Friday, February 25, 2011

It Seems Just Right

Evening Sunlight and Plant

Standing in Leaves


Thursday’s Bike Ride Commute and Short Run (2/24/11)

First things first: big happy birthday wishes to my friend Daine!  The fact that he reads not one but both of my blogs is astounding and so sweet.  Also, he pointed me in the direction of the luscious Costa Rican oatmeal shake, which is not to be missed.  I shall share more about this treat over the weekend.  Daine, if only you were a medical student in my building, then we could meet for lunch and talk food like we did during graduate school.  I miss those talks!

Yesterday was a nice day to be out and about.  I’ve become a fan of the days when I bike to work and then do a short running work-out in the evening.  In the past, I would have thought that it was too much exercise, but with my current fitness levels, it seems just right for a day when I’m feeling perky and in need of some fresh air.  I’ve been feeling really tired this week, but yesterday I felt more like myself and not overwhelmed by the idea of exercise.

The bike ride was a mixed bag.  In the morning, we had powerful winds that slowed me down and pelted leaves, rocks, and dirt at my face.  To add to my pleasure, construction on campus has cut off part of my normal riding route, so I had to go around the construction.  I may have uttered a four-letter-word, exhausted as I was feeling at that point after fighting the wind for 20 minutes.  Campus construction is a major pet peeve of mine, as it never seems to end and it is ubiquitous to any campus on which I’ve worked.  At least there’s no construction going on next to my lab, unlike in graduate school when an entire new building was being built right next door to us, and the construction workers used to come into our building and drink all our filtered water.

After work, I made a pit stop at Brazos Natural Foods.  I was there to say good-bye to my friend Jeremy, who is moving to Austin, but he was missing in action!  I was disappointed.  To console myself, I bought cheese, onions, an avocado, a sponge, and two bars of white chocolate to be gifted to two special ladies.

I rode home, played on the internet for a bit, then laced up my sneakers and headed out for my run.  I waffled about how long to make this run.  20 minutes?  30 minutes?  In the end, I settled on doing my favorite running loop, which put me in the neighborhood of 30 minutes.  I ended up running for 28 minutes, and I daresay that it was one of my very best runs of the season.  It was a run that felt like I was flying: it was easy and fun and fast.  I felt terrific. 

Last night, I had a realization about my running style.  I prefer either very short (30 minutes or less) or very long (60 minutes or more) runs.  Short runs are fun and invigorating; it’s easy to find the motivation to run for 30 minutes after work because I feel so good afterward.  With longer runs, I can lose myself in the rhythm of my footsteps.  I can get a little lost in my town.  I can get sweaty and feel my running endurance get a little better with each long run.  For whatever reason, runs between 30 and 60 minutes don’t have as much appeal for me.

The half-marathon is in nine days!  Hip hip!  I can’t wait.  One more long run on the schedule, then it’s a week of gentle work-outs and a 13.1-mile race to finish in less than two hours.  I am ready.

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