This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I don't know if all runners feel this way but one bad run can sure fuck me up.

I feel defeated. I lost the game and it was all my fault. I feel like "who do you think you are? you are no stinkin' runner. You _think_ you are, but really, you're not. And most of all, you suck trying to be one."

Forget all the runs I did prior to the bad one. Forget the highs, the PRs, all the amazing feats prior to that bad run. I coast on the coats of a minor runner depression.

Until redemption...

And redemption came to me today.

A few weeks ago, you may recall my Run from the Water post. This would be the "bad" run. Forget that I ran 8, 9, 10, 11 miles successfully. It's the 12 mile run that I DID NOT finish that fucks with me.

I run fine afterwards. Having really good run days since.

But today was another planned 12 mile run. Well, it should've been a 13 mile run, but because I was a wussy, I was set back to trying a 12 mile run again.

During my morning commute to work, I was struck with a plan for my 12 mile route. I would run from my front door into Umstead, which is a major -- and absolutely magnificently beautiful -- park here in Raleigh.

It is a safe route -- right on sidewalks along major roads. So I would be safe from the predators that are just waiting to pounce on me. So my warped brain says.

It was the Duraleigh walker--now-runner who inspired this route.

She is someone I see nearly everyday on my route to work. Fortunately, I am not a predator or I guess I could figure out how to take her because I see her so often. But instead, I am a distant admirer.

She walks the entire length of the road. I don't know where she starts, but she is out there often, rain, cold, heat, whatever. Sometimes I see her with her man, as they cuddle in the cold. But most times, just her. No headphones. Just her and nature.

For the past few months, I've seen her running. Even as far into Edwards Mill, running towards Duraleigh. So on Friday, I saw her running and I thought "you know! she runs from Umstead. I can do that!"

So I explained my route to Tim. Approximately seven miles to get to the Umstead entrance on Trenton Road, then the remaining five through Umstead to the Old Reedy Creek/Black Creek intersection. That should be close to 12 (and, proudly, I was right).

Tim would drive to Old Reedy Creek, mountain bike through some of the Crabtree trails, then meet me at the Trenton Road entrance and run the five miles with me to the car. So a tough workout for him -- a brick workout.

We estimated a time that I would end up at the Trenton Road entrance. Maybe an hour and 20 minutes; 1 hour 30 minutes at the most. I got there in 1 hour and 13 minutes. woo-hoo!

I shocked even myself! I texted Tim when I turned onto Reedy Creek Road at 57 minutes: "FYI I'm just turning on Reedy Creek". Then when I got there, I texted "I'm here". Then I called. I figured he wouldn't hear the phone on the bike, or be able to get to it.

So I waited about 10+ minutes and he came roaring towards me with big eyes. He was impressed that I was there already. :-)

After he locked up his bike, we hit the trail and the first part is wonderful because it goes down. After that, it's shitty until the last two miles. And believe me, that's a loooooooonnnnnng time.

Tim was awesome at keeping my pace brisk. It wasn't intentional, but because it was just a good damn day for me to run, I wanted to go with the flow.

And we did. We finished 12.32 miles in 2 hours and 2 minutes. WOW. That is amazing for me. And I had negative splits the last five miles, hitting sub-10 mn/mile pace.

I will remember this day for the rest of my life. Aw, who am I kidding. Once I have a bad run, this day will mean nothing.

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