Friday, March 30, 2007

The Accidental Twelvist

With all this chatter about stress, I decided to do something about it: I took the day off. Mind you, I don’t exactly have a stressful job, per se, but I’m surrounded by stressful… err, stress-spreading people.

But what a day to choose! It’s sunny and almost 60 degrees outside, so I struck out for a free run. No time goals, no speed targets, no distance in mind. Just running.

In keeping with today’s stress-free theme, I drove and parked my car near the hike/bike path so I wouldn’t have to run through the high-speed traffic of Steels Corners. Even around 10 a.m. on a Friday, dozens of cars were speeding down the street. Who would have thought? The idea of driving somewhere to go running has always been strange to me, but you should see this traffic!

So, I started in the opposite direction I typically take the path and thought I would run toward Hudson until I got bored and then I would run back. As I have mentioned several times, however, I have no intuition about how this area is laid out, and I ended up getting lost and found and lost again. When I found OH-91, I turned what I guessed was south and found my way back to my civilization.

The whole time I kept a healthy, not-too-fast pace—around 8:00/mile. I know it’s only a little slower than the last run, but I was running at a really relaxed, leisurely pace. And even sang out loud when I needed to test my condition and stop feeling lonely. (Imagine me trotting down some Stow side streets singing “She’s Electric” by Oasis. Hey, their not my neighbors.)

By the time I found the path again (it was a relief when my car appeared at the top of a hill, around a bend), I had run about 12.35 miles. It seemed so much easier than the ten miles I ran last Saturday. And had I known my mileage when I was ending my run, I totally would have run the extra .65.

The only stumbling block in the run was a slight knee problem. No, I didn’t overdo it. I just twisted it while avoiding a dead animal. Eww.

Sidewalks are sporadic around here and halfway down OH-91, my sidewalk disappeared. And when I have to run on the street, I insist on facing traffic so I know when to jump out of the way. I’m not exactly a fan of surprises that come in the shape of speeding cars.

So, when my sidewalk ended, I hopped up on some roadside grass until I could cross to the other side of the street. But that grass appeared to be more a place where medium-sized animals go to die than anywhere people actually tread. I freaked when I saw something gray and furry in my immediate path, and then twisted my knee getting out of the way. It pained me for a few minutes, so I took a 20-second timeout to stretch.

And the only other downside was that I almost killed a dog!

For those who don’t know, I’m St. Francis of Assis, Ohio. Stray dogs, in particular, have always found their ways to my house or just parked themselves next to my car when I’m out because they know I have to take them home. But I’m also terrified of big dogs because I was attacked by one as a child (although I won’t discriminate when there is a dog in need).

Doggies!When I saw two large dogs mingling and unleashed in a front yard today, I crossed the street with the hope that my running on the other side of the street wouldn’t entice them. Well, it worked for one of them. The other dog came tearing across the street barking at me, so I stopped running and let him do his doggy inspecting. Satisfied (or not) with the experience, he turned to run back to his house right when a car was passing.

The second I heard the car, I yelled for the dog and he jumped out of the way just in time. Sigh. I'm still worried about that dog and suffering from the experience. And that was how I used my good karma today.

Finally, my HRM indicated some good ranges for my running intensity… but I’m going to go interpret what all this means now.


miss petite america said...

awesome job today chica! maybe you need to add a gps to your gadgets if you really fear getting lost.

dogs kind of wig me out when i'm running. though not so much because of the dogs but because of the owners. some people really have no courtesy or knowledge when it comes to making sure their dogs don't startle or attack runners.

Joe said...

12.35 miles at 8 minute pace? That's awesome!