Earning My (Running) Stripes

I think I’ve crossed the ultimate aspiring running geek hurdle:  getting a good run in before X (insert good thing or event).  Sure, I can drag my rear out of bed when I know I’ll have a vexacious or hellacious day and know I’ll need the adrenaline to keep me from tantrums or bad behavior, but I’ve really become attached to those runs that mark good events, milestones, or occasions.

Proof:  I kicked off my birthday two months ago with a great morning run to set the morning runs into gear, I had an amazing final pre-carnival run that confirmed my endurance for the dancing and debauchery that came after, and this morning, I set off on my longest-ever run to get a good glow (and sense of virtue) before setting off for Puerto Rico tomorrow.

I was so excited about the run that I spent all day yesterday plotting a playlist (that came halfway through, no thanks to itunes–y’all know how I despise itunes) and obsessing, and I barely slept because I kept waking up and thinking I shouldn’t be taking sleeping breaks while running.  Utterly ridiculous, I know.

This morning, I woke up to less coldiness than yesterday and jumped out of bed to run.  Everything had been set up, right down to plugged-in Nike+ and headphones.  No problems, no excuses!  Off I went to whomp it.

And whomp it I did!  I was so focused on the new playlist and keeping an even pace that I was shocked when NikePlusLady informed me that I was at the mile point, and absolutely ecstatic when the two-mile point came and went.

At mile three, I still felt great (none of the usual nausea, probably because I wasn’t running for time and therefore speeding) and when I saw two squashed frogs and the morning chickens on their walk, I took both as good signs.  I didn’t need more than a quick thirty-second walk break and, despite the fact that the soles of my feet started feeling a little put-upon, I felt absolutely fine.  I was distracted by the sights of the extra mile loop:

  • plenty of sneaky illegal hose usage on the extra mile loop (water shortage, people?  Worst dry season on record? Bet you’ll regret it when you’re washing with juice and baby wipes in May)
  • a group of about fifteen Chinese construction workers clearly living in the house they have been building and which is half built (no doubt about it–they were showering under pipes in the back of the house and performing all other morning ablutions)
  • a kid playing with his very scary-looking dog–with the gate open, eek
  • a man in a full-length overalls and big headscarf getup–in the morning’s already-sweltering 85 F!–mowing the lawn while ostensibly on the telephone

So distracted, in fact, that when the 400 meter mark came up, I was shocked–and I kept going right to the end, at which point there may have been some loud excited expletive-yelling from me as I jumped up and down in excitement.  I was so good that Lance Armstrong congratulated me.  Really!  I felt like I’d crossed a very important line between being able to run a 5k runner and being a distance runner, a significant indicator that yes indeed, I really am a runner.

And, with March 1 having been my official “observed” runniversary and four races in four months, I think it was about time I realized it, I think.

Final stats:  4.03 miles, 40:38, 10:05 pace.  Combined with my trip to Puerto Rico tomorrow and the realization that baseball season is less than a month away, I am unbearably giddy as can be.


Worn today, the last work outfit until March 15 and a recent favorite combo:

Charity shop shirt, Puerto Rico Marshalls skirt, Target boutique shoes, self-made smirk

Shirt detail--pardon the bad ironing job

As for the eating of champions, hunger got the best of me at breakfast and at lunch and there are no pictures of yet another bowl of banana oatmeal or of the reheated African sweet potato and vegetable peanut stew.  At least I remembered to snap before chomping at dinner-time:

Green bean, bok choy, garlic and sesame pasta

I’m off to finish packing!  Posting may be a bit sporadic for the next week but worry not–I’ll bring you as much Puerto Rico fun as I possibly can in between family gabfests, competitive eating, and lots of exploring.

2 Responses

  1. Yay! Well done and happy runniversary! I’m feeling most inspired by your running record and I even managed to go for a morning run yesterday and they really are the best. Hope you have a great time in PR and can’t wait to hear all about it!

  2. Awesome job! I’m totally inspired. Also, love your outfit. Cute colors. 😀

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