Sunday, August 29, 2010

For Some, A New Beginning

(Wow! It actually looks like I'm running instead of just shuffling my feet! Thanks for the nice action shot, Dave K.)

I don’t remember if I mentioned this last year, but waking up in the early morning and hearing a rooster crow in the middle of the city seems strange, but I’ve heard this sound in the past year when I was getting ready for AREC marathon training on Saturday mornings and I don’t know where it’s coming from. Does one of my neighbors have this chicken as a pet? Incidentally, one of the sounds of my talking alarm clock has is the cock a doodle do of a rooster but I don’t think what I’ve been hearing is a clock but rather a real cock.
After getting anxious last Friday thinking about how I was going to perform Saturday morning, I decided that I had to change my mindset to - just show up and run. I was worrying too much about what pace, how far, how am I going to feel, I hope it won’t be a repeat of last week, and so on and so forth. It’s terrible when what is supposed to relieve stress is causing me to become anxious. I believe it was just a matter of a lack of confidence having been absent from the activity for so many weeks and having a bad run the previous week. When I stopped overthinking the process, I felt so much better. I actually showed up at the start with a smile on my face.
I was planning on starting out early, ahead of the training group because I was going to do the Galloway run/walk method and I didn’t want to be the last person out on the course. Sometimes one has to make some adjustments after being in the middle of the pack in past years to the present time where I am now at the back of the pack. No matter. The same distance still had to be covered only taking longer. Well I changed my mind at the last minute and started with everyone else anyway. Off I go running the slowest pace I could possibly do, so as not to get winded right way like I did the previous weekend. I was slow enough that I skipped the first walk break, and the next, and the next. Well let me just say that I skipped all the walk breaks until past 6 miles. I was lucky enough to have been able to run with this Puerto Rican lady from about 4 miles on (I think she’s Boricua, but I’m not sure). Her name escapes me since the last time we introduced ourselves was around last November, and I’m not good at remembering names. She was also coming back from an injury and was game enough to tackle 10 miles on her first day back. I told her we were both crazy and she concurred. We mutually agreed that we were going to do the 4 minute run with 1 minute walk break after 6 miles since she was getting tired and I had to preserve my ankles. It was at 6 miles that we paused at Steve’s water stop where he offered some honey sticks. Honey stick? President Todd was hanging out at that water station and I told him that I could think of something inappropriate regarding the words “honey stick”. Todd said, maybe I should just keep that remark to myself. With that advice and a fist bump, Boricua and I proceeded down the Peninsula on Ocean Boulevard. Around 7 miles I could feel a cramp developing on my right calf but I managed to hold on. However, hours later as I write this, it’s still stinging. Well, to make a long story short, my unnamed friend and I made it all the way to 10 miles, even skipping the last walk break with about ¾ miles to go. Compared to my sallow look after last weeks’ unfortunate run, I was grinning from ear to ear again.
On a side note, I couldn’t help but feel joyous upon seeing Dona running again when I saw her climbing 6th Street hill. She had been having a piriformis problem in recent weeks and had to stop running too. With Dona, Boricua, and me back into running, all is well in the world again. New beginnings indeed.
Putting on a happy face :)
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Moi! said...

Noel, you rock!
I have given you a " Cherry on top" award.
Happy Blogging!

Noel DLP said...

Wow! Thanks, Leena! I'm not worthy but I'm very appreciative. Happy running to you :)