Thursday, April 05, 2007

Bad day, Good run

Well, nothing about this day went all that well. I let myself sleep in, only to be overwhelmed by a upsetting dream in which I was incredibly sad and depressed and had somehow let down all my friends. Woke up feeling like I was still in the dream and was uanble to shake it. Then I went out to my car to drive to work only to discover it was the victim of a hit and run. The driver's side view mirror was broken off, dangling by a single wire and there was a small dent in the door. Once I finally got to work, on of the toilets overflowed and I had to mop the floors and clean everything up. I honestly just wanted to go home, curl into a bed and cry. Looking back, it wasn't that bad of a day, in the grand scheme of things, but I was just feeling so overwhelmed by everything, on top of all the papers that I have to write that I just cracked under the pressure.

But I needed to get my run in.

I tried to convince myself friday would be a good day for a run, I could just switch it, but I knew that if I wanted a successful long run saturday, I needed to get something in today. I compromised, "just 3 miles", I told myself. I've made a commitment to getting in at least 20 miles during the week, and I was 5 short, so I figured I could do three today and 2 friday to get in the total. I still brought my water bottle, just in case, but figured 3 would be the magic number.

Instead of running my normal route, I decided to head up into the hills and see if I could find the firetrail. Find it I did, but by the time I got to it my legs were burning so much that I couldn't convince myself to run too much higher. Still, I got up high enough to get a panoramic view of the east bay, and then started to decend.

However, when I got down a flight of stairs at the bottom of the trail, I happened upon the track above my freshman year dorms. Now, this track is where I ran my first consecutive 3 miles ever in my life. It's where I spent many afternoons trying to get in shape and get away from life. It probably is one of the most beautiful track locations anywhere. High in the berkeley hills, it's framed on one side by grassy slopes and on the other by a panoramic view of the bay area. I was just going to run across to the other side and continue on my run, but the track made everything so simple. I could just zone out and forget about life. Plus, every quarter mile, I was greeted with an amazing view. After every mile came to a close, I told myself that I would leave after the next one. As that mile got closer, I kept pushing it back. Soon, the sun was setting and I was in awe of Mt. Tam being bathed in the soft evening light. I kept hearing the child's voice inside me asking, "just a little bit longer?" So around and around I went. After I completed 6 miles up on the track, and the sun was out of sight, I decided it was time to head back.

Down I went the steep hill on the other side of the track, but I realized I still didn't want to go home. So, I instead turned right up a side street and ran behind the football stadium, where I got one last amazing view of the sunset, this time with the Campanile being framed by its light. Going down the other side of the stadium I was running under beautiful oak trees and hearing their leaves crunch beneath my feet. After coming out on the other side, I was ready to turn back.

I winded through the streets, through the neighborhoods, and eventually got back to my house, but at .35 of a mile. I need to end my runs in quarter miles (just a weird habit) so I ran up and down the street in front of my house until I got it to .5

I the end, I completed 11.5 miles with a 10:02 pace, including the one mile that took 13:35 minutes because it was so steep I had to walk up.

This run reminded me that I do have it in myself to get out there and run, even when it feels like the world is crashing down. I am much more capable than I often remember.

I'm so glad I went for a run tonight


Kim said...

Wow, that was a bad day. I'm glad it redeemed itself with an awesome run. Sometimes it really works itself out when you just 'go a little farther' and a 'little farther'. Nice long run!!! Have a good weekend!

Josh said...

Awesome run, and that pace is great too, I think you are ready for a new marathon PR!

RSD_Terry said...

Cool run. Great way to de-stress from a really bad day.

Sarah said...

Those kind of runs are the best! I have to say, its rare that I don't end a run feeling better than when I started. Well...maybe more tired, but running is the perfect drug!

Happy Trails! Sounds like you've found yourself a great group too.