7 days to Treherne, this would usually constitute a taper week, but I am not sure that is going to happen. I feel a couple of good runs might happen, to put me in to the comfort zone that I think I need to be in to be ready for next Sunday. All I am thinking right now, is 'Run, run, run', boy this is different from a year ago, when all I was thinking was 'Beer, beer, and more beer.'
Funny what a difference a year makes, in what you think is important in your life. Last year was all about the 'STUFF', I wanted the big screen tv with all the channels, the nice car, just simply all the toys. This year, I want to get rid of the tv and all the channels, I want to minimize all the 'crap' that we have collected over the years, I just want to go out and experience life and nature, to enjoy it for all it has to offer. Wow, I feel liberated.
Anyway, to get back to what I was originally writing about, 'The last long run before Treherne', we have to jump back to last night (being Saturday evening).
'It was a dark stormy night.......', just kidding it was actually a pleasant evening, about 17 degrees C, with blue skies. I was going to go out running with Gail to get a good run in prior to the taper week. Gail was working downtown, so she decided to run from work and we would meet up at the track at one of the high schools to do some laps. The goal was to run for 4 to 5 hours, and get as much mileage in as possible. I left the house about 6:00, and headed out wearing my running kilt, and carrying my VFF's as usual. I will admit, I was a little apprehensive at first about the kilt, as I was heading out by myself and it was very light out (the last time I went out was with both Nic and Gail and it was dark). Well that being said, it took about 2 minutes to hit my comfort zone, and from that point it was 'Who cares what people think, I am comfortable and that is all that matters.'
I headed from the house and decided to add a couple of miles by going the long way around to the track. This was done at a 9:00 min mile, a little quicker then I was originally intending, but I got into a groove and just decided to go with it. I did pass quite a few curious onlookers, including a older couple that actually turned around up the street to come back to I guess to confirm what they saw. I can imagine Fred and Ethel sitting in their car driving down the road, and Fred says to Ethel, "Did you see that? Was that somebody running with a kilt and no shoes?" and Ethel says "You must of been mistaken Fred, but lets go back to take a closer look". As it was definitely a much slower drive by, I just smiled and waved. Just some entertainment on the run. To be honest, I really don't care what people think nor say, I really believe that life is all about the 'Personal Choice', and this is mine.
Further down the road, I passed by a skateboarding park, which was currently packed with people, I did get quite a few thumbs up and a couple of whistles (still not quite used to that, might of turned a slight shade of red to match the kilt). It amazing to me that most of the younger kids and adults have more acceptance to getting away from the norm and being more of a free spirit. For this I am envious, and hope they never change (but unfortunately as they get older a lot of them are forced to conform to the norm, and thus lose their free spirit).
As I was running up to the track, I could see Gail running from the other direction, good timing as we arrived almost at the same exact time. After dumping some of the unnecessary items for the track (water bottle, cell phone, my VFF's that I was carrying), we hit the track. The intent was to run around the track for about an hour, so we did not to fast but at a steady pace. There always seems to be someone using this track, and tonight was no exception, we had a guy on roller blades being pulled around the track by his dog, a couple of other runners, a couple of walkers, and a couple arguing in the parking lot (never a dull moment). Nicole showed up with the kids and snacks about the mid point and we stopped to munch on some home made bannock and choc-zucchini muffins along with some Gatorade (need those calories). For the short time we stood there, we were swarmed by mosquitoes (damn, it's September they should all be dead by now), so we decided it was time to get moving again. We finished off the hour, not sure how many laps and or miles we did on the track, but we completed the goal that we set out for. It was now time to head out for some different scenery.
We grabbed our stuff, and headed out up the road, not exactly sure where we were going, just seeing where our feet would take us. We headed up P Avenue with the goal to run for another hour, and then Gail came up with the idea to stop for a beer once we finish the next hour to give us some more calories for the balance of the run. Me being a hasher, this sounded like a wonderful idea, and we were off to complete the next goal. Of course the hour was full of interesting looks and a comment from a lady walking her dog, "Doesn't it hurt to run with no shoes like that?" (She asked this, while pointing at my kilt), I politely said, "Not at all", I think she was still trying to process the no shoes then she saw the kilt. We carried on up the road, before heading north on SJ street back to N Ave. We passed by a fire truck and a police car at a call, and got a couple of looks, I don't know why this always brings a smile to my face, but it does.
We got to a local watering hole at pretty much the hour time, but I was trying to get my VFF's on, as I think it is not polite to go into a business with bare feet, and I was concerned about showing off my bare butt (and possibly other things) to the 2 women sitting in the window who were intently staring at me. I will say, I must learn how to bend over without exposing myself as well as how to sit with my legs closed (these are things guys never think about), so I don't give a free show every time I wear my kilt. I think Gail was seeing how uncomfortable I was and the time I was having trying to get my VFF's on, she suggested that we move on and she would grab a coke up the road. I agreed to this very quickly, so we headed out. Not to far up the road we found another little place that sold beer and it currently did not have any customers, so we ducked it there for our well deserved beer. I did get a couple confused looks from the three that were working, but them seemed quite happy to have us there, very friendly atmosphere, but I hope they are typically busier then they were at that moment. After Gail downed her beer, and I drank about 3/4 of mine (not a big fan of Moosehead), we headed out the door.
The one thing with stopping running and entering a building is, that I start to sweat very badly (not as much during the run, just once I stop). This happened at this point, and as we started running again, I thought I was experiencing some chaffing (in an area that I would definitely not prefer to chafe), under the kilt. Honestly, I really haven't had any chaffing to speak of to this point so I was just assuming this was what it was. Anyway, to make a long story short, it was not chaffing, just allot of sweating going on that was affecting the free swinging motion (I will leave this to your imagination). We carried on up the road at a decent pace, a couple more honks, a couple of whistles (I am still assuming these were all directed at Gail, because who would direct that towards the guy in the kilt?), just a normal day in a runners life. It was starting to get dark, and I was having a harder time picking up all the rocks and glass that were all over the sidewalk, so I had to concentrate hard to avoid as much as possible. This worked great until we got to a open field, and all the damn street lights were off (its great running for about a half mile in dark conditions when you can't see what you need to avoid). So during this time I stepped on a monster rock that hurt like a B***h, then I picked up some glass at the last moment, but still ended up with two pieces stuck in my left foot, I got one out, but missed the other (Nicole ended up digging it out of my foot the next day) which ended up really embedded in my heel.
We ran for about another mile or so, then stopped to walk for a bit, legs still felt good, but I had to answer the phone. We walked for about 1/4 mile, then went our separate ways towards home. I ran the last 2 miles in my VFF's as it was to dark to avoid anything properly without light (must remember to bring light next time if we plan on running after dark, makes life a lot easier), and kept about a 9:55 pace, not to bad. All in all, I ran for 3 hours 37 minutes and completed 17.5 miles (with a few stops and a walk along the way) this works out to a 12:25 mile and I could of kept running if I had needed too, so this makes me believe that I am ready for next weekend. Thanks Gail for spurring me on.
winding down in Chicago
4 hours ago