Friday, March 31, 2006

Today I Ran A Long Way

It was with a mild headache that I first opened my eyes this morning. Surprisingly mild, actually, considering the hijinks I had been up to twelve hours prior. Under my current work schedule, Fridays are the first day of my weekend, and it's a good day to get out and run in peace. I visited the Kent Trails Thursday evening on the bike, measuring distances, and the lovely weather had lured out an after work crowd of runners, bikers and walkers enjoying the warm temperatures. While it was nice to see so many people out, I prefer the solitude of the weekday trails for my long runs. This morning I was a little sore from that ride, and a little hungover from last night's festivities, but I was looking forward to getting out there anyway.

I try to get out for a long run once a week, and lately I've been pretty good about it. Almost every Friday I get out and run farther than I ever have before. It's part of a training regimen which is building up to the Riverbank Run. They do create a nice sense of accomplishment and the trails are really a lovely place to run. During the week I like to take my bike out and measure the distances I run. Last week it was 9.2 miles. Today I wanted to top the 10 mile mark.

The weather was a mixed bag. When I finally got out of the house at 2 pm, it was 65 degrees, but every weatherman in town was saying that thunderstorms were on today's docket. I wasn't too worried, because I quite enjoy running in the rain, but I wasn't really in the mood for a total downpour.

I ran without my headphones. As it gets warmer, the tunes seem to be more of an intrusion. When it was cold out, music works to shut out the elements, but as it gets nicer I want to embrace those elements. It's also much easier to get lost in thought when there is no music to distract you. My music today was instead the rustling of wildlife in the brush and the sound of my own footfalls, which I try to make as quiet as possible. Only on a hill or at the end of my run did my breathing become audible. The few people I did see didn't hear me until I was right behind them.

I was happy as long as the rain held off. It felt imminent a few times, and there were some light drizzles, but the rain held off until long after my run was done. The wind, though, was intense. My goal was only to keep running, no matter how slowly, so I didn't fight the wind too much. I could feel the breeze pushing my headtop mop this way and that, and I imagine the sight of me running with my shaggy do hanging over my sunglasses might have been comical.


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