Running as an alternative to breaking dishes

When we are young children, it seems perfectly normal to cry. I’m talking, to just let it all out and bawl in every sense of the word, even if someone else can see or hear. There were probably few and far between reasons for such crying when we were that young, but that’s besides the point. There comes a point, as a young adult, when we might call to mind this feeling of wanting to cry, and realize we feel that way again. But this time, we’re expected to hold it in. Maybe I’m not referring to just simply crying tears, but also to displaying anger, in whatever passive or aggressive, direct or indirect way we can. It’s easy to say to ourselves, this is the right way to handle this, so that is what I’ll do. It’s quite another challenge to live up to this standard we’ve set for ourselves just to preserve the present and future and make sure we don’t mess anything up. There comes a breaking point in our emotions every once in awhile (if you think you’re an exception I applaud you…but I think you may be lying), and more often than not we break these “rules” bestowed upon us to an extent, the rules of being a mature adult.

Here’s my guy Joseph Gordon-Levitt breaking plates: 

Breaking-plates-joseph-gordon-levitt-23309340-400-263I know what that feeling is, and so do you: the dude has got to go for a run.

This weekend, I needed to run so badly. It was the only thing I could think of that would somehow solve the problem, remedy all the stresses and frustrations and bad thoughts swirling in my head. Saturday, it was snowing. I ended up starting my run close to 2 PM. I hadn’t eaten anything since the night before but was hardly hungry. It was a run fueled entirely by emotions and adrenaline, and it felt like half its length. I came up with a general idea of where I wanted to run and went with it. It included a few big climbs, and was absolutely perfect. As the run went on it snowed more and more, but I grew warmer and warmer. Sometime during mile five everything became a little clearer, and I felt like I was in a bubble with no space or time. The ground and the air and the sky were all the same shade of white, and my pace was whatever my legs wanted to do. I wanted to stay within the run forever, and I also wanted the night to never come. But both the run and the daylight had to unfortunately end, in that order. I ended up running 11.5 miles and not ever getting tired or slowing down despite inadequate pre-run nutrition. Strange how that works sometimes.

Post-snow run.

Later that night when the emotional bandage the run had tried to provide had mostly fallen off, I turned to writing. I wrote a lot, with no plan exactly, and during that time, too, I felt heavy things lift off of me a little.

I know a run only puts us at ease so much. Emotional writing only gives us space to displace our feelings for a little while. Aren’t we lucky to have this though? Think of all the plates we’re saving. 

On an unrelated note (but from the same day), this is what happens when it is raining but it should really be snowing for the safety of everyone who dares to step outside…as evidenced by my umbrella:

THE ICE UMBRELLA. This was a first.

costumes, headlamps, and a little more on writing…

My first order of business going into the weekend was Halloween, as I mentioned previously. It did not disappoint. In fact, now that the real Halloween is still to come, I’m quite concerned about how fun it will actually be. Probably not nearly as much as round one. Anyway, I’ll post a costume picture so you know what the final result was.

The rest of the weekend was pretty great, and it included a 14-mile run on Sunday before work. A few things about the run….It was hilly. I don’t know why I mapped a route with steep climbs at mile 2 and mile 11, but that happened. The reward for the first was the scenic Mountain View Rd., which Kate showed me back in February. It did not disappoint. I was only planning on running 13 miles, but it turned into 14 due to a bathroom excursion (it was locked! What a tease!). It was so nice to enjoy a long run without having to worry about a race; the Perfect 10 was two weekends prior, and the Runner’s World 10k was last weekend. It’s like too many parties: there is definitely a limit; sometimes I just need a solid, steady long run on which I don’t care about pace at all. I wore my Garmin but turned off the tones. The result was an average pace of 7:51. Looking back later, my splits vary quite ridiculously, but that was due to the sudden elevation changes, I think (I went from a 8:16 twelfth mile to a 7:16 thirteenth mile!). It was finally cold enough to warrant gloves (46 degrees)…but not cold enough for me not to sweat profusely through a short sleeve shirt and shorts of course.

Headlamps on the track

I used this for my warmup and cooldown for the first time….clipped it to my tank top/bra in the back. I didn’t feel it at all and I felt safer!

I know it sounds like it sometimes, but I don’t always have an incredible run. My interval workouts aren’t always perfect, and I don’t always have the mental stamina when I set off to the track or all throughout the workout. On Tuesday, I had off from work. I could have done a workout in the daylight at any time. I could have done an easy run, because I had slight ITB paranoia after Sunday’s run (spoiler: I’m fine now). But I went to the intervals practice to meet the group. And I am so glad I did. On my cooldown, I asked myself, why was I ever considering not going? We all brought headlamps, and we were little bouncing beams of light bobbing around the track, for 12 x 400m. I had no idea what pace I was running when we started, since it’s always hard to judge depth perception and whatnot. I came through in 84 seconds, and thought that was a little fast. Then I hit 84 again. I strung a few 85s in a row, hit 86 just once, then steadily ran 85 seconds for most of the remaining quarters, with one or two more 84s, and an 81 closing lap. Conclusion: I’m pretty certain it was my fastest 12×400 workout ever, especially at that effort level, and that workout was a weekly staple during high school track. Any time I break through a barrier like that, no matter how minute in the scheme of things, it makes me happy. 

Headlamp on the track: not so bad.

Speaking of happiness, now that running is finally loving me back after all these years, it’s becoming the only time I truly feel 100% strong and confident in my ability to plan, and execute that plan. Sometimes I think about other things when I’m running and that statement applies, sometimes it applies to just…more running. Either way, as I wrote about as a tangent in my RW 10k race report, I have been loving writing. Running and writing have been the two things lately that just make sense, and make me feel organized and in control and accomplished and happy. The fact that they can go hand-in-hand is nice, because basically, I can write and write, and then I can run out all the things there are no words for. 

There are, inevitably, things I want to write about that aren’t blog-worthy. At least, public blog-worthy. I used to write in a journal every single day…until a day when I didn’t want to recap my life, or think about it any more than I had to. When I finally got over that, I “caught myself up” on everything, then immediately got tangled in crazy confusion again and had no time to write. I could really use it now though.

So tell me, if you’re still reading, do you keep a journal? Are there journals online that aren’t public, so you can access it anywhere and not lose what you write? (I thought I was more of a handwritten person until I started this blog…typing’s not so bad anymore.) 

I changed the end of this post’s title to “a little more on writing.” It said “non-running crises” before. Dramatic much? But that’s just the thing: why not be dramatic? It makes life interesting. I say “a little” because there is more to say/ask/ponder about this later.