Thursday, April 19, 2007

Running Naked

well, technologically speaking at least :)

I drove up to the firetrail today all set to do a 3 mile out and back, accompanied by my garmin and my ipod.

Well, the ipod wasn't there (not sure where I've misplaced it...) and the garmin's battery was dead (forgot to charge it), so I was out of luck.

Now, I sometimes enjoy running sans ipod (and, indeed, haven't run with it in a few weeks) but I've really become dependent on the garmin, just because I like knowing how far I'm going. However, since there was no way around it, I headed up the trail all alone, planning to use my wrist watch to try to guesstimate a good turn around time.

As everyone always says, your fastest run is the one where you aren't timing yourself, and that really ended up being the case today. Somehow, all the consistent trail running I've been doing the last few weeks (I haven't used my road shoes at all in about 2 weeks, I think) has really paid off! For the first time ever, I was able to run the entire trail, except for the very steep connector (which I have now qualms walking). Even the connector, though, was easier to go up than usual. It was so exciting to run practically the whole thing. [According to local folklore, the legendary mile runner John Walker, on an extended visit to Berkeley in 1975, did repeat sprints up the connector shortly before he broke the world record in the mile. (His record of 3:49.4 stood until 1979, when it was broken by Sebastian Coe] And, I was much less worried about all the sounds than usuall. I'm starting to get used to the sounds that birds make in brush, so when I hear that now I no longer think it's a mountain lion ;).

Well, I felt so good, that I decided to just do the whole trail, going 7.5 miles instead of the planned 6. Coming down after the turn around, I just kept having thoughts about how exciting it is that this is me. The unathletic, slow, and fairly weak person that I used to be is now this strong, fun, running person, and its just so cool. I remember distinctly the first time I ran on the firetrail. I did maybe 5 miles of it, and it was just about the toughest thing I had ever run. It was so painful and so hilly and I actually pinched a nerve in my shoulder because I was trying so hard to keep up with my friend on those hills. I really just hated it.

And now it just doesn't feel all that hard. I'd like to be able to run the whole thing someday, connector and all, but for now I'm very satisfied by what I can do. As Diablo gets closer, I'm happy to feel like I might not suck so much at hills after all :)


Meg said...

Addy- Sounds like a great run! I love going out for a run without my watch or anythin from time to time. As far as running and feeling like thats who you are, I get that too! Lately I have just felt like I've lost my sense of self, like I'm not even a person any more....but when I run, thats just me. Its familiar and I can go back to the person I normally am.

Lloyd said...

Nice run Addy.

First, thanks for the photos of the east bay. Growing up in Hayward, it brings me a little bit closer to home.

Also, good job adjusting without the garmin. As you start to run longer distances, sometimes alone in the middle of a race, you will find those situations where you'll have to pull off a contingency plan.

Be safe out there. Enjoy,

mtnrunR said...

ignorence is bliss i say sometimes. heck, Dan Browne, a Nike sponsored marathoner, set his PR in Twin Cities without having a watch on that day a few years back.

liked reading about your run.

The Mule said...

There are no angry kitties that are interested in dropping out of the trees to eat trail runners! Come on! You might as well turn your paranoia to being afraid of something less elusive and more useful like lightening strikes, The Abominable Snowman, Dean Karnazes, etc.

Admitedly, I have had some rattlesnake near misses here in the Appalachian so that is my personal monster at night. I just dismiss it and get on with living and running.

RSD_Terry said...

You shouldn't knock the running naked bit, until you've tried it. Bay to Breakers is coming up. hahaha! ;-)

Every once in a while it's nice to run without all the electronic gadgets. ;-)