Monday, August 27, 2007

Mind Games

Wow...today was one crazy busy day at work, and tomorrow looks to be much of the same. I was once again running late today and I opted to take the $17 penalty and drive into town and park. I was pretty late leaving the office and sitting in traffic on my way home had me questioning my decision to vehemently drive standards over automatics and any energy I had left was draining the closer I got to home. But I had at least 5 miles to knock out tonight and I didn't want to bail, but I could feel a total stonker coming on. I needed some mental motivation outside of the usual encouraging phrases I say to myself on my run. Things like - "slowing down is for sissies...suck it up...you show that hill who is boss." Right.
"OK Leana, let's make a deal. Go home, feed the dogs, change and get your butt out the door and whatever you do, do not sit down. And you can wear your iPod...""What? Really? Are you sure you want to go there?" Desperate times call for desperate measures.
I really don't talk a lot about the whole running with music thing on here at all, but there was a day when I didn't think running without music was possible. After all, if I paid too much attention to how far I was running, then I might not make it, and music always proved a useful diversion. At times it was a pain though - like at the Pacific Spirit Run in 2001 when I was running with my trusty Walkman but I forgot the tape. Who wants to lug a silent Walkman around? (I pr'ed that race though...) Or at the Sun Run in 2006 when my trusty mp3 player froze up at the 3 km marker and I had to lug a silent mp3 player around. It wasn't until my first run in Calgary when I hit the pathways and I found out that you had better pay attention to the bikes whizzing around you or else... I then decided I was going to try this running thing au naturel and until this evening I hadn't looked back.
Tonight I needed that diversion, so I grabbed the shuffle and headed out the door to Edgemont - the ridiculously hilly neighborhood nearby. It is a pretty quiet pathway, so no worries about dodging cyclists tonight. For the first half a mile I wasn't convinced that the iPod was going to do the trick though. But then all of a sudden I found myself in a race with a roller blader....and I was winning. From there on out it started to get better and I was having a blast. The reason why I like running Edgemont is it is a great bargaining run - another mind game. I always tell myself on Mondays that I'll run 5 mi, but if things feel good I'll stretch it out to 6 mi. With the first half of Edgemont being mostly downhill I always seem to stretch it out to 6, which makes for an uphill slog all the way back to the car which I figure is probably a good character builder for San Francisco. I was grooving to the tunes and the hills were blowing by. And then I hit mile 5.37 and all that uphill running caught up with me. I thought I might get an encore of the sushi I had for lunch. Yikes. Thank goodness that was the second to last hill and it was another downhill cruise to the end. So there we go, 6 miles in the bag.
Oh, and as for the iPod thing - I loved the diversion and I think it really did help to avert a stonker, but otherwise I don't miss running with music too much. Once I hit the really long back to back runs I may need to pull that trick out of the bag though, because that will be a lot of one on one time with just myself.

3 comments:

Amanda said...

Interesting.. I really still can't run without something. I think it's because I don't like to hear myself breathing though... I can do it in races when there are people to watch but otherwise I'm a junkie.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Once again you're making me feel like a slacker. Good distractions are a necessary evil sometimes. You are just kicking butt with your training.

DGB said...

I'm exactly like Amanda, I was just telling R last night that I think one of the reasons I don't like swimming is that I hate hearing myself breath. Weird, I know, since breathing is the essence of life, but..... So I am a music junkie too, but I really think I should download some new tunes soon, once my runs get longer. KEEP GOING LEANA! You are quickly becoming my running hero!