Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shut up and run!

I was hating today's run. After lying in bed all morning, eating a big breakfast of buckwheat blueberry pancakes with chicken bacon, drinking a cider, walking to the dairy to buy a paper, reading the paper .... I had accomplished nothing and managed to convince myself I was feeling too lazy for a run and that I would settle for RPM instead.

Thank heavens for Hamish and a suggestion that we head over to Soundline for a movie night, meaning I wouldn't have time for RPM. I was left with no option. Run, or spend the rest of the week cursing my laziness.

It was a surprisingly warm day but there was a reasonably strong Northerly blowing. I set off down Farnham Street with no real aim other than to run for 15km. I wasn't interested in my speed in the slightest. I had to quickly stop in Berhampore for a bathroom break (in retrospect the cider was a bad idea), then again in Island Bay to tie a shoelace (these new Adidas laces seem a bit dodgy, even when double-knotted). I wasn't feeling terribly energised, but I wasn't feeling like I was going to collapse either. My main issue was that I simply didn't want to be running. I wanted to be curled up in bed reading. I was just feeling overwhelmingly lazy and whiney.

At some point I got fed up with myself, probably around the time I got to the shops in Island Bay. The Southern Coast was lovely. I wondered, as always, why every runner I came across was plugged into an iPod. I just can't run to music - it messes with my headspace and blocks out the world. I run partly because I enoy being outside. Why shut that out? I realise that just a few sentences earlier I was complaining about having to listen to myself, but I'd rather listen to myself and the birds singing than rely on music to get me through. I do love music, ust not when I run.

I was really envying the cyclists as I headed up Happy Valley. Lola will have to wait until after the half marathon. However about a third of the way up the valley I suddenly started feeling a lot better. My Garmin was showing that it was right on 40 minutes. I was warmed up on schedule. By the time I got to the top of the hill I was running faster than I had been at the bottom. My speed kept increasing the whole way up and I think it was the fastest I've ever run to Brooklyn.

At Brooklyn I ran all the way to the bus stop at the top, then turned back and hung a left at the gas station to run up Mornington Rd to home. I got overtaken by a young blonde gazelle who left me in her wake and toyed with the idea of trying to catch her, then thought better of it. At the top I still had nearly three kilometres left to run if I wanted to make 15. Have I ever mentioned that my neighbourhood is NOT flat? If you're not running up or down a big steep hill your only other option is constant undulation. So that's what I ran for the next three kilometres. In my mind the commentary switched to "&*%^# hill, another &%$# hill". I ran back and forth, down little side streets, up hills, down hills. To my legs' credit though, they kept up a good, strong steady pace through every short sharp little incline. They did everything I asked them to do, even run up and down my flat little street a few times to get to 15km (or, actually, 15.08km), in just a tiny little bit over 90 minutes.

The best bit was the wind dying away somewhere along the way. Running up and down the Ridgeway I had a perfect view of the sun turning the Eastern mountains pink, the still silvery blue harbour, the rows of small wooden houses. Wellington was putting on a show. From feeling so grumpy at the start of the run, to having a power surge halfway up Happy Valley, to thoroughly enjoying myself - I spent the last few kilometres thanking myself for getting off the sofa and getting out there. I felt glad to be out on such a beautiful evening, feeling so fit and strong and having such a great run.

I'm totally happy with today's effort. I know I can run faster and I know I can run another six kilometres. I just have to rest up a bit this week to make sure my legs feel good on Sunday, and hope that the Wellington wind taniwha are on my side. I will also have to remember not to panic if the first few kilometres don't feel that great. Right around 40 minutes everything should hopefully start to feel just fine.

The rest of the week hasn't been so bad either. I ran a five kilometre recovery run on Wednesday, then did Duck's RPM class on Thursday night. On Friday we met up for a PT session. Duck got out the 'ropes' - literally a pair of ropes with handles on the ends. We hung them from the ceiling then I did a series of moves that turned my upper body to jelly. By the time we left the ropes behind everything was shaking and I was feeling like a total weakling. This was despite the other trainers advising me that they felt the same way after their first time with 'the ropes'. The last thing Duck had me do was to max out on press-ups. She crouched next to me screaming at me to get lower until, after the twelth, I collapsed and couldn't get back up again. I lay there for a while with my face planted in the carpet, then sort of rolled over onto my side and shuffled myself upright.

After a particularly intense set of tricep moves with the ropes Duck had warned me I'd have the sorest triceps ever. As I went through the day unable to lift my arms I was sure she'd be right. Sure enough, I've been pretty sore. Not the most sore I've ever been, but certainly more sore than I've been in a while. It's all good though. My only regret is that I won't have much of a chance to play with the ropes before Duck takes off for the UK.

I'm in denial about Duck's imminent departure. I'm sure I can do this stuff on my own, but I'm going to miss our weekly sessions. I'm going to miss them a lot.


Kate said...

Good work! Word of advice for the whole 40 minute issue- warm up!

Pip said...

Yep, that's definitely going to have to be my tactic from now on in. Time to haul the warm-up drills stored away in the back of my memory ...

Marshmallow said...

I admire people who don't need music to run - I know that to me, running is an absolute bore without the music (and I find that I manage to shut out some of the abuse from passers by easier if I have the iPod cranked up), never mind that music helps me to set my running pace.

And BOOOOOO to Duck leaving :-( I know my mornings would feel hollow and empty if Adam ever decided to bugger off back to Israel!