Running in a Force Field

4/15/11: 6.3 mi

Until today, I haven't run since Sunday. That's the longest stretch that I've gone without running since I started training. I've been less motivated to run without an end goal in mind (i.e., no running events in the near future). Gotta get back into that rhythm.

Nevertheless, the break got me hurtin' for this run even more -- a craving which was delectably quenched, thankfully.

I'm starting to run on muscle memory, now. My focus points still remain, but I now feel 'em in my body rather than think 'em in my mind. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that my arms and legs are doin' their thang without my brain, I unknowingly picked up my pace from 12 min/mi to 10:30/mi today. I somehow got faster when I wasn't paying attention. Thanks, hills.

I didn't have much time to run today because I had plans right afterwards, but I really wanted to go out by the water even though I knew that would take more time than I could afford.

I love bodies of water. I love the sound of running water. When I was an emo adolescent in high school, my teenage tribulations sometimes drove me to skipping out on whatever whack lesson the teacher was failing at giving (don't tell my students). I would escape to a nearby lake or beach (even cemetery... but that's a story for another time) to be alone with my thoughts. Water was my refuge. Oh, emo girl. Why are you so emo.

The technicalities of running no longer crowd my brain. However, I still do not want daily stresses or weekly dramas to take up any space in my running state of mind either. I used to zap these thoughts away. I didn't let 'em bully me. I quietly evaded them with focused distractions.

Today, I took each outside thought and whooshed it behind me. My ponderings became my propellant: the weightier the worry, the further forward I went. I felt each thought peel off of me and then shoot back behind me. Earlier feelings of powerlessness suddenly became my fodder -- my power.

It was a helluva week. Perhaps I was able to run an extra mile and go at it a little faster because I had a lot to burn off.

This run took me somewhere else, somewhere I'd never been before. Sort of literally, but also figuratively. Metaphysically. I used to greet passerbys on my runs, but I took notice of no one today. I find this somewhat ironic considering how my alertness was at an all-time high, as is necessary for outdoor urban quests. Running through my neighborhoods and trails means I'm constantly dodging and side-stepping un-even pavement, overgrown shrubbery, train tracks, and yes, even poultry. I was on a different plane than those walking around me. No one could touch me. I felt like I was in an electric force field bubble.

So trippy.

Anyway, enough of that. A little about this running path:
  • Even though I wanted so badly to run to the water, I took an unexpected turn Northward. It was a nice change of pace to have an expanse of marsh and plant life at my side. The grass was long, overgrown, and golden. It was beautiful. Not the overwhelming kind of beautiful, like a deep blue, dark ocean at night, or billions of stars in a country night sky kind of beautiful. It was a relaxing beautiful, in a muted tones, long grass swaying in the breezy sunlight kind of beautiful.
  • As I continued along, I started getting a little creeped out by the fact that I was surrounded on all sides by such tall shrubbery. Shrubbery tall enough for kidnappers and rapists to hide in. Then I got creeped out more when I found a beat up, abandoned day pack with some old clothes strewn around it peeking out of the long, dry grass. And then I found half of a sign that said "HELP MY G", and I got creeped out more more when I found the other half and it said "IRLFRIEND". Oh, God.
  • Oh well.
  • The Golden Gate Fields became my new goal. How boss would it be if the next time we all go to GGF, I can say "ya'll go 'head, I'll meetchu there"? Yeeyuh.
  • I stopped slightly short of the Fields because I started running into a tangle of traffic, busy intersections, and annoying traffic lights. Boo. Time to go home.
  • On the way back, I hopped onto a fire trail of some sort. I thought I'd be all mad skillz like that. Wrong. This trail turned out to be a loose gravel path. The gravel also turned out to be very large and quite plentiful. All of my energy went from speed and endurance to balance only. If I ran too fast, the gravel would slip from under me. If I pounded too hard, my ankle and the bottoms of my feet hurt from the uneven texture of the ground. Adjust, adjust, adjust...
  • Took a slightly different route to come home. Finding narrow walkways and bike paths, little grassy parks, and fancy, lonely wooden benches that cars and the rest of the world cannot frequent always feels like a win.
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