Running Is Still Challenging

Last week we finally sorted ourselves out from my being sick and my husband’s broken toe and got back to running.  We wrapped my hubby’s healing toe in a cocoon of cotton and duct tape – I don’t know the proper way to wrap a toe, but this seemed to do the job – and I had pretty much gotten over my cold.  As it was looking a little rainy we grabbed our running jackets for such weather, and headed out the door.

It was chilly and windy, but only drizzling. We had bought our jackets a few weeks before, but hadn’t had the chance to use them yet for running thanks to the hiatus we took.  So of course we were excited to test them out.

However, we had a bit of bad timing. As soon as we got to the park the wind picked up and the rain started beating down on us. Good thing we had the jackets, right?

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For our first run back I wasn’t exactly excited about it because I have been suffering from some sort of intestinal bug, the symptoms of which are traumatizing and urgent when they hit, to say the least.  I had been having intermittent stomach cramping as well, but with my hubby’s toe finally back to semi-normal I just wanted to get back to running.  As it had been a while since we ran there has been a running shaped hole in my heart.  I truly missed it.  Plus, after the most humid summer imaginable running in the rain sounded pretty good to me.

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We opted to take it easy this first run and decided to do 3 intervals of 20 minutes with a 3 – minute walking break in between.  It was so much fun running in the rain for the first interval. It reminded me of putting on rain boots and taking an umbrella to go jump around in puddles as a kid.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

By the end of the second interval I wasn’t feeling so great.  My stomach had cramped part of the way through and stayed uncomfortably tight the rest of the time.

Running seems to give a lot of people issues with their intestines.  For some the urge “to go” hits, some get stomach cramps post – run,  and others find that they are rocket propelled with all the gas they are passing.  Before we had set out on this run I had mentally prepared myself for the possibility that I may have to run off course to find a bathroom or, horror of horrors, find a bush or something to squat behind. Luckily it didn’t come down to something so drastic.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

Constant unpleasant trips to the bathroom for almost a week left me perhaps more dehydrated and weaker than I realized. The rain stopped and the sun came out, bringing with it some humidity. With the sun came a pretty sharp headache. It was agonizing. We started the third interval, but 4 or 5 minutes in I just couldn’t go on. I felt defeated, but I was dragging myself through the run.

We tried again two days later on Wednesday. Again, we decided to take it easy and just go for 3 intervals of 20 minutes with a 3 – minute walking break in between. This time I was feeling more like myself. I didn’t have a lot of energy,  but I finished the run. On Friday it was a much better run and I actually felt good afterwards. After both Wednesday and Friday’s runs my husband expressed, much to my chagrin, the fact that he could “keep on running” after we finished our 60 minutes.

While I was happy for him that his toe was feeling good and the weeks off running didn’t seem to be holding him back, I can’t say I felt the same. I was just happy finishing the runs. It was not our plan to take a break from running. However, I don’t think we could have avoided it. But, because it was a struggle last week, I couldn’t help but get a little mad at myself for letting it be so long between runs. I think I am just annoyed it became a struggle once again to run an hour. Regardless, both of us are glad to be running again and this week has been going much better than last.

Running Plans Gone Array

This keeps happening. I make a plan and a thousand things get in the way of those plans coming to fruition. So, this week my husband suddenly had to go out of town. The consequences being quite immense. Firstly, it means he won’t run just after we both decided to re-focus our efforts on running more regularly. Secondly, it leaves me alone to run on my own, mustering my own motivation to get out and run after a bit of a break in September.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

But, I was sure that I would do it. I was game. So, my hubby left and since Tuesday was a rest day I didn’t run. It also rained like the world was ending so no loss there. Wednesday, I woke up sick. A dreadful stuffy nose, nasal drainage, sinus pressure, basically breathing was the main challenge of the entirety of the day. I hoped that if I really rested, which I’m really bad at when I’m sick, that I might feel good enough to run the next day. However, no such luck. Wednesday I felt worse than the day before, feeling foggy and a bit of a fever.

Which leaves Thursday. I felt disgusting. I wanted to curl up in the corner and hibernate. I felt so defeated. I really wanted to run this week and get back to our program. But, maybe it was timely since my hubby isn’t here and I would have felt a bit guilty running without him. As soon as he find out he was going out of town, he turned to me and said “Are you going to run without me?” a hint of envy in his voice, not that it would stop me.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Today, I’m starting to feel a bit better, but not good enough to run. Perhaps it was the sudden change in weather that we are currently experiencing. It has inexplicably gone from hot to cold in a week. People are actually wearing jackets during the day. We are a bit unprepared to run in cooler temperatures. We don’t have running gear for anything but brutally hot temperatures. So, this week I’ve been researching cold-weather running apparel. There’s a lot to choose from and for the novice it can be a little over-whelming. I did order a couple things online and we’ll see how they work out when I’m feeling better and my hubby gets back.

So, this week has kind of been a bust. We unintentionally continued the running-once-a-week habit. It’s making me a bit unbalanced not being able to run, especially since I was really excited to run in cooler temperatures. We struggled through the Summer and unlike most people cool, overcast days are the kind of days I particularly enjoy. For now I’m sneezing my way through the days hoping that this illness passes a little faster.

What do you run in when it gets cooler outside?

The Downside (and Upside) to Quitting Mid-run

When we got back from our holiday my hubby and I both decided to hunker down and return to being dedicated about running. No more excuses. We will run 3 times a week hell or high water. Does that sound convincing?

On Sunday night we checked the weather forecast for Monday, our first run day post-holiday, but were met with an unfortunate weather forecast that showed a 90% chance of rain all evening, which is when we have time to run. So, with our renewed dedication to run consistently we decided to wake up Monday morning and run then instead (See how dedicated we’re being). We haven’t run in the mornings since the beginning of Summer when we were running 6 intervals of 6 minutes I think or something like that. It’s a far cry from running a full hour non-stop.

The seaside path we take, but now in daylight.
The seaside path we take, but now in daylight. It’s a nice change from the park’s electric lights at night.

We had a pre-running snack, I had a coffee and we went out. It was surprisingly humid during the run, but thankfully it was not sunny. In fact, dark clouds hovered above us the entire time and there were a few random sprinkles every now and then. We ran exactly the same course we always run at night, but in the daylight it felt surprisingly strange. It was like running a new path.

However, we only made it 6km in 42 minutes. Both our bodies sort of just gave out. We were lacking energy, and by energy I mean food. We weren’t running on empty tummies, but we hadn’t eaten enough. It was terribly disappoint. We both felt defeated.

We sat down on a bench on the seaside and decided that if we continue to try to run in the mornings we’ll have to do things a little differently. What that is I have no idea. There must be an art to the morning run that I’m unaware of. I think we were also hindered by the fact that we haven’t been running so regularly this month. Our bodies aren’t used to it.

But, the bad news doesn’t stop there. Do you know what one of the disadvantages of quitting mid-run is when you run outside? You don’t make it to your planned end point, which means you have to drag your sorry, exhausted body there walking. We had 2.5 km to go on our run when we stopped so after a break on the bench we hauled our tired soles through the park on the very long walk home (because it is 2.5 km to the entrance of the park and another 1 km back home). Remind me to try to do my best to power through next time I feel like quitting mid-run.

So, on the way back we cut through the center of the park where we never go since it’s windier right on the seaside and more wind is always a plus in hot summer temperatures. What we found was a running/walking loop that was not made of cement and was a little bouncy to the step. Unfortunately, there are no distance markers, but it looks like it is about 1 km around. It gave me the idea that this might be really advantageous in winter when a windy seaside is not so much fun to run on when it’s cold. Since the loop is set back from the seaside and protected by some trees it could really be an alternative to a cold and gusty path.

The other benefit to walking through the park is that instead of running past the park cats that live on the seaside we got the chance to play with them. They are so cute and it’s fun spotting them on a run and laughing at them playing on the rocks.

A park kitten enjoying the view.
A park kitten enjoying the view.

In the end, perhaps quitting mid-run wasn’t all bad news. I will definitely try to keep going next time I want to quit and attempt to encourage my hubby to do the same. But, if we hadn’t prematurely stopped we never would have found the running loop that might just come in handy in the next couple of months.

What do you eat before a morning run? And how long after eating do you start your run?

Back From A Break

It’s been a few weeks since I posted. I’m really sorry about that. I hope you can forgive me. Life seems to have gotten in the way of not only blogging, but also running. First, work started getting busy and then we had a holiday, which kept me away from the glory that is the interwebs. But, we came home this weekend and it’s back to the usual. And most importantly back to running.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

So, what have we been up to? Well, despite being busy we did our best to keep running the past 3 weeks. The first week we managed to run twice, and the last 2 weeks we ran only once. Not so great. My biggest concern was losing what we had worked so hard to achieve with running. But in the meantime, the weather, which has been my nemesis all Summer long, has finally taken a break from being a total pain and the days are actually beginning to feel enjoyable – to the point where a walk outside no longer ends with us looking like we took a shower in our clothes. In fact, we have had a few days of rain, which has been sorely needed around here. With the cooler weather we managed to run better even though it wasn’t often enough.

When last I left you guys we had achieved running one hour in 2, 30-minute intervals with a 3-minute walking break. We were debating how to get to one hour of full-on running. We had 2 choices: gradually add time to the first running interval or decrease the walking break. By the next run we still hadn’t decided which option we would take. I think we were both just playing it by ear and leaving it up to how we felt at the 30-minute mark.

When we did hit the 30-minute mark on the next run we just kept going, and going, and going and we ran 60 minutes without a break at all. It was AWESOME! We’ve been waiting all Summer to do this, but the heat and humidity had kept us from doing it. So, it was quite an achievement to finally do it. My hubby was more thrilled than me actually. I didn’t even take a few seconds to walk and grab some water. By the way, I’m going to have to learn the art of running and chugging water simultaneously. It was not graceful. I took a mouthful of water and could not swallow it. I think I’ll have to pause a second to drink water until I figure it out. Despite my water issue, it was a great run.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

In the 3 weeks since that first run of 60 minutes, we have continued to run 60 minutes without breaks. We are running about 8.5 km in that amount of time, which is not so fast, but I feel like we can improve upon that with a little more time and more frequent running. Since we could only find time to run once a week for the last 2 weeks we could see our performance was suffering. But, I think if we can organize our work hours a little better we will be running farther in 60 minutes soon.

In other news, we’ve also decided to forego any races this fall. Summer temperatures really held us back from advancing in a decent timeframe. I mean, it was basically a battle all Summer to just run and survive it. And the sporadic running we managed in September didn’t help us improve much either. I don’t have the confidence to run a race for a couple of months at least. We still haven’t reached 10 km yet, which is the distance of the race we were going to enter. So, instead of putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves we decided to put races on the back burner for now. But, October is almost here and a new month helps me mentally wipe the slate clean and start fresh, not only with running, but losing weight as well.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Being busy with work and taking a holiday did not help either my hubby or I lose weight. The good news is that we managed to maintain our weight – I’m at 95 kg and he’s at 102 kg – despite the holiday indulgences of alcohol and fatty foods we thoroughly enjoyed. So, not only are we getting back on track with running, we are refocusing our weight loss efforts in terms of diet. No more alcohol for a while, no sodas, no fries (I’m so sad about the last one).

I have been lingering near 95 kg for what feels like an eternity. I’m really done seeing that number on the scale. I’ve made up my mind that by the end of the year I really, really want to weigh 90 kg. I think it’s something I can manage in 3 months. It’s just going to take some will-power on all fronts.

So, we’re back on track. I hope all of you have been continuing to run and I hope you have been getting closer to achieving your goals as well.

More Running Less Walking

Getting to the point where we could run 60 minutes was our first major running goal. We’ve been running 3 intervals of 20 minutes with 2 walking breaks of 3 minutes for a little over a week now. But, of course, we are anxious to cut out those walking breaks, especially my hubby. He really wants to barrel-through an hour of continuous running. Our approach to this task is just extending the running intervals of 20 minutes longer to, ideally, 30 minutes.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

We’ve been waiting (im)patiently for the weather to get a little cooler and a little less humid. Something more pleasant than that feeling that you are running circles in a giant’s sweaty bellybutton. Last week was awful, dreadful weather. But, last night things were different. There was still humidity, but the temperature was a couple of degrees less than “let’s see if we can fry an egg on the roof of the car.” When we walked down to the park we said that at 19 minutes of the first interval we’d decide if we would keep going or not.

A nice breeze picked up as we started and off we went. We saw the beer belly trio of guys running as usual, only last night they had expanded to a quadruplet. These guys are pretty consistent. I wish they’d discard the jackets when they run in the heat because it makes me hot looking at them, but I admire their nightly dedication. I think 2 random people saw us running and started running themselves for 10-second bursts (weirdos). We even saw another couple running in the opposite direction and the park kittens were so cute jumping all over each other being playful. It was the typical evening run. In fact, the only thing out of the ordinary was that there were far fewer people at the park – you gotta love it when school starts and the kids have to be home early.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

At 19 minutes in the first interval I felt pretty decent. We hadn’t run on the weekend and I didn’t walk too much yesterday so I was rested. As we approached running 20 full minutes of running, I wasn’t itching to walk as is sometimes the case. I had steadied my pace so I wasn’t burnt out. I turned to my hubby and said I felt pretty good and he left the decision up to me. So we kept running. 25 minutes of straight running would have been a nice goal, but in the back of my mind I wanted 30. And 30 we did. I’m really proud of us for breaking our 1 hour of running into just 2 intervals of 30 minutes tonight.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

It may seem like a small achievement to those of you who do 18-mile runs once a week (masochists), but for us this is a huge step towards running that full hour non-stop. I’m hoping that we will get there not too slowly. However, I’m not really sure how we should proceed once 2 intervals of 30 minutes feels good.

Should we cut the walking break from 3 minutes to 2 minutes to 1 minute to just 1 hour of running? Or extend the first interval of running from 30 minutes to 40 to 50? I’m not quite sure. What would you do?

Sweat Stains Rule!

Yesterday was a long day of work, walking, and hot weather. Despite this, I still had a fair amount of energy when I came home at 8 o’clock yesterday evening. As I was coming home I was thinking about whether or not I felt like running and though it is easy (and very appealing sometimes) to just say, “Today was a tough day. You deserve some couch time,” I made up my mind to run. This dilemma of feeling like I just want to stay home, but wanting to continue to see the results that running has given me is constantly at work in my head, especially when I’m tired and lacking energy. But, in the end all I have to do is remind myself why we started running to begin with: to get healthy, and I go for a run.

I told my husband upon my arrival that I needed 15 to 20 minutes of horizontal rest and then I’d be ready to run. Good to my word, we were putting on running clothes soon after. The weather was not good at our house and, surprisingly, worse at the park when we got there. Stale air, muggy, and still quite hot even though it was well after sunset.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

We started running and immediately I caught sight of another man and woman running right in front of us. We see very few female runners at the park at night and the handful (and by handful I mean 2) we have seen run solo. It was nice to see another couple. But, then the competitive monster inside of me kicked in. We are always getting passed by runners. We aren’t the slowest around, but it’s annoying when you think you’re doing well and then get passed by a trio of middle-aged guys with beer bellies who are not wearing proper running shoes. Sure, they only run about 10 minutes, maybe 15 tops, but they haul ass right past us.

photo courtesy of pixabay
Me ready to chase my prey; photo courtesy of pixabay

I locked my sights on this couple and I wanted them. It was like they were a wounded doe and I was a big bad lion. We were going about the same pace and the distance between us did not change much for 6 or 8 minutes. We followed them all the way through the park as they were on our normal running route. On a typical run I usually start feeling good around minute 7 and it typically lasts until the end of the first interval, minute 20. So, as the 7th minute approached I was feeling good. I wanted to overtake this couple. In fact, I needed to.

I’m always the one who slows us down, keeps us on a pace that won’t use up all our energy. I’m the responsible running partner. So, often my job is to reel my hubby back in when he just wants to run like a gazelle and leave me in the dust. But, yesterday that all went out the window. It was me who pushed us faster. From minute 7 until minute 20, I started pushing the pace and caught the couple in front of us around minute 14.

The problem when you run intervals is that you stop and walk so as soon as we started walking at minute 20 that couple was on their way past us. Though they did turn around and go back while we kept going straight.  So, we walked and started running the second interval and I was pooped. How I regretted pushing it in the first interval. I really slowed down. But, it was nice to see that I could run faster.

After the second break my husband’s first words were “You just had to catch that couple, didn’t you?”

After I nodded slightly ashamed in the affirmative, he said, “I wish I would have talked to them and asked them to keep running with us since it motivated you to run faster.”

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Oh well… the fact that I was tired from a long day, pushing it in the first interval, and the fact that it was such crap weather made that final interval really hard. But, I finished it even though my hubby charged ahead, finishing strong.

At the end of every run, we sit on a bench and drink the rest of the water we carry with us and then get up and buy a couple of bottles of cold water from the park cafe. When we sit down, the wooden park benches sort of absorb all the sweat our clothes have absorbed. I’ll warn you now, this is kind of gross, so you can stop reading if you are reading this and eating. My husband is the sweating kind so every time he gets up from sitting on the bench there is a little bum-shaped sweat stain left behind, like it’s his calling card. I have to say I’m always a little jealous. Sweating that much is like a badge of honor to me. I see his sweat stain after every run and yes, while it is gross, I’m a little envious. I work hard, but I’m not a huge sweater.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Well, that all changed after last night’s run. It was ridiculously humid and hot last night (have I said that enough?) and when we got up and I checked to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind there was my hubby’s sweat stain and next to it a fainter, smaller sweat stain – like a baby sweat stain. Finally, the fruits of my labor were visible. Despite the embarrassment of leaving sweat stains on a park bench I was proud and half-thankful that we run at night so our running imprints are not obvious to people walking by.

Are you the sweating kind? Is it a badge of honor for you or just gross?

Running Pet Peeve

We were walking down the street on a hot, sticky Summer day – the type of day that says “Why are we outside? It’s too hot!”  It was about 1pm so the hottest time of day. Everyone was walking a little slow from the heat.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

There is a woman about 4 or 5 meters ahead of us. She’s walking like everyone else and then, out of seemingly nowhere, she starts running. In what appears to be her office work clothes and a couple bags on her arms, she is running. What’s weird is the fact that she was casually walking and then running. Maybe she looked at her watch and saw that she was going to be late for something? I don’t know. This is not the part that bothers me. What bothers me is the fact that she ran for a solid 20 seconds and then regressed to walking again at a leisurely pace.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

Why would someone run for 20 seconds like their pants were on fire or they were giving away money and then stop? Am I the only one confused? Does anyone else see people doing this?

When we run we see a lot of different types of people. There is one type that I can’t understand. Perhaps someone can explain it to me. When I see runners who are wearing windbreakers with the hood on their heads in the middle of Summer I daydream about running over to them with a pair of scissors and cutting them out of this monstrosity that must be so humid and sweaty to wear. Why would anyone wear this jacket at the height of Summer? People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are doing this. Is this really all about sweating more because they think they will lose more weight that way? I feel like having a windbreaker intervention sometimes. These people need to be freed.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

Another type of runner I don’t quite understand, and some walkers fit into this category as well, is people who wrap a towel around their necks while running or walking. Is there an excessive neck-sweating epidemic going around that I don’t know about. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching re-runs of Who’s the Boss? Do you remember that show? Whenever Angela or Tony worked out on that show there was a towel and a windbreaker (no hood though) involved.

Do you see people doing strange things while they run? 

1 Hour of Running or Bust

This is the conversation my husband and I had as we walked from our house to the park for a run on Friday evening:

Hubby: “The weather seems not too bad.”

Me: “Yeah, it’s been worse,” completely oblivious as to where this conversation is going.

Hubby: “If it’s breezy when we get there, we’re going to do 3 intervals of 20 minutes. So mentally prepare yourself now.”

Me: Blank, fearful stare

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

I don’t think my husband quite understands it when I say “I need to mentally prepare myself.” If it is necessary to mentally prepare myself then something is definitely happening or very likely to occur. The weather is not one of those things that I depend on so it seemed a little bit of a contradiction to a.) expect a high chance of good weather for running and, consequently, b.) prepare for a new, longer interval of running.

But, I could tell by the half-crazy look in his eye that he was serious – we were going to run 20 minutes 3 times. He didn’t seem to be asking me either. I was hesitant, to say the least, as we walked to the park. I had only run the 19 minute intervals twice because I took some time to let my sore hip rest, but he had run it 3 times. I didn’t protest too much – just the requisite amount when your spouse tells you to do something you don’t want to do, but knows you will do it anyway. Haven’t we all been there? It’s just enough protesting so that they know you are not pleased about doing it and so you can use it for something in the future when you want to do something and they don’t.

It seemed the weather gods were on my side, though, when we got to the park. It was not breezy and the humidity had eeked up to previous early August temperatures when I had bemoaned the fact that it was too hot to run. And then, a small breeze started and it seemed my husband’s wish came true.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

The first interval of 20 minutes was really good. It always amazes me how much further we run by just adding an extra minute to running. We ran the entire length of the park this time. We still took a 3-minute walking break and then started up again, but this time instead of running near where people barbeque and the sidewalk is a haze of smoke and the all too delicious smells of people’s dinner cooking we took a turn to run along a very long wave breaker that has just been built with a sidewalk on top. It is quite big and extends quite a distance into the sea. I think it took 5 minutes to run the whole thing. I’m so glad we chose to run there because the wind was glorious and despite having to make our presence known to some fishermen who were casting their lines – one of my irrational fears is losing an eye to a fishhook by a fisherman that doesn’t see I’m behind him – it was awesome!

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

We finished the second and third intervals without any problems and I didn’t even slow down at the end, which is typical on a new interval run. I was really pleased with myself. But, perhaps, my excellent performance sealed my fate.

My hubby also noticed I was doing well so at the end of the run, as we are drinking some much deserved water and recovering, he says, very casually, “The next time the weather is cool we’re just running as much as we can. No more planned walking breaks.”

Again, he was met with a blank, shocked face from me. Of course the first word out of my mouth was “Why?” like it was punishment.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

His opinion is that if it hadn’t been for the heat and humidity of the summer we’d already be running a full hour, non-stop by now. But, instead, we are just now running an hour with breaks. Yes, he’s right. We are a little behind schedule, but there wasn’t much we could do about it.

The total amount of running and walking we do is 66 minutes and he’s getting bored. He wants to get rid of those 6 minutes of walking sooner rather than later. So, it seems that running 3, 20-minute intervals will not last long if the weather stays around 28 degrees C or 82 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity that is bearable.

In spite of the double dose of shock on Friday, we finally hit our goal of running an hour and that in and of itself is something that a few months ago seemed so distant and, at times, unattainable. So, now it’s all about whittling down the breaks and walking time.

What was your first running goal?

Random Spurts of Running

When we ran on Wednesday night it was a great run – I still can’t stop saying that – but we had an unplanned running buddy part of the way.

My husband and I have only run with each other. We see other runners though it never exceeds a dozen and on Wednesday there were literally less than half that number. We were about halfway through our first interval of 19 minutes and were turning right where the path dead-ends to the sidewalk that follows the seaside. At that intersection and at the very moment we turned there was another guy that had been running along the seaside that merged with us. The three of us took a few steps all lined-up and then this guy pulled away. I’ve told you all before that we aren’t so fast and this guy in his 40s was faster.

Of course, as he is running directly in front of us, I’m only looking at him, studying him. This man was wearing normal shoes, not running shoes, and cotton shorts and a regular t-shirt. He was bouncing as he ran, if that makes sense, like running was the easiest thing he could be doing. I watched him for almost a minute and then he pulled his phone out of his pocket and started walking and talking on it.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

For me, this is just so weird. He obviously wasn’t out to run, but had seemingly decided to just start running out of the blue. Does anyone do this? When my phone rings and I’m running that person is not getting called back until I’m done and have had some water. What was really annoying was that we passed him as he chatted on the phone and kept running, only to have him pass us once again a couple of minutes later. I guess it was a short phone call. So, we kept chugging along only to see him stop a minute or so later and then we passed him and never saw him pass us again. When we turned around 10 minutes later and made our way back we saw him walking with two women. This guy was quite the multi-tasker. Is it just me who thinks random spurts of running is strange?

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photo courtesy of pixabay

When we run people who see us seem to just start randomly running.  On Wednesday night a guy pushing a small child in a stroller saw us and started hauling ass like his life depended on it for a solid 30 seconds before collapsing on a bench, and then there was a mother, father, teenage daughter trio who were sprinting in jeans coming towards us after they caught sight of us. But, again, only for about half a minute.

It’s very strange having people start running when they see you. Do we smell that bad that people need to run ahead of us? Is being downwind of us so bad?… I am beginning to wonder if it is “mob mentality” kicking-in. Do they think, “Maybe we should run right now, too, since that couple is?” By far the type of person we see running who is obviously doing it because we are is children. I can not count how many times kids from the ages of barely walking to young teenager have started running in front of us because they have seen us.

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photo courtesy of pixabay

Recently, a 3-year-old girl, if she was even 3, saw us, squealed, and made off running. It was funny and made us chuckle, but then she was running faster than us. Show off! 🙂  Normally it’s the 8 to 10-year-olds. I think they want to see if they can beat us running. Spoiler – they can run faster for the full 15 seconds they run.

On Wednesday there were also 2 twenty-something guys running together who ran passed us as we were setting up our mp3 players and watches pre-run. Five or six minutes after we began running they came into view in front of us and they were standing and talking. When we saw them before our run they had been running at about our pace. As we got closer to them, one of them saw us and nudged his buddy and they immediately ran off, much faster than before. We were behind them and I kept seeing them look back at us. They cut through a shortcut a couple of minutes later and were gone from sight thanks to some trees. After we had permanently lost the guy in his 40s the 2 twenty-something runners appeared parallel to us walking on the grass.

I sort of feel like everyone is competing and they lack the camaraderie that running should cultivate. Sometimes I want to speed up and pass these temporary runners, but then I know that I will pay for it at the end of my run. I fight that urge and just keep up my normal pace. I try to console myself with the fact that despite seeing other runners when we run, none of them runs as long or as far as we do. I think all the runners we see, except for 1, runs 20 to 30 minutes at most. Suddenly, running 57 minutes doesn’t seem so shabby.

Do you get competitive with other runners? Do you ever have people see you and randomly start running?

“That was a really great run, right?” She said over and over…

Last night after our run I couldn’t stop repeating, “That was a really good run, right?” to my husband. I guess I was just so surprised at how well I ran, especially since before our run my hip started feeling irritated and it was hot outside.

I had come home from work and just laid down for an hour. My husband was at his computer. We just decompressed for a while from the day and waited for the sun to set and the hopefully cooler temperatures to kick-in. However, and this is the danger about coming home and not immediately going for a run, you start feeling like it would be nice to just stay home. On top of that feeling, my husband could not stop eating. He was having a hungry day when nothing seems to make you full – there were chocolate covered nuts, dates, pistachios, among other things that met their fate. As soon as it was sunset we convinced each other to lace up and go out for our run.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

I always start doubting myself if I haven’t been for a run in a while. The last time I ran was Friday I think so it had been a while. So, I was definitely not confident about the run. I thought maybe I’d have to stop early and then I started running through the most likely to the worst-case scenarios in my head. I am pretty good at doubting myself. Is there a medal for that? But, in fact running wasn’t that bad at all.

There was no wind and I could feel the humidity by the time we walked over to the park. I was annoyed, immediately, because it makes a run that much harder. We sat on a bench and arranged our watches and mp3 players and then as soon as we stood up the wind started to blow and wouldn’t you know that it didn’t stop the entire time we ran.

Sometimes the stars align and everything is in place and we have a great run. The first 19-minute interval flew by. I didn’t check the time until the 16th minute and that was just to see if we had run into the 3-minute walking interval. It was a great start to the run. Without the humidity our breathing was even and controlled and we didn’t look like we had just had a shower.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

The second interval was good, too. I wasn’t getting too tired and we were maintaining our pace. The sidewalks got a little crowded and at one point all our vision was obscured by the smokey-haze of barbecuing park-goers, which isn’t really fun to breathe through. But, I was happy to be running and looking at park cats and kittens as we ran past them. I didn’t even mind weaving around kids, cyclists, and families taking up the whole sidewalk.

We didn’t need to make the second walking break longer either. Three minutes was plenty. It’s been a while since we only walked for 3 minutes. So, we started again on the third and final interval and still it was good. I didn’t feel like I was in “the zone” or anything, but it was solid running. It probably would have been even better if my music playlist hadn’t finished 3 minutes before the end of the run. This meant I was fiddling with it and slowed down a little, because I was distracted. Because the screen is broken on my ipod and I can’t see what is going on in terms of menus, preferences, etc. I ended up running to classical music for the final few minutes. I guess I was going through a phase (short-lived) of trying to be fancy or something years ago when I put it on there originally. But, I was running well and even the weird choice of classical music couldn’t derail me from finishing it. I’m one of those people who needs upbeat tunes to run normally.

photo courtesy of pixabay
photo courtesy of pixabay

And, for the couple hours we were still conscious last night post-run I just kept saying to my husband “That was a really good run, right?” I’m pretty sure he got annoyed saying, “Yes, it was a good run.”

The run was so good that my hubby said he could have done another 19-minute interval. Me – I’m not so ambitious. But, it felt like I could have run 3 intervals of 20 minutes quite easily last night. My husband definitely agreed. In fact, he said that if the weather was good next time he may push me to run with only one break. So in his mind we would do something like 2 intervals of 30 minutes with a 2 or 3-minute walking break. That doesn’t excite me so much, but this is why running with someone who is ambitious is such a good thing, even if it is a pain in the ass in the moment, they take you along with them.

After the run, my hip was a little stiff, but it didn’t bother me during the run. I iced it after and this morning it’s still stiff so I will do some stretches.

How often do you feel like you had a great run?