When Good Runs Go Right

Chocolate chip cookies are my downfall.

Last night’s group run called for four miles, outdoors in the wind.  I hate the wind.  (Didn’t I already mention that this week?)  I had two options:

A)    Put on my big girl tights and run outside with the group; OR
B)     Do a really long “test” of one of the floor model treadmills at the sporting goods store where we meet.

Deciding that the store manager might not be too keen on me getting my lovely sweat all over a super expensive and super pretty brand spanking new equipment, I headed out into the wind with the pack.

Once out of doors, I was instantly greeted by the rich warm scent of chocolate chip cookies.  More like that chocolaty goodness slapped me upside the head thanks to the wind.  I resisted the urge to immediately run into the restaurant baking such delectable goodness, fired up the Garmin and we were off at a decidedly “get as far from the sweet sweet smell of yummy cookies” pace.

Shelly and I quickly settled into a nice pace, with Dianne just a step or two behind.  We chatted a little but mostly focused on staying upright as Mother Nature maliciously tried to knock us off our feet.  After the first half mile, we were so focused that something strange happened:  absolute silence.

The silence was even more obvious to me because I had decided to run without music.  I have a difficult time running without some form of music to distract me or motivate me or entertain me or whatever it is supposed to do.  Running in a group seemed like a really good time to work a little on running without tunes, theory being that I could ease into it because we would be chatting.  I also decided not to look at my Garmin the entire time.  And surprisingly I held true to this.

So for the next two miles I ran in relative silence, except for the sound of the wind battering my Brooks headband and of course, my oh so spectacular breathing.  Actually, my breathing didn’t sound nearly as bad as it had been.  I know this because there was a point when I was in the throes of the Black Death where I could actually hear my ragged breathing over my iPod…with the volume jacked up.  So I focused on two things:  an even breathing pattern and not falling over.  Three things really…  I also focused on not bolting off the trail to get cookies because the wind carried their scent far and wide.  Damn you, wind.  DAMN YOU!

The run felt great and while I did find myself wanting to crank up some music at a couple points, I wasn’t miserable without it at all.  And I am happy I didn’t look at my Garmin because I had this pleasant surprise when we were done:

After hovering around 12:30 for so many weeks, it was nice to see this.  No cookies were harmed in the making of this run, though I did chase down my dinner of warm tofu and crispy wontons with a handful of Ghiradelli’s milk chocolate chips.  They were a delicious sacrifice to my inner fat chick.

Now for some scheduling drama…The 50K I had so been hoping to do because from what I hear the course is fast and moves steadily downhill?  This year it has been scheduled for the week after the Tahoe Trifecta.  There is no way I am going to be ready to run 39.3 miles one weekend and 30 some odd the next weekend.  So now I am on the lookout for a November/Decemberish 50K.  Did I just say that out loud?  I must be feeling better.

But in other news, one important conversation that came out of last night was the Nike Women’s Half in October.  The girls and I are entering the lottery and our chances are pretty good since we are going in under a group code.  I want my Tiffany’s finisher necklace, even if there are loads of hills.  Yes, I am definitely feeling better.  It’s about damned time.

And in still other news:  I have lost all seven of the pounds I gained while sick (the result of couch rest, comfort food, steroids and more than a few weekends of partying).  Plus two extra hangers on.  That puts me pretty much back where I started for the year.  I am obscenely happy about this.  Is this the end of the plateau from hell?  I have no clue, but I am just happy that extra bit of weight is gone.  Now I can get back to trying to crack the ever illusive 200 lb mark.