Went out today for Day 2 of Rochelle’s plan, which on paper was an endurance run. I always like the slow, steady endurance runs.
I had two intentions:
- Log four miles, even if it meant running a bit longer than the 40 minute recording.
- To just be present and notice things.
Job done. Along the way, I noticed …
I noticed when Rochelle said we’re going to do tempo sets during what I thought would be a steady-paced endurance run, my first impulse was “seriously?” but I pretty much immediately said, “okay, why not?”
I noticed that maybe I’m more flexible than I thought, at least when it comes to adapting expectations to what actually happens.
I noticed my hip flexors, and I need to work on stretching them a little more or I’m gonna have to re-classify my half-marathon entry into the wheelchair competition.
I noticed the second tempo set felt a bit more natural, and even though I had intended to just go by feel, I couldn’t help but look at the FrickBit and I was cruising along at about 8″35′, which is a bit faster than my race pace. Feeling good about that, and noticed that definite progress has been made in the past 6 months.
I noticed that they’d re-landscaped the Cascada Monumental in Park Ciutadella and replaced one level with a vibrant green lawn. Oh wait, that’s actually a thick coating of algae. Even so, it’s a nice color.
I noticed it’s nice to run through the park every now and again instead of just out and back along the beach.
I noticed how nice it was to find shade during a 30°C / 86°F run.
I noticed you can’t always find it, but you just keep running.
I noticed my slower, steady jog pace was a little faster (and a little easier to hit) after a few tempo pushes.
I noticed that running a different route seems to make the time go faster. I thought I was about a quarter of the way through the run and was actually closer to half. Breaking up the run into tempo / jogging intervals probably helps as well.
I noticed I was passing more people than normal. Not just the croquette-filled abuelas in their boxy sundresses (were they sundresses or caftans? suncafts?) and and wedged huaraches, but actual runners: the couple who were jogging through the city, one with a water bottle, the other with a half-unfolded map (the kind the concierge gives you, with a big You Are Here circling the hotel); the petite woman with a punk haircut, heavy metal tattoos covering her bod, and super short, hot-pink Hello Kitty running shorts.
I noticed that running through throngs of tourists down by the Port started off as annoying, but then I quickly reframed it as a game, trying to weave through the slow-starting crowd at the beginning of a race.
I noticed that rows of palm trees planted in little square allotments of earth within a sea of asphalt make a path to run through, like a little runway, or the corralled lanes taking you to the finish line.
I noticed that when the app suddenly stops and you’ve got ten minutes left there’s no need to panic, just hit pause on the FrickBit and reset everything. It’s just a training run. Life goes on, you reset and keep going. Even if it means you find yourself in a groundhog’s tempo set. (What do you mean, “just two more minutes at tempo pace”? I already did this one. Okay, I’ll do it. I’m flexible, right?)
I noticed that I didn’t find myself counting down in my head for the intervals to finish. Sometimes I channel Kimmy Schmidt and just count to ten over and over.
I noticed the middle-aged man slouched back on a bench along the beach promenade, bare belly proudly hanging over his 80s gym shorts, puffing on his e-cigarette. I wondered what it would be like to just give up and not care about how I looked, and how free he must be feeling.
I noticed I didn’t miss smoking at all. Almost three years now. Or is it four?
I noticed there’s no shade when you really want it, and that sun was starting to feel really hot on my back.
I noticed that with 90 seconds left to go at a jog pace, there’s no way that I’m not going to ramp it up and push a bit harder to the finish.
I noticed that the headache (allergies or that martini I’d had for desert on the cute new terrace at The Arts Hotel? Hmmm. ) I’d woken up with had disappeared at some point during the run.
I noticed an old man (honestly, he must have been in his late 60s, and I guess old is relative, but … ) mocking my hip flexors by stretching out against a tree, his foot planted firmly against its trunk, placed at about face level, if not higher.
I noticed that after 4.3ish miles, I had found my inspiration for the day. I will high kick that tree one day.