Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good run to Belmont

I didn't get to blog during the week, so clearly, I'm expending some penned-up blog energy.

This morning's run was both challenging and fulfilling. I did one of my favorites - an out and back to Belmont University. I fueled on raisins, Gatorade and a few leftover cupcakes, then took off all sugared up.

It wasn't that cold, really, and I saw many folks who were on the road agreed. They knew what I knew ... it's gonna get a lot colder this afternoon. Quite a few Country Music Marathon trainees were on Belmont Blvd. This makes me happy - to see so many folks pursuing this challenge, staying healthy, etc. I'm sure many are running for someone or something, just like I do.

90% of runners are very friendly to each other - like we're in some running fraternity where words don't mean much but dedication and discipline do. They wave, smile, say hello or something funny or encouraging. For the 10% of runners who ignore you (look down or past you), I always wonder what's so important to them that can't wave or say those excruciating words, "Hi there." Often, the "in-their-own-world" runners are guys between 20 and 30, some of whom are running quite fast.

The 3.5 mile trip out to Belmont wasn't a breeze because of my back. I felt enough of a twinge to go slow, probably a 10:00 pace. This kept my HR way down, so I was otherwise comfortable. When I reached Belmont, I thought my back was starting to get a little worse. Onward, Christian soldier, I thought. Back down Belmont, I started feeling better. By the time I reached the six-mile mark, where Belmont Park Terrace starts up a steep hill that gradually flattens over half a mile, I felt good. I had no problems the last mile, and even considered going another couple. That went out the window when I experienced early signs of chafing (I hadn't prepared with the anti-chafing stick), so I called it a day at seven satisfying miles.

The most encouraging part of today's run ... I barely felt like I was running, even on the hills. Sure, my pace was slow; that probably had a lot to do with it. A few folks asked me this week if I've lost weight, and I wasn't really sure. But today, I felt lighter than I have in awhile. So maybe I have. I don't hop on the scale often ... I care more about how I feel and "can I fit in the clothes I like?" God has blessed me with the ability to run for myself and to do a lot of good with it. That's what matters.

The kids have basketball games later today, and I've got to grocery shop, so later, alligators.

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