Sunday, August 13, 2006

Running on my Own...

After waxing poetic about how great it is to have such wonderful friends to make those long runs worth while, I ended up bagging them on Saturday and running on my own.

It wasn't as bad as "bagging" really sounds, though.

Hubby and I golf in a Couples League on Friday nights. I had promised him that my running this marathon would not cut so much in to our time together as training for my other events has in the past. So, despite what my coach says about having Fridays be a total rest day before the big Long Slow Distance (LSD) Saturday, we golf on Fridays. It is a small Par 3 course -- very pretty -- and we golf with another couple that have been our friends for several years. We walk the course -- really no biggie, LSD run or not.

Last Friday, we got off the course later than we usually and Hubby and I putzed around on the way home -- ran a couple of errands, had dinner late, etc.

I woke up at 6:00 to run and just decided "screw it". I slept in.

Honestly, part of my rebelliousness was because we were supposed to go 18 miles. We had just done a 1/2 marathon the week before and I felt that going from 13 to 18 was a big leap that I wasn't ready for. So, the alarm blared at 6:00 am and I promptly turned it off.

I knew that I'd have to make up the miles and get a run in. I got out of the house about 1:00 pm and followed a route from my block along Lake Harriet and then connecting with Minnehaha Parkway. Most of the run corresponded with the marathon route, including the one really ugly spot of the marathon route off of Cedar Avenue, near Lake Nokomis.

(It is interesting to me that this section is also a section of the LifeTime Fitness Triathlon. I LOVE it when I'm doing the Tri, but HATE it as part of the marathon. I suppose it's because I'm riding a bike when I'm on Cedar during the Tri versus not being quite at the half-way point for the marathon.)

In any event, I got out there and did my thing for 16 miles and was very glad I ended up running alone.

Here are the things I observed during my run, that would have escaped me had I run with the group:

Fish swimming against the current in Minnehaha Creek.

Sleeping ducks nestled in creekside.

My first glimpse of a tree with leaves that just hinted at color change (uh oh!).

The Minnesota Freeze playing a tournament near Nokomis. (Apparently the Freeze is our Australian-style football league -- whatever that means).

Great gardens and yards that adorn the beautiful homes along the parkway.

Kids playing in the park, including a dad teaching his son how to play T-ball.

People walking their dogs.

A wonderful elderly couple out in their yard. The husband was going to take the dog for a walk -- the wife was standing close to him, stroking his face and smiling. I hope Hubby and I are like that when we are their age.

Finally, after I was just about done with my run, I veered off the course, whipped my shoes and socks off and waded in to the wonderful waters at Lake Harriet beach. My aching feet and knees were 'oh, so happy'.

I think I needed this kind of run -- where I can take my time and observe things around me rather than just ticking off the miles and getting the run "done".

Sometimes you just have to run and smell the roses.


Marcia said...

Your "wonderful friends" missed you dearly, Amy! But your solitude and observations are priceless! I'm glad you had a great run and loved your story of wading in Lake Harriet! See you soon!

Wanna-be 5k-er said...

I really love running alone, I have to say. At first I thought it was only because I don't think I'm fast enough yet or have enough endurance yet. But actually, I just like looking at the flowers & trees, bunnies and geese, and, well, smelling the roses.

And WTG on 16 MILES! WOW!

Michelle said...

Yow, great job on 16 miles!!! It sounds like you really enjoyed it too. I prefer running alone also, it is much more meditative that way. I get all caught up in stupid stuff when I've run with my DH and I get self-consious, too (like, am I breathing louder than him? that sort of thing).

Dori said...

That's the kind of discipline that will get you across the finish line. Sometimes I like to run in solitude, but it's nice to have the option of running with a group. I know that part of Cedar you're talking about--there's a HILL, which is why it sucks during the marathon. My legs ache just thinking about it. :-)