Gutting It Out On a Run

This morning in church a friend, and former runner, came up to me and said, “I saw you gutting it out on a run yesterday.” Boy, his choice of words couldn’t have been better. It was a tough one.

I ran 9.5 miles on an out and back route. It is generally uphill for the first half, though the hills are rolling so you don’t get as much of a sense of one half being significantly worse than the other.

What was difficult is that I had no thought of any kind of wind on my way out. It wasn’t until I hit the turn around point that I realized that I had a tailwind pushing me the whole way. Though it wasn’t strong, the 5-7 MPH wind was very noticeable on the way back. By the time I hit the 6 mile mark I was ready to call my wife to come get me. I talked myself out of it, but it was tough. I even had the phone out and ready to make the call one time. I decided to try to make it one more mile before calling. By the time I finished that mile I was within a half mile from home.

“Oh! That was you?”

Also this morning in church one of the ladies came up to me needing to tell me something. She said, “I was thinking yesterday when I passed you while I was out walking I should tell you this.” I know I looked puzzled. I asked her when she saw me while she was out walking. She said that she had talked to me and I waved at her. It was then that I remembered there was someone who passed on the other side of the road, but I didn’t recognize her so I completely forgot about seeing someone yesterday.

When she reminded me of the encounter this morning I remember thinking at the time that whoever it was talking to me mistook me for someone she knew, because I certainly didn’t recognize her. I thought that she was probably embarrassed when I spoke to her and she realized she didn’t know me. I was the one slightly embarrassed when I realized this morning that I should have known her.

Ball of String

picture of the string I found

One of the fun things I enjoy while running is to see some of the odd things on the side of the road. Besides the tree full of 15 buzzards, I found a bunch of twine. I saw one piece that was probably 1/2 mile long. I kept thinking I would pick it up and bring it home as I ran by. But I talked myself out of it.

Then when I saw a broken section, I decided to pick up the second string. As I wound it up I finally came to a parking lot where I saw the string was wrapped around a couple of poles and probably would not pull loose. I didn’t have any way to cut it, so just threw the big bundle I had over into the parking lot.

At the end of the parking lot I saw the string again and decided to ignore it this time. I continued to watch it as I ran along. Not too far away, maybe a quarter mile, I saw the end of the twine and it was bundled up already. I found the source of twine and knew where the other end terminated. This time I picked up the bundle and started winding up what I had already run past.

All this happened between about mile number 6 and 7. It provided 10 minutes worth of entertainment on an otherwise difficult return run.

Working Towards Half Marathon Distance Again

It has been a long time since I ran a half marathon. This is a distance that I call my favorite race length. Yet, it has been almost 2 years since I ran a half marathon. It is time to take care of that.

I have been working on longer runs each week and trying to be more consistent in my workouts. Though traveling has thrown me off a little, I have still managed to get some longer runs each week. This week was an 8 mile run.

The last couple of Saturdays have been difficult days to run (if I have been home). I decided that I would do my longer run during the week. I am a morning runner, but running for 8 miles (1 hour 30 minutes) means I would actually have to be disciplined and get up early before going to work. That meant I had to do an afternoon run if I was going to accomplish the task.

Tuesday was chosen as that day. I planned to leave the office at closing time (4:00 pm) and run the 8 miles to my house. Of course, things rarely go as planned. I was on an international phone call until 4:45. By the time I got changed and out the door it was a little after 5:00. I was concerned about it getting too dark before I got home, but I had 30 minutes to spare when I got there.

My wife was gone that afternoon and I was in charge of serving supper for the rest of us. Fortunately, she threw everything into the crock pot so that I did not have to actually make supper. The kids were ready for me to be home by 5:30 or 6:00. I finally arrived at 6:45.

When riding my bike back and forth to the office it is exactly 8 miles. However, when running I can take a couple of short cuts. I ended up having to run 2 houses past mine before the GPS on my phone said I reached 8 miles.

As I have always considered 8 miles to be mentally difficult, I know that I can do any distance now. Don’t know when I will get my 9 miles in, but I am looking forward to these long distances again.