Sunday, June 23, 2013

Running Round-Up: Not-for-the-Weak Edition

Happy long run Sunday! Here's a round-up of what happened on my runs this week.

Why are so many freak-outs named after animals?
Here's a story. I was out on Thursday morning, about rush hour. I was crossing the street at an intersection and my light had just started flashing when I stepped off the curb to jog across. I was looking for turning vehicles (you're supposed to try and make eye contact for safety's sake, right?). A driver was turning left onto a two-way from a one-way street but he didn't really see me so had to brake abruptly. And then he honked at me.

I will concede that, since my light had indeed started flashing, perhaps I should have waited to cross. But honestly... dude can't wait three seconds for a person to cross the street? I'm sorry, but if you're late and in a hurry or think you can push some pedestrian around because you drive a Beemer and are late for work, that's not my problem. It's still my right of way, after all.

So what did I do? Without hesitation, mid-stride, I swung around - and totally gave him the finger. 

... and with conviction, as well. Clearly, not my most gracious moment. 

And then he honked at me again. Big surprise.

Am I proud? Hmm. Does it make me a bad person if I answer that question with a yes? 

I know, I know. Love thy neighbour, do unto others, yadda yadda. But let me tell you something: this isn't really me. I'm one of those people who, in an argument, is unable to think of the comeback or witty, smart ass retort until days later. I'll fret over not being able to think on my feet and even when I do think of what I could have said, it bothers me that I didn't think of it sooner. 

So for this to have happened? So quickly, and naturally, and without pause? I dunno - but what I can tell you is that I laughed about it the rest of my run. Hell, I'm even smiling just thinking back on it now.

I chalk it up to this: he had a cow, so I gave him the bird. End of story.

Introducing: My Self
Having run three marathons and now training for my fourth, upon looking back I can almost attach themes to each round of training. The first was definitely Motivated by Fear. The second was probably something along the lines of Marathons are Great! Let's Do Another, as I remember feeling so inspired after finishing the first. And the third was Coming Back from Injury.

Up until this week, training had been such a slog. I'd missed a couple of shorter runs toward the end of last week and over the weekend. I knew that if I missed my 13 km run I was going to have real trouble making up the distance but I did not want to go out there. Somehow I did - and my Self battled against me the whole time.

Normally if I'm not feeling very motivated, I can almost "trick" myself into just running anyway. It might be heading out the door at some ungodly hour before my brain realizes what's happening. Or maybe getting dressed to run a shorter distance and then ending up running for longer. Or sometimes it's even just plain old guilt - always a good standby option.

But this version of my Self is interesting. It fought me tooth and nail to turn around, almost goading me to immediately stop what I was doing and go back. Somehow - maybe it was instinct, or who knows what - I kept running. It wasn't until about 11 or 12 km in that my Self finally gave in and said, "Fine. Let's just finish this damn run then. But so help me if you decide to run any further... !"

After finishing that day, I'd thought that having to fight with my Self to get out there on long runs was going to be the norm - the theme for this marathon. But surprisingly, the rest of this week's running has been incredible: fast (for me), fluid and fun. It's been an absolute joy to be out there.

I can only assume that my Self has given in to the inevitability that, yes, this is happening again. Another marathon is coming. Hopefully, it will stay away - but if not, it's nice to know that I'm able to work past it.

Captain's Log, Stardate 6.23.2013
Today's run: 16 km. Weather: overcast and a little muggy, some slight drizzle toward the end. Feeling: pretty great.

There's a lot happening running-wise around town these days, with spring races and so many runners beginning training for fall events. I had the pleasure of indirectly experiencing today's Scotiabank Half Marathon, as I inadvertently ended up on the course for certain sections of my run. I cheered on a few people who were at their 18 km mark and almost three hours in (yowza) before turning off to go my own way. 

Great job!
Props to everyone who finished the Scotiabank and MEC events today, as well as all of the Tough Mudders out in Whistler (you crazy bastards know who you are)!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rain, Rain, Come Again

I've been waiting for a weekend like this. It's been cloudy and overcast and raining ... and it was just what I needed to re-energize

While everyone else moans about how gloomy the weather has turned, I haven't been able to get enough of it. Sunny and 10°C is great, because it's still cool. But as soon as it turns sunny and 20°C in Vancouver, people lose their minds and head out to the seawall and beaches en masse. 

It's fine. I mean, I get it. This is the downfall of having to live in a city that is so beautiful. But I've never been a "crowds" kind of person; being around too many people at any given time stresses me out and makes my blood pressure go up. I guess that's why I've always preferred running by myself, charting running routes away from the popular tourist hot spots around town, and avoiding the Sun Run altogether. I am an introvert, at heart.

But I've been stoked about this weather all weekend. The showers deter fair-weather city-dwellers, tourists, dog-walkers, and families from being outside, which means not having to jockey for space, dodge baby strollers, or swerve around errant dog leashes. The clouds and breeze keep things nice and cool and help to ensure no overheating takes place.

In short: it's been awesome.

Today's run: 13 km. Weather: freaking brilliant, as per blog post. Feeling: amazing. 

Since I did not have my camera with my on today's run (big surprise), I'm sharing some old pics I took a few years ago while out on runs in similar weather. Love how the greys help to accentuate the blues and reds. Great lighting.

Group kayaking, English Bay.

Lone kayaking, False Creek.