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Taking a Step Back to Move Forward

Posted Jul 26 2008 10:16am

I hate this part of training for a marathon.

You build for a few weeks and then, boom, run a shorter distance for your long run in order to head off injuries and regroup.

As I was preparing for this morning’s run last night, I kept thinking I was going to go between 10 and 11. I had my route planned out, but then I realized I needed to check my Garmin for the exact miles I needed to run.

Then it hit me: I had to step back this week and do only 7.

Now, for a while seven seems like a lot. Then you do 8, 9, and seven seems small.

Especially when you are pumped up for a longer run.

It is difficult around here to do anything between 3 and 7.5.

To get anywhere nice to run would be a total run of at least 6.5.

The ocean is a 7.4 round trip, and if I do that, I don’t really get to run along the ocean on the bike path; I simply get to run to it, stop and see it, then run back.

And the issue is really that run itself: Down a busy road. Nothing to look at but cars going by way too fast. Nothing to smell but exhaust. I hate it.

So this morning, when I thought I was doing the longer run, I had planned to run to a park. It’s about two and a half to the park, then I could run around the park for a while, then the two and a half back. SO, five miles, at least half of the run, would be spent looking at nice things: Trees, ducks, water.

Instead, I had to do seven miles through our surrounding neighborhoods.

I saw a few funny things. The first was a shooting star. The crazy thing is that it seemed to be RIGHT THERE in front of me. I kept thinking if I turned a corner I might run over it. Then it made me consider what shooting stars were actually made of, and if they were only gas or some debris, so I contemplated that for a while.

I saw a lot of stray cats. This gets me around here. No one keeps their cats inside and we live in the city. It’s really annoying, because they often get in our back yard and pee and poo. Then they chase the birds away, so I have stopped hanging up our bird feeders, which my daughters love, in an effort to get rid of the cats.

Anyway, over all it was okay, but not so great. I really looked forward to the longer run, having this destination in mind and knowing when I got there it would be a pretty run. I’m so sick of running in the city. I hate it. I hate the cars, the noise, the trash. There is this one bum on one of these streets. He camps out at the opening of the development. I can never remember where he is going to be until I run up on him, and then it is too late to step away and I’m always afraid he’s going to reach out and grab me. Today I listened to my music for most of the run, because I was so disappointed about just doing the neighborhood run that I couldn’t shake it off and think the things I really wanted to think through.

Next week is a ten miler. I’ll head out to something pretty. I can’t wait.

At least i got my seven in. Now I can head off to ice skating class with my daughter. Last week I forgot to request a larger skate to take in my feet swelling after that long run, and the entire class i Thought my foot my break in half!

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