Bend the Round

…where the madness is recorded.

Over the River & Through the Woods February 25, 2008

Filed under: running — bendtheround @ 7:59 pm

Family issues interrupted training somewhat this week. My gramma hasn’t been well for the past two weeks, and her disinclination to eat is making her recovery painstakingly slow. To complicate matters, an ice storm knocked out her land line two weeks ago, so she’s without a way to call for help if there is an emergency. Mom’s got her cell phone there, but Gramma legally blind, and can’t see the cell phone to dial. Plus, she’s not comfortable enough with cell phones to dial by touch… not even speed-dial. So, Mom’s been staying with Gramma for two weeks. It’s been a very difficult couple of weeks for my mom and her siblings. Physically and emotionally draining.

I live close enough to this particular action to be of some service on the weekend. So I headed to Gramma’s place Friday after work (funnily enough, it is literally over the river and through the woods from my current place of residence) and stayed with her Friday and Saturday night so Mom could get some rest.

I think everybody involved was a little better for it by Sunday. Gramma continued to VERY SLOWLY improve…I think…and Mom seemed a bit more rested than she was when I got up there Friday night.

Sunday was supposed to be a 15K race, but because there were no 15K races available and because by the time Sunday rolled around and I was relieved from Gramma-related duties I was thoroughly exhausted… I didn’t get a run of that length in. If Matt hadn’t expressed the desire to go for a 2 mile run himself, I wouldn’t have gone for a run at all. We suited up and headed out for a 2 mile run through the neighborhood.

I’m really glad he wanted to go for a run. I harbor an extremely ambitious desire to one day be able to keep up with Matt on a run of any length. This is ambitious for a lot of reasons…he’s far more athletic than I am, ever was, or may ever be. He’s taller than I am by almost a foot, so his stride is naturally a lot longer than mine. Plus, he’s a soccer player and has been practically since he was a fetus… which means he’s got leg muscles like nobody’s business and knows how to use them. But still, I have been training and thought… maybe… maybe I could keep up for a quarter mile or so… Uh… no. LOL Not even close. I think I matched him for about four steps and he was gone, lol. I’ll admit that it was a little discouraging, but I still did pretty OK. I neglected to wear my watch, so I didn’t have an exact time for the run, but Matt and I estimated that I was scooting along at about a 10:30 pace. Not too terrible.

So, instead of 15K, I did 2 miles this weekend. Boo.

Today’s run was full of pros and cons. I did a five miler at lunch – 2.5 miles out from the office and 2.5 miles back. Four of the five miles are on biking/running trails through the woods. There are even bridges over a stream, and places where the water crosses the trail – so there’s plenty of opportunity to hop on through the water, mud, and gravel. A little tiny taste of trail running for a change. The fifth mile is along a busy road. So, I only had to suck down car exhaust for a fifth of the run, which was nice. (Carbon monoxide is an unfortunate downside of running outside in the area in which I live, so finding a trail that gives me a break from that is pretty cool.) The trail has six places where I have to cross the street. Each place has a pedestrian light, and where there are pedestrian lights available, I use them. I’ve come too close to being run down like an unobservant squirrel too many times to not follow the rules of the road strictly. It’s still not a guarantee of safety when crossing the road, but it is certainly safer than jaywalking. Unfortunately, my insistence on taking every possible precaution against becoming a grease-spot on the road is a big hit on my running time. I guess that I lost between seven and ten minutes waiting for lights. Despite this, the bulk of the run is gorgeous – there’s a lovely little stream to run next to, wildlife scurrying about, and best of all…crocuses. I spotted crocuses in bloom today by the side of the trail. That means that Spring is almost here! Woo hoo!

My time for today’s run was 1 hour 43 seconds for five miles. That’s about a 12 min pace. If you take the waiting at the crosswalks into consideration, that’s really not all that shabby. So, I’m not too disappointed that I didn’t finish it faster. And it was nice to get a little taste of nature out here in this suburban wasteland. 🙂

The seven miles I’ve run in the past two days put me over the 90 mile mark for 2008, too! Ten more miles to go to the big 1-0-0!


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