The December morning sky looked bright and clear. A flash went through my mind wishing this was the weather conditions at CIM just one week ago.
Yesterday, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be living in Northern California in the middle of winter (minus the race last weekend.) There were a series of rainy weeks in November, but for the moment, for the beginning of this week (Monday), pure sunshine and (warm for December) 70 degree temperatures.
I was a bit over ambitious on this sunny morning in my thinking, when I set out for my first run after a full week off from running. The marathon, my second, was pretty hard on my body. I didn’t feel fully in shape on race day and I certainly paid for it post-race, with very sore legs Monday, Tuesday, and yes, Wednesday and Thursday that week. It took really one full week to be totally recovered and mentally ready to want to run again.
Monday morning I had a 6 mile run in mind. My usual loop through town. The night before I discussed the run plan with coach BF (that stands for Boy Friends since he is both), explaining that I wasn’t sure if I should run that far. He told me to just see how it goes, and if it doesn’t feel good, don’t run so far. Well… duh. I do know that of course, but figured I would run that by someone else who has more experience post marathon running. I figured that 5-6 miles wasn’t that far after running 26.2, but also didn’t want to overdo my first run out after a week off.
I donned one of my fav running outfits (the blue one below), which will look like all my photos, since it’s the same old top. I did add one new item, which I am still on the fence about… I have a new second pair of Smith sunglasses with a black tinted lens. My old Smith’s have a green mirrored lens, which I really like, but think most people don’t like when I run with them because they have to look at themselves when I look at them. The mirrors are very reflective and a different shape.
According to my sixteen year old son, I look like a bumble bee in the top photo. But I think I like the insect look… so now I guess I should decided which to keep. Most likely both! One for solo runs, and one for group runs. A perfect solution!
It was a little chilly for 8 am, so I started my run almost right out the door so I wouldn’t get cold in my lightweight shorts. That means I have to start my run on a down hill. I probably ran just a half mile before that old familiar feeling started to creep in. That would be an ache in my right calf. Just felt darn right tight. Again. So I slowed down my running, which is never really very fast to begin with and decided by the end of the first mile that I would only run a short loop of 4 miles. So much for my enthusiasm.
The run wasn’t all that bad, in hindsight, but I did notice that I had a lot of little aches and pains that made me feel like I was an old car that had been sitting in the driveway and hadn’t been started in months. Maybe I need a little oil, or some new spark plugs. Which isn’t a bad idea really. I seemed to have a few creaks in my hips, and my feet shouted “Whoa! What are you doing to us?” Perhaps a massage is in order! Coach BF??
Despite these feeling, I didn’t let any of this bum me out. I decided to just run a little slower. It still left me in the under 10 minute mile range, which is okay with me. Instead, I marveled at how beautiful Marin County is even with the blighted sight of San Quentin prison in the distance. I watched the ducks swim about in the marshes beside the running path, checked out Mt. Tam which is always gorgeous, watched the flurry of morning drivers getting the kids off to school or starting their commutes to work. I laughed about the dog foot prints along the path, leaving a curvy trail that only an overzelous dog could create, and the pile of grassy dog puke in the middle of one trail of paw prints. That dog was having a good time. I wanted to photograph it just because it was so funny, but decided against it. Next time for sure.
I also was in awe with myself. For having run 26.2 miles just a week ago. It seems so surreal. So hard to believe. That I, some banal runner, could push my body to do something it never in a million years thought it would do. When I drive for that amount of distance, I am always blown away that anyone willing goes out and runs that far. Now I’ve done it twice. In one year! I’m still thinking that I won’t run anymore full marathons going forward, but you just never know. Right now, I’m just gonna work out the kinks that follow such an undertaking, and just have fun running.