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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still Learning

As promised - and dictated by my training schedule - I went for my five-mile run today. It reminded me that I'm always learning more about myself, especially as I run. It also reminded me that there are many things I have already learned that I'm always forgetting.

Forgotten rule number one: check the forecast. Seems like a simple thing, but it is something I almost never remember to do. I was a little better about it when I lived up north, because I had to know just how many layers of clothing I had to put on in order to survive the run. Down south, that's not such a concern, so I really don't bother with the weather. But it still rains down here, and when your last mile is essentially all uphill, that makes it a bit more difficult.

New fact number one: iPod + sleeve + rain = troublemaker. I got a new iPod nano for Christmas, and I absolutely love this thing. You know the ad; the one where they keep rotating the screen. It's the size of a Shuffle, but the functionality of a Nano. Having only ever had the Shuffle, it's great that I can actually choose my music now and create playlists and things of that nature. The only issue that I've discovered is the touch screen. Normally, a touch screen responds not to pressure, but to the electrical charge in your skin, so a sleeve shouldn't have any effect on it. But when your sleeves get wet, they'll rub against your arms and create static electricity, which apparently causes the ipod songs to change at will. This would not so much be a problem if I was not also using the stopwatch function at that time. According to my iPod stopwatch, my 5.3 mile run took only 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Fortunately, I checked the time just before it went haywire. In fact, it was about 39:15, which I'll round up to 39:30 for record-keeping. Wish I had something more accurate, but what can you do? I'll plan accordingly next time.

Forgotten rule number two: Nine Inch Nails songs are great for running. Nine Inch Nails albums are not. While I love all the music, some of it is simply too slow to get the blood flowing. Girl Talk albums, on the other hand, are fantastic in their entirety. I really like anything with a driving beat that can keep my legs moving. Latest song discovery: Eminem - "Till I Collapse." Definitely open to suggestions on this one.

New fact number two: even pouring rain does not wash away armadillo carcasses.

Forgotten rule number three: allowing yourself to walk the first time opens up the floodgates. Sort of like "breaking the seal," the longer you can go without relief, the better off you're going to be. The first one makes the others happen. Once you begin to walk, it makes it harder for your body to accept that it must keep running. That being said, when your body needs it, walk. Don't break yourself. The way I think about it, my brain is in control of my legs. I will listen to their opinion on the matter, but if I can make my brain tell my legs to keep going, they'll listen.

Now they just have to listen faster.

Today's run:
56 Degrees, Raining
5.31 miles
39 minutes, 30 seconds

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