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Rain and Raccoons on a fRiday

10/24/2009

If I wasn’t a seasoned blogger and didn’t fancy myself a writer I would probably have some variation of “I was runnin'” for every post about, running. But thankfully for all of us, I get more creative than that. But really tonight, we were runnin’. We started out slowly, which was smart because we were in for a long one. I left work an hour early so we could do the Harlem Hills in the evening light, I just didn’t get in to the idea of doing the 5 mile loop followed by the 4 mile loop, something about it just seemed boring- and when you are setting out to run 9 miles, or more, you have to keep it interesting, am I right?

I was feeling good for the first 1/3, and around the bottom of the park I started to feel some pull in my plantar and my knees were getting achey. Great, just what I need to start feeling aches and pains going in to mile 5. But I pushed on, of course. For the last 1/3 I knew I needed to keep us focused, so I chatted away about boring work stuff, and it worked. It flew by and all of a sudden we were running through the part of the Park that I had thought as we passed through the first time, “It is going to feel good to get here again.” And it did. The 9 mile loop I’ve done 3 times now, includes finishing along the bottom of the reservoir. Normally, I do not like running the reservoir- it’s my achilles. However, on this lovely rain spitting evening, it was quite pretty and so dead I didn’t mind. It felt eerie and lovely all at once. As we rounded the corner on the east side and I saw the straight away that led to the finish, I knew what I had to do. I had to sprint it out. It felt great.

I kept in mind what I’d learned last Friday on our long run- open up your stride at the end and you’ll feel much better for it. As we reached our 7th and 8th mile I used the downhills to help stretch out even more, it worked really well. Of course, once I started stretching and as we walked away from the park I felt some of the aches and pains you’d expect to feel. I stretched some more when we stopped, and now I’m happy to say I’m feeling good! Wow- I got through the 9 miles, now I have to start tapering. One week of that isn’t bad, right?

Funny story of the night- Matt is terrified of the raccoons in the park- and there are a lot of them. As we cut through the 102nd street transverse one popped out of the woods ahead of us, on Matt’s side of the road and then climbed back up on to the grass as we passed- and just stared at Matt. He kept looking back over his shoulder for a good 500 feet after we ran by him. “He’s not going to come after you!” I declared. But, I really think he thought he might. Oh city boys!

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