Friday, September 21, 2007

Day 211 - 156.2 Night Running

See, I knew the scale would be back up, even after I ran 4 miles last night and ate zucchini for my before-bed snack. The scale is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

Sophie had soccer from 6 to 7 last night, and when I got home, my husband had the baby boy in bed already, so it was easy to get Sophie settled down with Dad and a movie. I had warned Mark at work that he'd have the kids that night because I was going out for a run. And so there were no excuses--it was a nice evening with temps in the mid 80s and a light wind.

And my Road ID bracelet came in yesterday, so I felt better about running outside. My husband gets the mail everyday and as he gave me the package with the ID bracelet inside he said "what's that?" I pulled out my black mesh wrist band and replied "Oh, it's a Road ID. You know, in case I get hit by a big truck on my run they'll know who to call." He just stood there with this look on his face, as I'm showing him the phone numbers engraved on the silver plate. Then he said, "I guess that makes sense. But be careful, okay?" It was really sweet and kind of cute.

Anyway, I tucked my cell phone in my sports bra, grabbed my water bottle and headed out at 7:30. I did the loop around the neighborhood first so I wouldn't have to make that "Left turn/Right turn" choice at the end of my run, and got a solid mile done in just over 10 minutes. I was flying! It felt great. The rest of the run wasn't as fast, which was fine. There are several inclines (not really hills, but there's some elevation) and they slowed me down. I cut 2 minutes off my 4 mile pace from the day before, finishing in 48:10. No sunshine, lower temps, a water bottle, and no side stitches helped a lot.

Running at night was a completely unique experience. I took my Shuffle and listened to the B side of my song selections. I noticed a lot of smells that I didn't on the daytime run--someone was smoking a pipe, the dryer sheet smell from a clothes dryer exhaust (I love that smell), a musky fallen-leaf smell on a tree-lined street. I noticed that the street I drive down every day is lined with street lights. I mean, I knew they were there, I guess, but they've never meant anything to me before since my car headlights outshine them. Last night they were beautiful--an amber glow that illuminated mile 2. There was a good stretch down the tree-lined boulevard that was nearly dark; it's a half-mile long with only 2 street lights. That was strange--running without seeing my legs or arms or more than a couple feet in front of me. It's flat asphalt so I wasn't worried about tripping on anything, which is perhaps a bit naive, and I'm sure once I fall on a tree limb I'll rethink this attitude. I ran through a spider web, which was creepy and I just prayed I didn't take the spider with me (I hate spiders). Car lights cast my shadow to make me look like a super model, all stretched out and lanky.

The last mile was tough. I can tell I'm still building endurance and that 4 miles is far from easy for me. But I didn't have a choice and had to keep running to get home. I felt like walking because I was tired but instead ran faster, wanting to beat my previous 4 mile time and frankly just to get it done.

When I got in the house, I was sweating and panting and so happy that I did it. I heard my son crying, though, because he hadn't gone to sleep while I was gone, and Dad was trying to rock him to sleep. Big mistake--DH doesn't know that once the boy's in bed he stays in bed and only gets pats on the back, his passy and a sippy cup of milk if he's fussy. So I took over and had the baby back in his bed and quiet in about 3 minutes. My daughter was still up and needed PJs, but DH took care of her while I changed out of my sweaty clothes.

After she was asleep, I thanked Mark for taking care of them that night. He said he was so proud of me, just in awe of what I am doing. That a year ago it was impossible to imagine me going out at night and running 4 miles. And it was impossible back then.

It surprises me still, that this is who I am now. It also excites me to imagine what next year holds.


Tigerlilly said...

I love your stories of running... and the fact that you started where I am now. It makes me have hope that this time next year you will be reading my story of running 4 miles!

The running ID bracelet is a great idea. Will have to remember that next spring when I will start to venture outside to run.

Great job completing your 4 miles.. and remembering your water bottle!

Marcy said...

You weren't scared at all? I get so creeped out when it's dark out. I always feel like there is a criminal lurking behind every bush. I have to go without the tunes too (you know, so I'll hear someone trying to chase after me from behind LMAO!)

Grumpy Chair said...

It sounds like you had a great run. Loved your descriptions of the smells. That is what I miss about walking outside, the smells in the neighborhood: from perfumed dryer sheets to dinner smells and outdoor grilling (probably not the best smells if dieting).

I never thought about an ID bracelet before. That is so smart.

I think I would be a little afraid to run at night. But I still look for the boogey man under my bed everynight.

Have a great weekend.

Lori said...

Your description of your shadows, the neighborhood, the smells -- all were wonderfully written and very vivid.

I am proud of you for running at night (I would be scared to do that) and glad you have the running ID bracelet. Your husband said all of the perfect things to you. You deserved to hear that!

ws said...

your muscles retain water from running so you can blame the scale movement on running if you want to...great job on the 4 miler...but a cell phone in a sports bra. I can't imagine the pain.

I guess I don't really think about the darkness anymore because I leave two hours before sunrise. There are virtually no cars on Palm Beach at that hour and few street lights. Running in darkness seems to have improved my balance though. My shadow sneaks up on me from time to time and makes me nervous and I do plenty of 'almost falls' on cracks in the sidewalk/street that I can't see, but it is all part of the game.

in this instance, I think hindsight is a wonderful thing - to see exactly how far you've come is only motivation to keep going. have a great weekend.

Pokey said...

Downy smell from the dryer of the very first smells I noticed when I first began running. It's the best! (and I am now glad someone else shares this same weird enjoyment, LOL!)

I used to run at night all the are okay, but only in one ear. I keep the other one peeled for Marcy's criminals!

Congrats on conquering the impossible! :)

Vickie said...

good for you! I know the feeling of where you are and where you were. I think about that stuff too, all the time.

spider webs are a fact of life in the middle of the night - they tend to be in exactly the same places - spiders rebuild each night - so you will know where to look for them.