To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Shamrock Training: Week 9

Wow! Oh what a week this was! Odds are you have seen hints of the first run on Facebook and/or Instagram. It was certainly a memorable one. So let's get to it!

It all happened on a whim I suppose. I enjoyed last week's long run where I didn't have a set route, so for this 5 miler I thought I'd stick with that plan. I had taken some clothes and a high chair to turn in for trade at a store, and one of our parks is just beyond that parking lot. So why not start at the park and save myself some driving? Besides, I had to go pick up my baby after the run, so I figured the faster I just get to running, the faster I can save my mom from a busy little girl. And so I parked my car, did some stretching and began my run. At the very beginning a man was kind of lingering with his dog, and I almost aborted this plan and went the other way. But then he sat at a bench and I convinced myself I could continue on this path I never run. I wasn't even .3 miles in when I thought it looked like the setting of a scary serial killer movie. But this is the Pacific Northwest. We ARE the setting of real life serial killers. Was I making the best move here? I, of course, pulled off the path to snap a quick photo of the river and how creepy it looked. My friend totally saw what I saw when taking it -- this looks like where they fished Frederica Bimmel's body out of the river in Silence of the Lambs. I continue on my way and realize I'm running right by creepy train tracks ... um, is Buffalo Bill's house going to appear next?? Am I IN my favorite movie? I'm not a size 14, so maybe I'm safe? (If you don't understand these references that get busy and watch that movie. It is the BEST!) I was on edge. People that live here know that this area is a major setting for many police reports. Why did I choose this?? Why? Because I was guessing how long this would be distance wise, and sort of plotting out where all I could go in the allotted distance I had to run that day. Ugh. So I continue on, trying to calm my nerves but then it got even more unnerving. It wasn't as creepy feeling, but it started to feel more like I didn't belong. I came upon a group of 12 people hanging out in an open grass area, apparently living there. And here I am, this solo female... so they all had to pause what they were doing to watch me run. My legs instinctively started going even faster. I kept coming up individuals that didn't look to nice. I could see our Public Safety Center in the distance and I kept it in my eye-sight and made sure I would always have enough energy to get there ASAP if needed. Heck, I have plans for if I do get attacked but I don't really want to have to put those plans in motion! When I finally get I was back to safety I paused at my old high school to get my head straight and catch my breath. One of my favorite people was busy at work in the police station and I knew he'd have an answer for me, so I sent my question: I just ran through Gaddis Park toward downtown. How close was I to being a mission person and then found dead along the river? The answer I got back did confirm my suspicions... You were close. Please don't repeat that mistake and run in that section again. Later that night I would tell another person what I did and got a similar reply to NOT do that again, that it is definitely not safe for a woman to run alone. Happily I avoided becoming a woman in a well being forced to run lotion on my skin - or else I'd get the hose again. 

The rest of the run was downright uneventful, and I am happy about that. Performance wise - it was a great run! I've decided that being scared for your own safety causes me to run even better! My run finished only a few steps away from my car, which was perfect because I wanted the heck out of that park. I didn't dilly dally at all!! I took my post-run photo and got out of there!

The rest of this will be boring compared to that long entry!

Run #2 was one of nostalgia. I parked across the street from the house I grew up in and lived in until just a few years ago. I thought it would be nice to do one of my old runs from back in the day. My first fun place to see was my old grade school. It looks the same, yet a little different. I turned and went down Grandpa's street and paused for this run's photo - which is under "Ronda's Tree When She Was Three." I hope the new owner of my tree takes good care of it! Another nice thing about this run was that I encountered 5 other runners. I haven't been seeing any other people during my runs, so it was just a pleasant change. Happily this was another run where I finished with a huge smile on my face. It is like I am back in my groove, hip-hip-hooray!

And finally, here we are, the long run! Last Saturday's run was so great that I carried the high from it all the way until this run... so I thought to sort of repeat my plan, which was NO PLAN!! I started again across the street from my old house, repeating the warm up run by the school and Grandpa's house. From there I was just going! I had my first weird realization during the first mile. Earbuds. They are so small and if you don't have them in your ear you hear nothing. But put them in and it's like this crazy sound happening right in the center of your head. How do they send the sound right to the middle?? Why am I fascinated at this thought for an entire mile? I ended up heading to the park and then dipping under the freeway, heading to my old high school. Those of you not from here, that upper right photo in the collage is the creepy-ish path under the freeway. I should feel unsafe there, but I don't - but I DO make sure I run fast, so maybe I do feel a sense of unease sometimes in there. Anyway, I couldn't go through RHS without saying Hello to OUR Main building. I believe it is named something else now, but it will always be the Main building to me! From there I ran out to our fairgrounds where a custom classic car show was going on. I didn't go into the show but I saw the cars on their way in, so that was good enough for me! And then I pulled a Forrest Gump and decided I'd turn around and run back home. It was on the way back I had my out of body experience. I then realized I was not telling my legs to run. They were just doing it. It's like my body was just doing all of this stuff on autopilot and I was along for the ride listening to some good music. It was so odd. The whole way home I kept having these moments where I was fascinated at the face that I was just going without telling myself to do it. Maybe you had to be there...

This week was an absolute success!! And now that it is done, the hard work is over. Next week is the taper week, and on Sunday I will be racing up and down crazy hills. Will it be rainy like usual? Will I encounter snow like I have in prior years? Will we have sun? Will Jenn and I run fast on the search for men in kilts?? Stay tuned to find out!

Countdown to Race Day: 7 days 11 hours 26 minutes

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