Radnor
Wednesday: 3.5 miles at Radnor with Pepper

Week to date: 22.4 miles ... That's the most since before the half marathon in September and I've still got today! I might crank out another 4-6 miles this afternoon, time permitting. I'm actually beginning to feel a little bit of fitness benefit from the week's effort. On the Tuesday run, I ran the last mile in 8:00 or so and didn't feel winded. Very cool.

Tuesday's Christmas run through Radnor was special. First, as I was nearing the end of mile one, I saw two familiar blondes ahead of me. Might that be? Could it be? Yes! That's my Mom and sister! I stopped the run and walked a wonderful couple of miles with them around the lake. We saw a herd of eight healthy deer, which was a beautiful sight. My Mom, whose knees have taken a beating over the years, was feeling good enough to enjoy the walk and the stunning scenery. After a Christmas hug, I took off to run another 3.5.

I love Radnor most during the winter, when the hills seem to just fall in the lake and the blue sky seems endless on clear days. Spring and fall are nice, too, but the lake just sparkles during winter. Not enough friends of mine and other folks take advantage of our parks and recreation, I believe. Those who do rave about it. The health benefits, peacefulness and family connecting are free, ever since the state revoked that silly visitation fee a few years ago.

This week's running has been cathartic. Some runs have been introspective, while others have just been about pounding pavement and expending excessive "couch energy" that builds this time of year. Toss in a few bad carbs (and some good ones), and it just makes sense to burn that fuel.

My sturdy Brooks running shoes seem to be doing the trick. I've had a day or two of minor back soreness, but some ibuprofen pills clear that up pretty quickly. My legs and calf muscles feel great. With the exception of the one quick mile, I've been running at a 9:00 minute pace or above. All this has me in a good frame of mind ... I've got a base again. Will I be able to train for a race soon? If Dori stays on track, I would think so. My job will have some very busy moments the next few months, but if I can get in 2-3 early morning runs and one long run each weekend, why not?

The Country Music Marathon is in late April. I've run that two years in a row, though the race has been a nemesis of mine. I bonked two years ago at mile 11 and ran a 2:06; last year, I woke up feeling under the weather and ran a slow 2:09. I'd really like to show that course who's boss now. Even though I was proud of my 2:01 at Virginia Beach, I know there is another level to reach before I get too old. Sub-2:00 would be nice. I also still think about running a full, but I know trying for that, with all that's going on in my life, isn't realistic or smart for my family. Hold that thought, right?

My grandmother turned 90 yesterday. We celebrated at my Dad's. My favorite part of the night was when Will, 7, bear-hugged Gigi, 83 years his senior. Both kids are playing basketball, which is loads of fun to watch. Kathryn has improved a lot since last year, and Will's season starts soon. The boy has some game and smiles the whole time he plays. I'm encouraging Dori, at some point this season, to make a few games. She's super-cautious, but hasn't ruled it out.

No comments: