Friday, February 4, 2011

Tribute to the Gods of Running Run: 1/30

I needed a day off from running.  I needed a day to just sit on the couch and read a book.  I needed a long nap.  However, after spending most of the morning updating this very blog and browsing Netflix, I made the mistake of looking outside and realizing that it was close to 60 degrees.  Kids were playing outside, birds were chirping, and I knew that passing up a day like this would be tantamount to slapping the Running Gods right in the face!  So, I laced em' up and headed out to offer tribute because I feared that otherwise the Gods would send a plague upon me: Blister, Boils, Sprains, and Strains, along with all the other nastiness that we runners fear.  I wasn't really sure where I wanted to run, every time I thought of somewhere to go I came up with a good reason not to go there, so I just decided to pick a direction and let the traffic patterns guide me.  If I could cross a street I did, if not I turned the corner.  Quickly enough I ended up running on Hillsborough Street towards the NCSU Campus.  I hit the one mile mark as I was running in front of NCSU and was doing alright considering . . . I did the first mile in 9:58.58 and felt good about it. 

Shortly after passing the Library another runner started to gain on me and after about a block and a half she passed by me and I decided to let her decide my next turn.  Decided to do the opposite of what ever she did at the next intersection.  If she went straight I would turn and if she turned I would go straight.  However, she turned at the bell tower just before we got to the traffic circle, so I decided to just stay on the side walk and run into the campus along Pullen Road.  By this time, I was kind of getting into my run and enjoying the day, but it was a bit breezy, and I wished that I had warn a long sleeve shirt.  Once I crossed the bridge of the railroad tracks, I turned onto Dunn, then Jeteer, and again on Cates and found myself at approaching an intersection with a different runner.  He was a student and running at a much faster pace than I but he was going to get caught at the same light as I.  At the light we would have the choice of either staying on Cates and running up a slight rise followed by mostly flat areas of campus, from which I could get home and make this about a three mile run, or turn onto Morrill Drive, which would go up a larger hill before I turned for home and make the run about a four mile run.  I decided that I would follow the student.  He of course went up Morrill Drive . . . DAMN KIDS!  I did the second mile in  9:32.53

The third mile just kind of sucked.  I ran up Morrill turned left through the parking lots of the Buildings facing Western Blvd., took a right on Dan Allen and right on Sullivan which I took out to Gorman St.  By this time, I was starting to feel bad and not looking forward to running up the little hills around the Sullivan-Gorman intersection and the bridge going back over the railroad tracks.  Iwas able to push myself to keep going because I knew if I stopped and began walking that I wouldn't be able to get myself running again.  The third mile took 9:59.47, but it felt like 3 days. 

The last .88 was a suck-fest and as I ran toward the Hillsborough St. intersection on Gorman, I was praying for a long red light.  I would have no choice but to stop at the light if I wanted to go home.  As I approached the light it was Green I feared that it would turn red before I got to the intersection.  And not give me the time that I needed to rest.  I figured that If I stopped for the light and only the light then I would be able to force myself to run the rest of the way home because the stop would have been forced by fate.  But if I stopped by choice, my spirit would be broken and I wouldn't get going again, which would have been that bad considering how close I was to home.  But, this was becoming a point of pride with me and I wanted to finish this run.  Luckily the light didn't turn until just before I got to the corner and I got to enjoy on glorious cycle of the light including a green turn arrow before I started running again.  I did the last .88 in 8:49.39 which is 10:00 min. mile pace.  When I got home I was beat and dripping sweat.  Hiroko had just arrived home from work described my aptly as Gross, which was not only how I looked but also how I felt.  But, I had done my duty and paid tribute to the Gods of running by taking advantage of the bountiful day they had provided me.

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