A conversation…

This past Friday was a teacher institute day, which are normally fun breaks from the routine where we get to learn new ways of presenting informations and cool techniques and activities to use in our classrooms.  Thanks to a law making big changes in the way teachers will now be evaluated, however, our institute day was spent learning about the new evaluation tools.  I understand the importance of learning about this all, but let’s just say it wouldn’t be my first (or second) choice for how to spend my institute day.  Being me, I took to Facebook to complain share my pain.

Because my facebook friends are wonderful, I immediately got some sympathy…and a great suggestion from my friend Mark!

Did you catch that?  Hourly updates on the highlights.  It actually was pretty entertaining (to me) and distracted me from the fact that I was starving.  Typically at institutes they’ll serve donuts.  I’m not a big donut person, but I hadn’t had time for breakfast.  Instead of pastries or something, here’s what I ended up with for the most important meal of the day:

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Yum

All the facebooking (while, of course, listening intently to the information being presented) ended up killing my phone battery before I left.  I managed one last update before the phone shut off.

Despite all my complaining, the institute did a) give me both reassurance and some things to think about and b) mean that I got home a bit earlier than I typically do on a work day.  Our weekend plans (soccer, Six Flags, bike ride, football watching, popcorn selling, cyclocross volunteering) weren’t really conducive to a Saturday or Sunday long run, so I was pretty thrilled to have the time to run 14 miles after work on Friday. 

And then, after Thurday’s 85 degree high, I woke up Friday to 40’s and a cold, steady rain.  I had hopes that it would taper off before I got home, but no such luck.  Lindsay, who’d planned to run with me, texted around noon: “I’m not so sure I’m feelin it today. Are you still running?” 

When I first got the message I was still all about running, but the cold rain that soaked me in the school parking lot did a lot to convince me that maybe the weather was God’s way of telling me I needed a nap instead of a run.  Unfortunately, my earlier conviction had steeled Lindsay’s resolve, and if my friend wasn’t backing out I couldn’t either.

And thank goodness, because it was the best run I’ve had in a loooong time! It was chilly and rainy, but the trails were in great condition.  Perfect running weather; once we got moving, we weren’t cold at all.  And the company was fantastic.  We got in 4.3 miles before Lindsay had to go, and then I ran another 4.3 before lightning turned out to be my dividing line between adventure and stupidity.  All in all, I managed 8.6 miles of singletrack at a 12:24 pace, which is darn good for me on a trail training run.

Glorious as it was, though, it was 5.5 miles short of my planned mileage, so I ran home again after J’s soccer game Saturday morning while he and Jeff went selling popcorn (he’s getting really close to his goal, which is both awesome and amazing).  This was my fourth consecutive day of running.  My legs, which have spent all two years of our running “career” as 3x week runners, and my brain, which was all “ooh yeah, let’s run more!”, had a serious difference of opinion about the necessity of this run.

Legs: “Wait…where’s the van going?? Why are they driving away without us??”

Brain: “Oh, we’re running home.”

Legs: “The hell we are!!”

Brain: “Well, they’re gone now.  You’re stuck.”

Legs: “You can make me run home, but you can’t make me run home.”

Turns out the legs were right.  They were pretty dead, and the first four miles of the trip was a “run” in name only.

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One mile in.  It was prettier in person.

It was beautiful, though, and while my legs never really picked up the pace, they did shut up for a while and let me enjoy myself on the trails.

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Feeling grateful to be outside.
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Towards the end of the trail

My legs had quieted down for the trail portion of the run, but they got pretty noisy again when we hit the pavement…and they had company.

Legs, knees, feet: “This is hard! This hurts! We want to go back to the trails!”

Brain: “Shut up…just a couple miles and we’ll be home.  You can walk as soon as we hit 5.4 miles.”

Legs: “You’re such a liar…”

GI system: “I hate to interrupt, but we need a bathroom…stat!”

Everything was starting to ache, so once I left the bathroom I picked up the pace.  Typically it doesn’t hurt my sore knee or sore foot any more to run faster than slower, and then I’d get home sooner.  I knocked off two paved miles at around a 9:30 pace and then limped another .7 miles at a pained jog, ending up at my house with 6.7 miles on the Garmin.  It was way too close to 7 miles to stop there, so I ran up and down my block until my mileage rolled over.

Legs: “I freaking hate you…”

*****

If you follow me on facebook you already know my legs aren’t any happier with me today than yesterday, with good reason.  If you don’t, no worries…you’ll probably read all about it tomorrow. 🙂

********

My newest 2Toms blog post is all about how awesome it is to be a girl in a sport as male dominated as adventure racing.  Where the boys are…check it out and let me know what you think!

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