Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sweet Morning Darkness

It was dark. Very, very dark. And I'll tell you about it at the bottom. First, I've got to catch up for the past two days.

Sunday: we went on a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was quite beautiful, and I enjoyed a run and a ride... sort of. First, I ran. Simple enough, I thought. We're staying at a lake, and I'll go running around the lake. Then, when I almost made it to the other side after just my five minute warm-up, I realized I'd have to rethink my plan. I took a trail, but that went almost straight uphill, so I certainly wasn't going to run that! So, between various wanderings, I jog-walk-hiked for about 25 minutes. But, I really did get a taste of the draw to trail-running when running downhill! I might have to really give that a shot one day. Reasonable distances, of course.

My Garmin flipped, too, claiming that I went absolutely no distance for my first fifteen minutes. Then, suddenly, it told me that my workout was done, because I had traveled over five miles! (No, no I didn't.)

Next, I went for a ride. Haha! Out of the campground, I had two choices: uphill or downhill. Not being a [complete] idiot, I figured I'd better go uphill first. Less than five minutes and half a mile into my ride, I thought about calling it quits, but figured there was no way I could return to the campground after less than ten minutes on the bike! (Probably less than six minutes, because I'd just cruise downhill.)

After some more climbing, I looked at my Garmin (working OK on the road) and saw I had gone 0.91 miles. OK, I could make it to 1 whole mile and then turn around. After negotiating a few more times (and taking a few long picture-taking breaks), I made it a little more than three miles out (and over 600 feet straight up) and decided to turn around when I realized I'd crested. Whee! The ride down was fun! I only hit 33 mph on the way down, but what exhiliration. And, what fun to know that I had conquered a - for me - monster hill! I shouted about my accomplishment to the unhearing world and even whooped once or twice. And, OK, I only averaged a little over 12 mph not including stops, but so what. That was hard! All three photos in this entry are from that bike ride. I LOVE the shot I got of the clouds! (Saved for last at the bottom.)

Yesterday: I rested. (Hey, work started today, so I deserved another recharge day).

Today: I got up at 4:15 and ran. For the first time, I completed my 2.5 miles without walking. Oh, it was hard. When I started, I thought, "This is wonderful. It's actually cold, it's beautifully quiet, I have solitude and the stars, and I'll definately make it the whole way. After the first mile, my confidence began to waver. In fact, I began negotiations - if you make it 2 miles, you can walk from there. You have to do 2 miles, because that's what you're doing Saturday. Then - do 2.25 miles, because you've done that before, so you can do it again. Finally, I tricked myself to complete the whole 2.5 miles, even "sprinting" the final 400 feet. (Sprinting here means a whopping 6 to 7 mph). Woohoo!

Sure, it took me 32:19 to run my 2.5 miles, for an average pace of 12:56. But, hey, I'm still sub-13-minute miles. That's not too shabby for a fat chick, I think. (Please don't correct me if I'm wrong. Grant me this bubble.)

Lessons learned on today's run: it's very, very, VERY dark when there's a new moon just two days away. It's also very beautiful. I briefly glanced at the stars (no stopping!) and marveled. Beyond that: wear gloves when it's cold! My hands were warm at the end, but for much of my run my legs were too warm and my hands were too cold. That brings me to my last lesson: wear running tights, not pants, when the temperature is in the 50's. I went shopping today and took care of both the tights and the gloves (as well as a few other not-needed-necessities, of course).

I should probably mention that I took precautions for running in the dark. I ran with a lit red armband (Nite Ize) and a newer addition to gear: my Lite & Motion hat with an LED. Wow, that LED is almost as good as the heavy flashlights I used as a child! I expected it only to be good enough so that others could see me, but it really worked as a flashlight on my head! Oh, and my shiny-new Road ID also got its first taste of sweat today. It's very nice, and I much prefer it to carrying around my driver's license.


Heather said...

Great blog!

Karen said...

Thanks! I appreciate the kind words!

I found your "Personal Responsibility" entry on your ad astra blog quite interesting. I'll comment more over there. :)