Vamos a Valencia

RSD 58

If one were to listen to the universe or believe in signs, one might be cajoled into believing today’s Day One Run (in which we will not address how words that don’t look alike can rhyme, #englishishard) was not meant to be.

But fuck you Universe … I finished it anyway.  And I’m over the moon.

I’ve been waiting for quite a while for today.  It’s exactly 14 weeks before the Valencia half, and there’s been a new 14-week program in the pipeline for a good long time now.  Based on some chats I’ve had, for now it seems said program is basically the fitness equivalent of Godot. Or the man my realtor says is coming to fix the bathtub that he broke several months ago.

Rather than dwell on what’s not gonna happen, I’ve decided to go back to my old pal Rochelle and follow her 12-week half training program. She had me huffing and puffing and wheezing and sometimes swearing when I used her 10k program, and not only was I pleased with my results, but downright surprised. I made gains. I set PRs. I had fun (in a masochistic sort of way) doing it and I got faster and stronger and I started feeling like a runner.

So here we are. Me and Rochelle. The next adventure begins.

I ran after my padel class today. I was too hot and too tired after work and so, despite knowing that running at 9pm is rubbish for my sleep, I decided to do it anyway.  I futzed with my FrickBit to see if the GPS was going to work this time. It wasn’t.  As I opened up Strava to do my tracking, the FrickBit vibrated, telling me it had decided to connect despite itself.

I pressed play on the Aaptiv app and heard nothing.

Oh.  I didn’t have my AirBuds in my ears. Or on my person.

Back to the flat (which is only a block away, but still).

Came home, rummaged around, couldn’t find them.  I knew I had them this morning because I was reliving last night’s Goo Goo Dolls concert on my ride to work this morning.  “Better Days”, indeed.

I fired up “Find My Phone” (Bobby, seriously … how many apps can be mentioned in one post?) and it seemed I left them at the university.

Fine, I’ll jog over there and pick them up.  Rochelle won’t mind if I take a quick pause, and I’m going to repeat this workout in 2 weeks anyway.  I grabbed a wired set of earbuds and, feeling like a Philistine, set off on Day 1 after making sure the FrickBit connects to GPS a second time.

I got to school and there were three security guards outside.  Not real security guards, mind you, but the guys that the University contracts out to wear brown uniforms and look, I dunno, security-ish. They are more of a presence than a function, I’ve always thought.

I told them my situation and that my auricilares muy especiales were either in my classroom or in lost and found.  They told me that they couldn’t get into either the classrooms or the security office where Lost and Found lives.

“Pero, ¿eres ‘seguridad’, no?”

“Claro que si, pero no tengamos llaves.”

Security guards without keys.  Nice.  At least my suspicions about having a lack of function were confirmed.

So the jog continued.  Which really wasn’t a jog, because we’re back in Rochelleville and why would she ease you into a running program when you can do throw in some tempo-pace sections.

And we’re running … not just putting in slow junk miles … really running on Day 1.  She did this to me during the 10k training.  So at least I’m not surprised.

But I am surprised.  I’m surprised how, after doing these runs with her and other trainers over the past six or so months, what I think is my tempo pace (they say faster than a jog, slower than a sprint … I say a little faster than race pace) is not only doable, but if feels good to be doing it. I am such a better runner than I was when I first fired up this app, on a whim, in Seville last December.

So I zig-zagged through Poble Nou, following her instructions (jog here, run here, keep this tempo pace for how much longer? and then just doing it) and knowing that my form is better and it has a function.  I come to intersections and can’t cross because there’s traffic and it doesn’t matter, just turn and see what’s down the next street.  You’ll get home eventually.  It’s all good.

Honestly, I’m running and I’m thinking that, despite all the things that I could let irritate me and that I had to move past to be doing this run, right now, right here, It. Is. All. Good. 

Mid-foot strike.  Controlled breathing.  Opening up my stride.  Staying light on my feet Making sure I don’t get run over by a taxi or cyclist when crossing the street. Mindful running.  All good.

Form AND function.

Not like those worthless security guards.

And we cross the finish line.

The apps are synching and I’m well pleased with average mile pace.  I wonder if someday even on the “slow” days it will ever get to be below 10″ miles.  But that’s for another day.

I’m done.  I’ve screencapped the workout (sans confetti) and I’ve sweaty-selfied and I’m home now and it’s time for a shower.

And I don’t have my house keys.


I’m a brown uniform short of being a University security guard.

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