Saturday, February 2, 2008

No Fun on This Run

Not every run can be good. This morning's run - just under nine miles down Granny White Pike, through Radnor Lake, down Franklin Road and back Tyne Blvd. - was all work. I never felt in rhythm. My iPod went out at two miles. My muscles felt tight most of the way.

I started out the driveway around 6:15, after slamming a banana and PowerBar. I was pretty jazzed about the new iPod mix, with tunes like "Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots and "Fever" by Peggy Lee. Then the iPod conked. I actually stopped at 3.5 miles for 15 seconds to take a deep breath, drink Gatorade, and adjust my attitude. I promised myself a Starbucks treat if I gutted out the run and never stopped again. That was one helluva latte, I'll tell you.

I felt some discomfort, even at a modest 9:30 pace, but never pain. I know some early drivers who looked at my face probably would disagree. Sometimes, I wonder what they're thinking when they see a middle-aged dude running up a hill in 27-degree weather before breakfast. I get to see some of their faces, too, and here are a few examples of what I read is on their minds:

"Why do people run in this weather?"
"Get off my road, buddy." (usually speeders in big SUVs)
"I should have gone for a run ... it's not that bad out."
"I love bacon and hashbrowns more than running."
"That's pretty cool ... running this early. I'll bet he has a great day."

The folks who think the last thought smile at you as they pass.

Oh, yes ... The highlight of the run was watching seven deer prance through a yard on Tyne. Glad I stayed with it, even if the run wasn't smooth.

The rest of the day has been spent at the kids' ballgames, Costco and other errands in Cool Springs, and running Kathryn to a birthday party. Tonight, my Dad is treating Will, Will's godfather Al and me to a Predators game. I'm jazzed.

When the Preds came to town 10 years ago, I had season tickets and went to almost every game. Tonight's game is my first this season, and Al's, too. As we get older and our children grow, personal time fades and you refocus priorities. Spending four grand on hockey tickets ain't happening. Spending that money on new gutters, a new window and some exterior painting is.

It's all part of what makes nights like tonight special. I'll bet you can guess the other part.


Summer said...

"I love bacon and hashbrowns more than running." I almost had Diet Dr Pepper spew from my nose laughing at that one...

Donna Clements said...

I am loving this blog. You bring to light many feelings and thoughts of runners... I can so relate: the carefully selected "after the long/hard run" treat, expressions on the faces of drivers whizzing by, being endangered by careless and often obnoxious drivers, the cadence and rhythm of a great run, and the dreaded 'heavy' run (when I often feel like an elephant trudging along), and then there's those arrogant runners, who seem to derive no joy or comradery (sp?) but only pride from the sport.
Anyway, - a long way to say- thanks for articulating so many feelings and thoughts that are near and dear to runners. It's fun to check in and read your blog.

Jim said...

Summer, glad you had a great laugh. Diet Dr. Pepper is my soda of choice.

Donna, thanks for the nice words. This is very much a runner's blog, wrapped around this journey we're on against cancer. I'm having fun with it. Mostly, I'm deriving a positive vibe by sharing the insights of the days and sometimes venting or emoting.

I appreciate you both.