More thoughts as I run around town.
Saturday I ran 11 miles. Ugh. Part of the problem I am having is finding places to run. Valencia has quite a few miles of great paths and trails, but as I found on on Saturday - they don't all connect.
The brain is an interesting thing and I think nature finds ways to stick it to us and laugh. My creative brain works best sometimes when I can allow it to wander. As one might expect, the best time for my mind to wander is either right before I fall asleep or when I'm out running. Neither is conducive to writing down my great, earth-shattering thoughts, which is why I think Nature is laughing. Just before I go to sleep, I don't have the energy to get up, turn on a light and write things down. I do have a pen and paper by my bed, but don't always take advantage of it, telling myself that I can remember these things in the morning. Of course I can't, but that's another story. When out on the trail, I am completely stuck. No pen and paper in a pack or taped to the water bottle. No handheld recorder to capture my thoughts before I forget them. Just me and my thoughts, trapped in my brain and likely forgotten before I hit the turn and head home. grrrrrr.
There truly is a point when your body says "please, stop!" and your mind takes over and tells your body to keep going. I hit that point on Saturday.
There is also a point sometime after your mind has told your body to keep going, where your body says "no, really, please... stop!" and your mind tries to say "keep going." Your body then says "f-u!" and stops. period. I hit that point on Saturday too.
The interesting thing about this past Saturday's run is that from a cardio standpoint, I felt fine. I wasn't gasping for air and didn't feel too out of breath. I managed to keep a pretty consistent (and what I thought was a good) pace for most of the run. It was only after my body truly gave out (shins and knees) that I had to slow it to a walk for the last 1/2 mile back home. So I am not so much worried about having the stamina to complete a 1/2 marathon - I'm worried that my legs will support me for the whole race.
We mock whatever marketing person decided to start a campaign in which our town, Valencia CA, was referred to as "Awesometown." Friends who do not live here but have heard of the campaign or seen ads and other marketing, mock us for living here in "Awesometown." But as I was running on the trails on Saturday, I caught a glimpse of why Valencia has that cheesy name. In the early morning hours (7:30 a.m. is EARLY for me), I passed quite a few people running the trails. Almost every single one of those people that I passed (and even some of the bikers) either said "good morning" or waved. I'm not counting the older woman who was wearing oversized sweats and really big glasses, looking like she was hiding from someone and not at all pleasant, and I'm not counting the shirtless high school boys who went flying by, but other than that, almost every person greeted or acknowledged me in some way. I thought that was very interesting. I grew up in a small town where everyone pretty much knows everyone else (and everyone else's business) and I'm not sure I would have gotten the same greetings and acknowledgment if I were running there. I may have to test that theory when I go back for my friend's wedding, if I decide to run (rather than skip my training runs that week.)
I went back out last night for another shorter run. Aside from technical difficulties (stupid Nike app....grrrr.), it did not feel too bad. My shin splints kicked in quicker than they had last week, so it's back to the stretching and icing and trying not to aggravate things. I laugh sometimes because I wasn't that big of a fan of running long distances as a kid. But I could do it without a lot of physical problems. Now I sometimes find myself wishing for those "carefree" (or maybe "pain free") days of my youth.