Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tonight I decided to test my body and see where I am, healing wise. I thought an evening run would be nice, since I hadn't done one since Berkeley, and missed it dearly. I chose to run along west cliff because it was a nice paved path, only 2 miles long so I couldn't get too carried away, and I thought it'd be relatively safe, with houses all on one side. Plus, running by the ocean sounded lovely and poetic. I packed layers and my headlamp, since I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be like, and I wasn't sure about the lighting along there.
It was a perfect 55 degrees, which felt a little cold at first, but was perfect in my long sleeved shirt and shorts. All you traditionalists will yell at me, but I *almost* wore headphones, as part of what I love in running alone is getting to listen to music. It's part of my special running time :) But, I was going to be running by the ocean, and I figured it would be nice to be kept company by the sounds of nature. And it was. I loved the variations in sound of the waves break, the seals and sea lions barking, the wind. The endless stream of waves constantly coming in was amazing. There was just enough light on the water to see them in their relentless form, and see the huge breakers on the shore. There were a few others out, but it was pretty dark in spots and I was able to relish in being alone. I was glad I had the headlamp, though I had it out probably half the time, as it made me feel a bit safer :)
Overall, my body did pretty well. I ran about 3 miles or so, for 35 minutes. I tried really hard to listen to my body, and when I started to hear that calf a bit, turned around (okay, I still ran for a few more minutes, but I did turn around relatively soon after hearing it!). I'll see how I feel tomorrow, which I think will be the trying test. Right now I feel it a bit, but not too much. I'm thinking I'll swim tomorrow and just keep doing small chunks, but, boy, was it nice to be out there!
I had forgotten about how you get all warm after a half mile or so, and the slightly chilled temperature becomes perfect. I forgot how strong and natural it feels to run. I forgot what it felt like to run "fresh". Yes, I've lost fitness, but I started the run not sore, and it's been so long since I've done that. I was so tired at the end of my 50 miler training that I think I was just always sore. It was amazing to feel springy and free.
Lest it all sounds too perfect, there were some other things I forgot about that weren't as great. Mainly, I forgot that as much as you want to be alone in your run, sometimes the few others out there just won't let you. I ran by some charming gentlemen towards the end of my run who yelled, as I went past, "you f***ing hippy S.O.B" expletives in their full glory. However, that comment made absolutely no sense as I'm not a man, and nothing about my headlamped wicking fabric adorned running self said hippy, so I let it roll over me, like the waves rolling in from the ocean. The men saying it were, I believe, on a drug of some kind (and smoking something or other) so I don't think they were really all to cognisant of reality. A car went by and people yelled (slightly ambiguous whether this was aimed at me) and someone else honked at me, which I don't really get, but whatever. The evening was so perfectly beautiful that these things don't matter.
At the very end of my run, I ran past a church just as the bells starting tolling for 7 pm, and it was beautiful. Hearing the bells while looking over the water and just taking in the night air. This is going to be my regular night running spot and I'm looking forward to many more moonlight filled evenings.
Thank goodness I'm (at least slightly) back