3.24.2004

Summer!

Summer!

Or so it practically feels...

It is gorgeous out there today! And so, I ran outside! What a fun time...

I walked very quickly the first 1/2 mile out to the end of our driveway where I did my stretching. While standing there stretching, I noticed the mailbox was standing wide opened because there was a box sticking out of it. I walked over to investigate. Our postal delivery person sucks. Forgive this statement, but truly... what US Postal person does this? Leaves the too-large delivery in the box with the door hanging open and the rest of the mail just sitting in there, able to blow out or be taken by anyone walking or driving by? We had something from our bank in there! I stuffed the mail under the box (no small feat, indeed, that box was wedged in there but good) so a thief or the wind would really have to work to get it out and started off on the run.

I discovered that 1 pm on a week day is a pretty good time for a run around here. Traffic was light today. This is a good thing because country road shoulders are pretty light, too.

I ran all of the way to the cemetery before my first walk. Not far, but pretty good considering I'm pounding the pavement rather than running on a nice bouncy treadmill at a slower pace and now I'm doing hills rather than flat landing it as usual, and now I've got wind working against me instead of climate control. The walk was very brief... About 10 steps and I realized I didn't really need it. Just long enough to scare the robin off the fence and notice the valentine heart by my old town chairman's gravestone.

I picked it up again and admired the new houses ahead and the two large dogs in the yard of one of them; the two large unchained dogs who were noticing me and trotting toward the road; the two large dogs whose master was also in the yard collecting the large dogs' large poops with a large poop pooper scooper. He looked up when he noticed his dogs had become interested in something coming up the road. He called to them. One of them came back and the other one stayed real interested in me. I kept moving straight at him. He kept looking at me and making this interesting noise. Not a bark, not a growl... just an interesting noise in his chest... kind of like, "Can I keep it Daddy? Can I? Huh? Huh?" I reached the driveway and kept on running. The dog just stood there looking at me. Watched me run past. That was all.

It was about this time I realized that by the time I reached the next bridge over the Kinni, I was going to have to stop completely, take off my right shoe, dump the sand out and put it back on. That's what I get for wearing the old shoes. But see, I didn't want to wear my good running shoes when I have to go through the muddy driveway to get out to the road because I know I'll be back on the treadmill on rainy days (probably tomorrow) and I don't want to wear muddy shoes on the treadmill. So I have to wear the old shoes which have three open holes in them. Yes, we are talking very old running shoes here. Broken down. I could go out and get replacements for them. That's actually what I'm wearing on the treadmill. Replacements for these. But I still can't give these up. These are the gods of running shoes. I promised myself I would throw these out when those arrived. But I couldn't do it. Because they don't make these anymore. Dang Nike. I don't know what their problem is. Why would a company stop making a running shoe? Especially a specific specialty shoe? I was heartbroken when I began looking for the replacement and found out I couldn't get them anymore. So was Kel because she had grown into it and started wearing it too. She was the other reason I couldn't throw them out when the new ones arrived.

I digress.

Suddenly it struck me that I wasn't even going to make it to the bridge because the sandy shoe had come untied. Rats. So I had to stop at the corner and take it off to dump it and retie it anyway. And I had double-knotted it! So I reached over and tightened the double knot on the left side, too. Good thing. It was loose. I started off again. But if I was going to stop completely and have to restart, it couldn't have actually happened at a better place... my restart was on a downhill point. I glided downhill and didn't think much about running past the lonely house with the workmen and the fact that I hadn't brought my cell phone with me. Instead, I was continuing to write this entry in my head and watching the robin in the yard.

I ran over the bridge above the river and didn't stop to watch for trout. I just kept going, interested in whether my level of fitness had improved much since my last outside run in the late summer/fall of last year. I started paying attention to that... Less bounce of the various parts of my body. That must mean something. And I'm definitely doing a lot more running with less walking. I started running up one of the killer hills knowing that this would be a tell-tale sign. Normally on this hill I'm telling myself to just get to the top and then I can walk for a while. This time I just ran. Didn't think much about anything... And suddenly the ground was leveling off and I kept on running... Another good sign. I guess my fitness level has improved a bit. I didn't have any cramps. This actually surprised me because I didn't drink much water before taking off today and I know that can have a lot of impact on the muscles.

The final mile and a half was the toughest because I did stop at the last bridge and do a little stretching and water gazing/listening/enjoying. And I wished for a bottle of spring water to drink. I was thirsty. And I stopped for a walk shortly before that so I could spit. Spitting while I'm running is always a nasty affair because it inevitably just spreads all across my face. TMI you say? This whole entry is TMI... look how damn long it is!

Got back to the mailbox and tugged and pulled the box (there were actually two) out and the rest of the mail and walked the last half mile home for the cool down. What a gorgeous day for running outside. It is supposed to be in the 60's again tomorrow, but they are talking thunderstorms. Probably a good day for lurching on Lurch, I guess.

I've gotta get another bottle of water and hit the showers now. Hope you all enjoyed (haha) this play by play of my run. I left out a lot believe it or not. Like the fact that I was wearing an outfit that made me feel like I walked out of an episode of Star Trek and could be 'beamed up' at any minute, or the woman I saw tootling around on a four-wheeler with her golden retriever on a leash. Guess the dog needed exercise but she didn't? I wanted to yell at her for putting the animal at risk like that. Looked dangerous to me. Oh well.

Gosh, almost forgot the stats!

Today's miles: 5.5
Total so far: 348.5 (Wow! Look how close I am to another duck!)
Still to go for goal: 151.5

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